The farce as a genre doesn’t get a lot of respect, relying as it does on wacky, paper-thin characters and a story that is just an excuse for knock-about gags. But making one that truly works as a film, not a drawn-out skit, is no easy trick.
Veteran TV director Michihito Ogawa has pulled it off with seeming ease in “Koun no Tsubo — Good Fortune (Pot of Good Fortune),” which premiered at last year’s Okinawa International Movie Festival. I say “seeming” because, as the outtakes on the credit crawl show, the film’s type of physical comedy requires meticulous preparation and fine-tuned choreography, as well as making the inevitable pain invisible to the audience (easy if they’re too busy laughing). See the master of the form, Buster Keaton, for further examples.