International Film Festival Rotterdam

Ikeda Akira – Ambiguous Places #IFFR2018

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5 min. and 56 sec.

The previous Hivos Tiger Award winner returns to Rotterdam for the international premiere of his new feature film.

Play Podcast
5 min. and 56 sec.

PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews Ikeda Akira, director of the film Ambiguous Places.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Having previously won a Hivos Tiger Award with his film Anatomy of a Paper Clip, director Ikeda Akira returned to the International Film Festival Rotterdam where he presented his latest film, Ambiguous Places. In this interview, the director tells us about the dream influence of this film, and the way in which he makes sense of his dream informed not only the style of the movie, but also the structure. The world of Ambiguous Places, as the title suggests, is very ambiguous and strange: “there’s no clear synopsis and there appear so many strange things,” he explains. “In the world of the film, there are no ordinary things and all the people in the film accept that.” Ikeda Akira also talks about the sense of humour of his film, the way in which he likes to work with actors to include them in the overall bizarre vision of the aforementioned strange (and dreamy) world of the movie, and more.

Ambiguous Places: Tiger Award winner Ikeda Akira (Anatomy of a Paper Clip) returns with his third feature, which amuses and bewilders in equal measure. Konoko, a young woman, wakes up on the beach and finds an insect stuck to her head. As she walks around searching for a barber to help her get rid of it, she faces unexpected obstacles in what at first appears to be an ordinary, quiet village. Comprised of a series of dream-like episodes, this unabashedly offbeat comedy balances otherworldly strangeness with decidedly Japanese scenes. The skilled cast commit themselves to the unusually deadpan humour, bringing extended pauses and empty stares to each line, often delivered with near-robotic repetition. Amid the surrealist absurdity of individual moments – a doctor is forced into marriage for failing to save a human-sized insect from illness – the social and familial pressures that pervade Japanese society surface in surprisingly poignant ways. (Text from the official website of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.)

  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Ikeda Akira
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Ambiguous Places
  • Festival section
    Bright Future
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