Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

In a windowless underground room an audition is taking place. Three officials sit behind a table at one end as a nervous young man attempts to perform a disappearing act. He turns himself into scrunched up wrapping paper. He turns himself into a cardboard box. The adjudicators remain expressionless. The young man tries harder, until finally turning himself into something that will force them to take notice.

Writer/director/editor/composer Isamu Hirabayashi is a joker. At 16 minutes, the film may be too long, but the dry darkness of its humour remains fresh throughout. The concept, or rather the idea, is surreal and yet Hirabayashi insists on shooting from the shoulder, thus avoiding elaborate special effects and clever camera angles.

The simplicity that illustrates such weird magic is oddly compelling.

Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2007
Share this with others on...
Auditioning for a disappearing act.

Director: Isamu Hirabayashi

Writer: Isamu Hirabayashi

Starring: Naoto Nojima, Takashi Kobayashi, Reki Amada, Komei Sakurai, Kana Matsumoto

Year: 2006

Runtime: 16 minutes

Country: Japan


Search database: