Isamu HIRABAYASHI 平林勇
Shell And Joint
Nippon Visions ½
The receptionists at a capsule hotel, a pair of beekeepers, several sauna guests, and philosophizing vermin: All of them and several others talk about failed suicide attempts, sexuality, all sorts of bodily fluids, or the differences between humans and insects. Rather a collection of vignettes than a continuous narrative, Isamu HIRABAYASHI’s feature debut circles around the confrontation with the transience of human experience and the question of how to cope with it as an individual. Composed as a series of meticulously rendered static shots, the film is sometimes surreal, often eccentric, and genuinely touching.
Isamu HIRABAYASHI, born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1972, studied graphic design at Musashino Art University. After following a career in advertising design, he started working as an independent film director in 2001. Since then, his short films have been shown at major film festivals around the world, amongst others Cannes, Venice, Locarno, and Berlin. Nippon Connection dedicated a special program to his films in 2006. TEXTISM (2006 / NC ’06) was included in film critic Tony Rayns’ list of the ten best films of all time for the 2012 Sight & Sound poll. SHELL AND JOINT (2019 / NC ’20) is HIRABAYASHI’s first feature-length film.
Film Talk: Isamu HIRABAYASHI