Made in Japan

Made in Japan will present 2 fresh voices to the world from Japanese cinema.

Why Did She Let the Monkeys Loose?

Japan / 2022 / 98 min.
Director:TAKAHASHI Izumi

Yuko, a reportage writer, begins investigating Miu, a high school girl who was arrested for destruction of property after breaking a cage at a zoo and releasing some monkeys. Miu was exposed to critical articles based on speculation and slander. Yuko tries to find out the truth to defend her, but her mental balance is gradually shaken. Her husband, a filmmaker, seems to be quietly watching over her... This is the latest work by the video production duo "Gunjo-iro“ formed by TAKAHASHI Izumi and HIROSUE Hiromasa. The story unfolds in twists and turns while carefully questioning how people should face the images presented by media. The story then reexamines and relativizes the act of making films in a self-referential manner, and even brings up the act of passing the baton to the next generation. In addition to the mature performances of HIROSUE Hiromasa and SHINE Midori, the two regulars in "Gunjo-iro," two young cast members, FUJISHIMA Kanon and HAGIWARA Mamoru, leave a strong impression, making the film open to the future.


There is a Stone

Japan / 2022 / 104 min.
Director:OTA Tatsunari

A woman visits a strange town where she encounters a man skipping stones by the riverside. They occupy their time with mindless play until at last twilight falls... OTA Tatsunari’s second feature film since his graduation work “Bundesliga” (2016) at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, he creates a remarkably rich experience for the viewer, even out of these simple elements. The frame captures swaths of space around the characters in wide, slightly protracted shots, edited expertly into a story that at first might seem insignificant until OTA’s meticulous mise-en-scène and direction bring out the ripples that stir across it. Naturally if the camera wants to film this man and woman who clumsily converse at the riverbed, it will also capture one stone after the next in its lens. These subjects that at first seemed so commonplace gradually come to convey rare meaning to us. We are left with deep lingering memories even after our time of simple play is over, reminiscent of the vacation films of Jacques ROZIER which beautifully visualized the concept of vacance ( = to be empty/free).