The Japanese Embassy in London is continuing to screen Japanese films from the ‘90s and this one sounds absurd because it involves a guy who sells rocks. It’s based on a manga of the same name. The event is free to attend but anyone interested in being part of the audience must book in advance to secure a place (which you can do through this link).
Here’s the information:
無能の人 「Muno no Hito」
Running Time: 107 mins.
Director: Naoto Takenaka
Writer: Toshiharu Maruuchi (Screenplay), Yoshiharu Tsuge (Original Novel)
Starring: Naoto Takenaka, Jun Fubuki, Kotaro Santo, Miyako Yamaguchi, Ren Osugi, Yoshio Harada, Yoshiko Kuga, Tomokazu Miura,
Naoto Takenaka has appeared in over 200 films but his directing career only has eight films and the last one was 2013’s Self-Bondage: All Tied Up with My Own Rope, which is a film I remember writing about quite clearly and regret Googling because now it’s in my search history and some of the results I have seen I cannot unsee. This particular film is a send-up of the art world and features great actors like Jun Fubuki (Seance, Charisma), Ren Osugi (Exte), and Yoshio Harada (Zigeunerweisen).
Synopsis from the website: Sukezo, once a well-known manga artist in the country, now sells rocks. He gave up his career in the comic world when he became sick of its commercialisation. Much to the chagrin of his family, he begins his new career by setting up shop in a shed at the riverside. The rock business suits his personality as he hates to throw anything away. After all, rocks are free and abundantly available along the river. Not surprisingly, the business does not go well. One day he reads about stone auctions taking place for amateurs and goes to meet the president of Japan’s Rock Appreciation Society. He takes his family stone-hunting in the mountains and tries to auction off their crops. With his family becoming steadily poorer, his marriage deteriorates as his wife is forced to make ends meet by taking a part-time job and even resorts to stealing vegetables from a neighbour’s garden…
The film is a parable about the perils and pressures exerted on those who resist the competitive atmosphere of modern Japan. A human drama portraying dropouts from society in a humorous manner.
The event takes place on September 27th and the doors open at 18:00. There is a special talk at 18:30 and the film starts at 19:00. The location is the Embassy of Japan in the UK, 101 – 104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT and you can find out how to book tickets with this link.