Do people who try to kill themselves not want to live anymore? No, not at all, says the hotel employee in Shell and Joint, a woman who has made multiple attempts herself, including by jumping into a shark-infested sea. Deadly serious, she tells her colleague she blames it all on a bacteria that controls her mind.

Short-film maker Hirabayashi Isamu's feature film debut is full of these offbeat conversations. He portrays various characters at a Japanese capsule hotel in a series of absurdist sketches. One moment puppetry insects philosophise about death, the next a bunch of men discuss erections in the sauna. Hirabayashi uses tight, static framing, making everything extra surreal, and masterfully forges it into a fascinating whole that examines the distinction between man and insect and the thin line between existence and non-existence.

Filmmaker
Hirabayashi Isamu
Country
Japan
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
154’
Language
Japanese, Finnish
Producer
Katsumata Madoka, Ito Tatsuo
Production Company
DASH CO., LTD., Chromarhythm Inc.
Sales
DASH CO., LTD.
Writer
Hirabayashi Isamu
Cinematography
Hirabayashi Isamu
Editor
Hirabayashi Isamu
Production Design
Gotoh Katsuaki, Mizutani Sayaka
Sound Design
Iijima Keitaro
Music
Watanabe Takashi
Cast
Tsutsui Mariko, Horibe Keisuke, Higashi Kanako, Sato Aiko, Kitagawa Hiromi
Website
http://shellandjoint.com