Denmark (Japanese / English)
Written and Directed by Kaspar Astrup Schröder
Step into the aberrant life of Dr. Nakamats, a Japanese inventor. If anything this documentary provides a pleasing diversion.
"The Invention of Dr. Nakamats" is a "follow-documentary" in the daily life of Yoshiro Nakamats, an inventor of some renown in Japan. Specifically we see the days leading up to his 80th birthday where he will pull back the curtain on his latest brain child, B-Bust: a bra that makes small-breasted women look more desirable to men. Clearly, Nakamats is doing a great and mighty work!
Our subject is neither shy nor humble. He tells us he has taken out of 3,000 patents for his creations (some 3x of that Tommy Edison). Besides the floppy disk (which, interestingly enough, I found Nakamats nowhere to be found in the "floppy disk" Wikipedia article) most of these products are bizarre contraptions that you are likely to have never seen, needed, or wanted, though thousands of Japanese women have testified of Love Jet... I wonder if the title alludes to the fact that his claims just might be the biggest invention of all. In one memorable sequence he explains that too much oxygen is bad for the brain. Right before we die (supposedly) we will reach a moment of enlightenment. To tap into this potential Nakamats dives underwater where he pontificates future creations. (He invented an underwater notebook and pencil so he could jot these ideas down...)
You can go ahead and add Nakamats to the list of conceited individuals that we are nevertheless drawn towards (Sherlock, Willy Wonka, and Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network") The man has an admirable drive for his old age and still he desires to live to 144. His secrets include four hours of sleep a night and one meal a day. (If that is what it takes to live a long life, count me out.) Danish filmmaker Kaspar Astrup Schröder is behind this delighting doc. Neo Tokyo credits over the nighttime cityscape and Nakamats and crew trying out bouncy footwhere (image above) in slowed time are nice and memorable touches. At 57 minutes this is a breezy and whimsy viewing experience. Nakamats himself is endlessly watchable.
(Author's Note: This film is currently available on Netflix Instant, but I must warn you that there is a severe audio synchronization problem with a couple seconds of delay. Unfortunately I had to watch most of the doc in this state. After reading reviews on Netflix I learned others had this issue as well. I would think other versions of this charming film are without such nuisance, so this does not affect my overall feelings of the project. Much of the film is in Japanese and even though the lips do not match I was relying on the subtitles anyway which are present throughout the running time.)
CONTENT: some adult conversation
Updated on 8/28/2012