Tiger Award winner Ikeda Akira (Anatomy of a Paper Clip) returns with his third feature, which amuses and bewilders in equal measure. Konoko, a young woman, wakes up on the beach and finds an insect stuck to her head. As she walks around searching for a barber to help her get rid of it, she faces unexpected obstacles in what at first appears to be an ordinary, quiet village. Comprised of a series of dream-like episodes, this unabashedly offbeat comedy balances otherworldly strangeness with decidedly Japanese scenes.
The skilled cast commit themselves to the unusually deadpan humour, bringing extended pauses and empty stares to each line, often delivered with near-robotic repetition. Amid the surrealist absurdity of individual moments – a doctor is forced into marriage for failing to save a human-sized insect from illness – the social and familial pressures that pervade Japanese society surface in surprisingly poignant ways.