The power of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” stems from its restraint: a piano’s torch song, nearly Sinatra-like; the singer’s nasal-mush baritone, divinely. Strings with schmaltz and a gentle tension at the close: “you’re going to reap just what you sow.” Especially after its inclusion in Trainspotting, critics have read it as an ode to the rapture-wash of heroin as much as the accounting of a love affair. Obtuse even at his most generous, Reed denied the double-meaning: “That’s a lovely song,” he told NME in 1973. “A description of a very straightforward affair.” Of course it’s both; the regular is always sublime, and vice-versa.
Reed’s song once again finds itself informing the moving image, lending sentiment and name to Wim Wenders’ newest narrative feature, Perfect Days. With Neon releasing the film in December, a trailer is now available.
Following its premiere at Cannes (where Koji Yakusho won Best Actor), Luke Hicks wrote on the film’s theory of quotidian ascension: “It follows Hirayama (a transcendently even Koji Yakusho) through his daily routine––simple, clean, pleasant––each day a budding journey of expected and unexpected encounters. A night ends, we drift into the dream realm, and we begin again like we did the morning before. A modest 60-something public bathroom janitor in Tokyo, Hirayama lives an almost monastic lifestyle, disciplined and contented in his rituals. His purple-lit apartment in the boonies is scarce, mostly floor. He unfurls a body-width sleeping pad before bed and keeps nearby a skinny lamp that allows him to read. He’s always shoulder-deep in a good novel, be it Faulkner or Highsmith. Wenders uses moments like these to portray the relatable sublime.”
Watch the official trailer below: