Some films, though not connected as series or sequels, reflect and comment on each other, making one look better than the other. Such is the case for Takeshi Murayama’s first feature “Spaghetti Code Love” and Lim Kah Wai’s “Come and Go.” Both are ensemble films that attempt a group portrait, with Maruyama focusing on disaffected young people in Tokyo and Lim looking at Japanese and non-Japanese visiting and living in Osaka.

Seeing the former shortly after the latter, I was struck by how Lim’s characters speak and act with documentary-like authenticity, while Murayama’s actors seem as if they were performing in one of his music videos, for which he is an in-demand director. Also, where many of Lim’s Asians are struggling to survive on the bottom rungs in a foreign country, Maruyama’s angst-filled youth are natives of their society by birth and education, however alienated they may be.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.