R100 + Symbol (opening night party, co-star in person!)

R100 – 8:00pm
Breakout filmmaker/star Hitoshi Matsumoto (Big Man Japan, Symbol) has emerged from the same Japanese TV comedy milieu once traveled by the legendary Beat Takeshi, to create an audacious body of meta-movies that never cease to tickle and surprise us. Starting with its title as a riff on the Japanese movie rating system (their “R18” = our “NC-17”), Matsumoto’s latest outlandish jam is a cross between David Fincher’s The Game and Ken Russell’s Crimes of Passion: a lonely father (Ichi The Killer’s Nao Ohmori) with a secret taste for BDSM hires the services of a clandestine boutique dominatrix agency — one that specializes in increasingly insane, guerilla acts of public degradation. At every turn, R100 yanks itself into previously unknown corners, even stirring in Godardian framing devices and a special American visitor into the rough ‘n tumble comedic melee. Plus, Q&A w/ co-star Lindsay Kay Hayward and sushi smashing! Sake and Japanese snacks on the patio after the show.
Dir. Hitoshi Matsumoto, 2013, DCP, 100 min.

Symbol – approx. 10:00pm
“A candy-coated, Japanese game show version of a Franz Kafka short story” — Todd Brown, Twitch

“Are you there, God? It’s me, Hitoshi Matsumoto.” — IFC.com

A strange, startled Japanese man with an unsightly haircut awakens in an enormous, imprisoning blank void. Elsewhere in Mexico(!), a luchador prepares for an epic wrestling match with the King of Evil and Tequila Joe. In the void, random objects appear and disappear, via the whims of an unseen force — and all the rules of logic, physics and sanity mutate with rapidity, driving our poor Bowlcut Guy completely out of his mind. How could the two disparate threads of Matsumoto’s Symbol possibly come together? A real Rubik’s Cube of a brainburner, Symbol is a near-wordless and frequently hilarious meditation on whatever you want it to be: cultural signifiers, religious taboos, dick jokes, masked men, people turning into food — you know, the good stuff. Never has total surreality been this warm ‘n fuzzy.
Dir. Hitoshi Matsumoto, 2009, 35mm, 93 min.

Watch the trailer for “R100″!
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Watch the trailer for “Symbol”!
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