Two People Talking

Director: Isshin Inudo
Screenwriters: Isshin Inudo, Hirotoshi Kobayashi

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


The film is a drama with a documentary feel about a female manzai couple called Tonight. Manzai is Japanese stand-up comedy that is popular around its heartland, Osaka, so the audience is assailed with volleys of gags in that unique dialect. One of the pair plays the straight man and the other the fool. Most of the story unfolds through dialogue between the girls with occasional flashbacks. Since the talk is lively, it is never boring. Topics of conversation are the joys and troubles of always being together and having to adapt to each other’s ways, and of course they sometimes quarrel. Through their banter, the couple’s dreams and worries for the future are gradually revealed to the audience.

The combination of the present dialogue and the flashbacks is so carefully planned that it’s very effective. Especially entertaining is a scene in a train featuring a god of entertainment and a god of laughter. The two gods are quite wonderful. Two People Talking is the first commercially exhibited movie of Isshin Inudo. While it had a low budget even compared with other independent movies in Japan, it will lure the audience into the Japanese manzai world from the very beginning and entertain them with its magical and magnetic charm to the last. The film won the grand prize in the competition section of the Sundance Film Festival in Tokyo in 1996.

— Masao Kawano, Sundance Tokyo Film Festival

Screening Details

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