The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
"Probably the most extravagant celebration of a childhood game ever committed to film...Stylistically stunning and completely nuts" -New York Times
"A hell of a lot of fun" -Film Threat
"The movie has some of the feel of a good graphic novel and offers a lot of Japanese pop pleasures as well." -Chicago Tribune
"Whimsical, engaging and often frantic" -Time Out Chicago
Ping Pong is an exciting and funky manga-based tale of obsessed table-tennis teenagers in a Japanese high school. Best friends Peco and Smile have been playing ping pong since they were kids. While the unique and brazen Peco plays to win and loves the sport, the quiet and introverted Smile thinks of it as just a way to spend time with his friends, but plays only because he looks up to Peco as his hero. Smile is the more talented player, but he frequently and intentionally loses to Peco out of a misguided sense of friendship. However, after Peco is defeated by his old pal Demon in an important high school tournament and quits the game, Smile becomes the newest celebrity of ping pong. Smile begins training for the next championship, waiting for the return of his hero, whom he is destined to meet in one last match. Director Fumihiko Sori's debut film is a deft blend of heartfelt drama and remarkable visual invention, signaling the arrival of a striking new filmmaker. He utilizes an arsenal of cinematic tricks to display the ping pong matches-from computer generated effects to surreal shifts into slow motion, yet he never allows style to overwhelm his story. Ping Pong is an unexpected delight, with charismatic performances and many refreshing surprises.
Directed by Fumihiko Sori, Japan, 2002, 35mm, 114 mins. In Japanese and Cantonese with English subtitles.