JAPAN / 2011 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray (HD) / 111 min
Director, Photography: Hirano Katsuyuki
Editing: Lee Hidemi
Music: Yano Akiko
Producer: Amagi Morio
Co-producer: Anno Hideaki
Production Companies: Cine Bazar Inc. (Koinobori Pictures), khara, inc.
World Sales: Toho Co.,Ltd. www.toho.co.jp
In 2005, actress Hayashi Yumika passed away before her time at the age of 34. This is a love story in which the director pours out his heart about his romantic attachment to her. He recalls his travels with her on a bicycle trip from Tokyo to Hokkaido’s Rebun Island to film Yumika (1997), relives the moment he realized she was dead, and experiences the years since in which he couldn't make films. The teetering battle between the director, who attempts to control the film, and Yumika, who confronts him with her raw emotions, constantly shakes the film’s equilibrium. Our relationship with actress Hayashi Yumika is eternal . . .
[Director’s Statement] From my point of view, all I can say with respect to this film is: See it. For those who have already seen it, I have nothing to say. As an introduction to the film, though, I know that’s too blunt. I’m writing this to try to put into words as much as I can.
As far as I’m concerned, the film’s lead actress, Hayashi Yumika, who unfortunately passed away, changed my life immensely. Such a person comes along once in everyone’s life, I think. If you feel something when you watch this film, I think you should, as quickly and urgently as possible, convey what needs to be conveyed to the people you consider precious. And, if possible, please act on it. Even offering a flower is enough. That, I believe, is proper communication. That’s all.
Born in 1964 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. He started out making amateur 8mm films and received critical acclaim from the Pia Film Festival, among others. After his professional debut with Yumika in Heat (Yumika no hatsujoki, 1989), he directed many adult videos which are not really erotic but are just downright funny, such as Naked Rabbit (Mito gomon, 1992) and The Taboo (1993). His 1997 documentary Yumika, about his bicycle trip in Hokkaido with actress Hayashi Yumika, was a big theatrical success, and afterwards he completed his “cycling trilogy.” For one part of the trilogy, Shiro The White (1999, YIDFF 1999, NETPAC Award), he cycled to Hokkaido all by himself in midwinter; the film was presented at the Berlin International Film Festival. Kantoku Shikkaku is his first new film in 11 years.