IFFR KINO #11: Symbol

We promised that this IFFR KINO series would be all about weird and weird is what you will get.  On Wednesday 6 December we present the extremely bizarre comedy Symbol (2009) by Matsumoto Hitoshi, featuring the filmmaker himself as a sad comedian confined to a white space.

Perhaps a film like this can only be produced in Japan. That is the only place where it makes sense to link the world of the commercial graphic novel (manga or otherwise) with melancholic art. Even those members in the audience that watched Matsumoto’s previous cult film Dainipponjin (Big Man Japan) will not know what to expect. Surrealism and comedy, slapstick even.

A comedian wakes up and finds himself trapped in a bright all-white room. Or maybe he is still dreaming. Strange things occur in the room and the comedian does not seem able to control them. Outside, the Mexican pro-wrestler Escargot Man is preparing himself for an important fight. The link between the man in the room and the luchador in the ring remains unclear for a long time.

With a kinote by Tom Mes, film critic and Japanese cinema connoisseur.

  • IFFR KINO #11: Symbol
  • IFFR KINO #11: Symbol
  • IFFR KINO #11: Symbol

Together with Hamada Masatoshi, Matsumoto has made up one of the most influential comedy duos in Japan since 1983. He has also starred in several popular television series. His directorial debut Dainipponjinen and subsequent films Symbol and R100 (2013) have all screened at IFFR.

By showing Symbol, we are looking forward to the return of Rotterdämmerung to the festival. In 2018, you will be able to enjoy the most outrageous films, redefining genres and enriching cinematic culture as we know it with a heavy dose of originality and wtf!