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Wednesday evening, my husband and I decided to take a break and go to Manhattan to see a Japanese movie: Rentaneko or Rent-a-Cat.

It was part of the Japan Cuts Festival that runs from July 12 to July 28, 2012 at the Japan Society in Manhattan.

I had heard of it thanks to Tamar, at I Have Cat, and had bought the tickets at the time, about a week or so before we lost our Grouik. Then we were thinking of not going because, well, we simply didn’t feel like going out. But at the last moment we decided not to let the tickets go to waste and thought it might somehow be a way to cheer us up a little.

We so do not regret our decision.

Rent-a-Cat is about a young woman running a business of renting cats to lonely people. The rented cat’s mission, she explains to her clients, is to mend the hole in their hearts. But Sayoko, the young woman, is also yearning to find her special someone.

The following video is a summary of the movie by the Japan Society.

And here is a trailer with English subtitles. I could not embed the video for some reason…

Of course, cat lovers will be especially touched by the story. But you need not be a cat lover to appreciate this tale-like movie. Sayoko meets and, thanks to her cats, changes the life of a number of people who ended up being and feeling alone for different reasons.

We laughed a lot, and were moved by the different stories. A funny scene has our heroine having a bad dream of cats being classified according to their breed and as such being rented at different prices.

A nice moment was also the Q&A with the Director, Naoko Ogigami (in the center on the following picture).

Among her answers, she told us that the story was inspired by the time when her grandfather lost his cat and she thought it would be nice to be able to rent a cat; she wrote the story in four days; the cats were not trained or asked to do anything, they just let them be during the shooting (and the result is pretty impressive!); she herself has three cats; she greatly appreciated how Americans in the audience were expressing their emotions out loud.

If given the occasion, cat lovers (but not only) should not miss this delightful movie. I know I will be getting the DVD if, hopefully, it is released here.

Thanks to Ms. Naoko Ogigami for this cute movie. And thanks to the Japan Society for featuring it. And thanks to Tamar at I Have Cat for letting her readers know!

A somewhat related-though-not-so-much little fact about yours truly: a long long time ago, I had started to learn Japanese. Due to many different reasons I gave up quickly and always regretted it. And I still hope I can find the time to learn it one day. And I am all the more frustrated not to be able to understand this or this.

Wishing you all a nice weekend!