Megane (Glasses)

Megane (Glasses)

Wearing man-tailored shirts and designer glasses, Taeko (Satomi Kobayashi) drags an armored suitcase down the beach, toward an inn that might be called the Hotel Indifference: Run by Yuji (Ken Mitsuishi), frequented by Haruna (Mikako Ichikawa) and spiritually inspired by the cryptic Sakura (Masako Motai), the place operates like a family home, where Taeko can either enlist or resist.

Awakening to Sakura's smiling face at her bedside each morning, Taeko grows bemused and vaguely irritated by Yuji's unorthodox approach to guest relations. But when she leaves for another hotel -- where the patrons are expected to hoe the vegetable gardens in the morning, and take classes in the evening -- she realizes a kind of homesickness: There's something weird but embracing about a place with nothing to see, and where "twilighting" (evening rumination) is the most exciting entry on the activities menu.

"Glasses" possesses the same clean visuals of Takeshi Kitano ("Hana-Bi"), and the buoyant melancholia of Hirokazu Kore-eda ("After-Life"). It also has the unhurried-bordering-on-static rhythms of Taiwan's Tsai Ming-liang -- which may drive certain caffeine-inspired audiences to rebel. But the point of "Glasses," as embodied by Taeko and the hotel's lack of cell-phone reception, is that slower may be better, and Ogigami infuses her film with so much droll humor and precise observations that the film attains its own particular form of propulsion.

Ogigami, a real find for American auds not familiar with her work, knows that people don't usually change in dramatic, explosive, cinematic ways but in subtle gradations. Via her direction and Kobayashi's finely calibrated performance, there's an intimacy achieved with Taeko's metamorphosis that is rare and exhilarating. Sakura-san, the older lady whose arrival at the inn is anticipated each year like spring -- and whose elaborate shaved-ice creations are a kind of divine nectar -- is a great character, mysterious, benevolent and wise. Her serenity infects those around her, and as she mellows, she actually grows more self-possessed.

While the open beaches of "Glasses," its wild fields of green and uncluttered sky, offer a tangible sense of peace and wry reflection, the acting and extraordinarily confident direction give the film tremendous soul.

— J. Anderson, Variety

Megane (Glasses)

Free show!

Sponsored by The Japan Foundation and The Consulate-General of Japan at Denver

Tue September 25, 2012, 7:00 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

Japan, 2007, in Japanese • official site



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cover art for Spring 2 2022
Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Sun Oct 2, 2022

Fantastic Planet

At Muenzinger Auditorium

Fri Oct 21, 2022

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...