Tokyo Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival
Goro Inagaki, Shizuka Ishibashi, Fumi Nikaido, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Shunsuke Koga, Adam Torel
Third Window Films
One night, famous novelist Yosuke Mikura (Gorô Inagaki) encounters a young, seemingly homeless woman in an overpass tunnel. Hearing her recite Verlaine’s “Chanson d’automne” out of the blue – a mermaid’s chant in a concrete ocean – he decides to bring her home to his condominium. Her name is Barbara (Fumi Nikaido). She’s bad-mannered, constantly drunk, flirtatious, but nonetheless, she points out the obvious: Mikura – for all his inflated sense of self, friends in very high places and thoroughly successful career as an upscale smut peddler – isn’t all that. He’s the kind of guy to wear sunglasses at night, sure, but his star is fading, and perhaps he could use a change. A muse? How convenient! The encounter with Barbara reignites his confidence and sets him a path of increasingly bizarre sexual encounters. Barbara, never too far behind, seems to exert a strange influence on the writer…
An abrasively jazzy adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s adult manga series BARBARA (1973-1974), the latest film from Makoto Tezuka (LEGEND OF THE STARDUST BROTHERS) is an affectionate homage to one of his father’s most controversial and intriguing works. Mixing pinku-style erotica with an examination of the creative impulse, and a dash of the occult, this is, in many ways, the little-seen “dark side” of anime maestro and ASTRO BOY creator Osamu Tezuka – inspired at the time by “The Tales of Hoffman” and the countercultural spirit of the 1970s. Shot by Christopher Doyle (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, HERO) in lush, textured colour, the story is transposed here to a modern, subtly anachronistic fantasy Tokyo – its beat matched only by Ichiko Hashimoto’s wild piano score. A whirlwind tale of lust and aspiration. – Ariel Esteban Cayer
A Quebec drug dealer leads his American cousin into the world of illegal street fights. A dramatic and violent descent into a ruthless universe.
Investigating the fire that claimed a couple’s life in a country village, detective Hyung-gu begins to wonder if he’s really himself…
The lives of female escorts intersect in Kana Yamada’s debut LIFE: UNTITLED, a remarkable update of the Japanese brothel film tradition.