Films that stand out
“Two in one” is not the name of a miraculous beauty cream for women. “2-in-1” is an international festival for modern film fans.
It has opened with Cut from celebrated Iranian director Amir Naderi with Japanese actors in the lead.
Described as a love poem to Japanese films of the past, as well as a protest at the present, Cut is an exploration of one man’s obsessive relationship with cinema. Shot in Japan, Cut revolves around Shuji, an uncompromising young filmmaker at odds with Japanese society. One day he learns that his brother, who had helped to finance his films, has been executed by his own yakuza gang for failing to repay his debts. The responsibility now falls on Shuji. He decides that the only way to pay off the debt is to become a human punching bag. For a price per punch, gang members can hit Shuji’s six-pack for as long as he can stomach it while the man withstands the beatings by thinking of his favorite films.
Organizers of the 2-in-1 festival say that their selection is one of the strictest in the world. “An opportunity to secure trendy names or lure high profile guests is irrelevant for us. What 2-in-1 is about is to showcase the most cutting edge and interesting events in auteur cinema of this year.”
“The major problem of contemporary culture is its predictability. Scripts are written by textbooks. Films are produced by the very festivals which further give them awards. Real discoveries are substituted by mere simulacra. Our main criteria, therefore, was to find films that have an ability to challenge and surprise.”