It’s a Flickering Life: Yamada Yooji’s sweet melodrama tells a story in two periods, both when the protagonist was an idealistic film studio worker and decades later as he now is a heavy-drinker betting addict with a strained relationship with his wife and daughter. The gap, however, is not bridged convincingly, and the characters are not fully explored by the story. The film also doubles as a nostalgic love letter to creativity in general and (as the title in Japanese suggests) to Cinema in particular. The cast is fine, even if some performances at times lean towards the comical; particularly Sawada Kenji, who plays the protagonist as a bit of a rascal; Nagano Mei, who plays his love interest when young, is rather charming. The period recreation of a golden age film studio, done by production designer Nishimura Takashi, has a dreamy quality to it, softly colorful, and richly captured by cinematographer Chikamori Masashi.