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Having turned heads, warmed hearts and opened arteries with the 2018 VIFF audience favourite One Cut of the Dead, Shin’ichirô Ueda returns with another delirious meta-comedy.

Withering (read: fainting) under pressure, Kazuto’s (Kazuto Osawa) bids to break into the ultra-competitive acting field have proven to be humiliating failures. Nevertheless, his brother Hiroki (Hiroki Kawano) gets him a gig at Special Actors, an agency that casts mundane roles such as posing as a mugger that a milquetoast can fend off to impress his date. However, the troupe find themselves in well over their heads when they’re hired to rescue a woman (Rina Tsugami) who’s been indoctrinated by a cult.

Tagging along as Kazuto and company infiltrate the secret order, viewers who believe they have the measure of this slapstick farce would do well to remember the hairpin turns that One Cut took. Ueda proves every bit as nimble here, toying with cinematic conventions as he crafts a giddily polymorphic ode to deception that’s perfectly suited to this era in which reinvention is de rigueur.

Director Icon Director
Shin'ichirô Ueda

Osawa Kazuto, Kono Hiroki, Fuji Takuya, Kitaura Ayu, Ueda Yosuke
Producer Satoshi Hashidate, Hitoshi Ono
Screenwriter Ueda Shinichiro
Cinematographer Sone Takeshi
Editor Ueda Shinichiro
Production Design Akimoto Hiroshi
Music Suzuki Nobuhiro
Production Company Lamp
Source Shochiku Co., Ltd
Japan 2020 109 min. Japanese with English subtitles
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.

Ueda, Shin'ichiro headshot


Shin’ichirô Ueda was born in 1984 in Shiga, Japan. As a junior high school student, he used to make small films with his classmates. In 2010, he formed his film company and to date his films have received 20 film festival awards. With his slogan, “Making films which will still be fun after 100 years,” Ueda strives to make entertaining films. VIFF selection One Cut of the Dead (2018) was a perfect example. International box office exceeded US $30 million.

Selected Filmography
One Cut of the Dead (2018); Aesop’s Game (2019)

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