Fumihiko Sori’s Ping Pong

For a movie about a competitive sport, Ping Pong bends and subverts the rules of its subgenre with a healthy disregard for the clichés that have long weeded and choked portrayals of athletes on screen. There are no Rocky-esque pyrotechnics on display, and in an especially daring move, the director Fumihiko Sori dissolves away from a climactic rematch before the game is finished, focusing instead on what comes after and relegating the whole issue of who wins or loses to a photograph framed and hung on a wall.

It’s a fitting choice for a film whose nominal subject is table tennis but whose greater concern is . . .

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