This Week’s Agenda
This week’s selection of films focuses on Japan and deceptive realities. House of Bamboo (Samuel Fuller, 1955) and Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven, 1990) both feature a secret agent mission, to Tokyo and Mars, respectively, and revolve around double identities. In Fuller’s film, entirely shot on location in Japan, an American goes undercover in a Tokyo crime gang. In N.P (Lisa Spilliaert, 2020), a Japanese writer who lived in America all of his life is the shared source of fascination of four young people during one summer in Japan. This feature debut by Lisa Spilliaert, who grew up in Japan and Belgium, asks to what extent our lives are a fiction directed by predetermined narratives. Strangely enough these same questions in N.P’s book-within-a-book structure are at stake in the dream-within-a-dream of Total Recall. But even House of Bamboo is a constant play on the reality behind appearance and the splendid plasticity of the movie itself. All three are otherworldly films.