Posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 by Hunter Stephenson
The latest trailers for Symbol (or Shinboru) hint at an odd film that mixes the claustrophobia of Cube, the asylum-like paranoia of Jim Henson’s The Cube, and the random, colorful Japanese itemization of a Turbo Grafx 16 game import. Needless to say, I’m interested, and buzz on the latest film from Hitoshi Matsumoto, the Japanese star and writer/director of cult-fave Big Man Japan, has it delivering on the promising, pristine imagery below. Nice pajamas, guy.
Matsumoto plays the main character, a man who wakes up in an empty, white, windowless room and evidently can’t help looking bewildered. As seen in the teaser above, the man notices a dick-and-balls thing protruding out of the wall. According to a synopsis at IMDB, before the monochromatic, freaky angels circle around him, a pink toothbrush falls out of the wall “setting in motion a genuinely bizarre chain of events. Soon the imprisoned man is engaged in an absurd escape the gleaming room, releasing random objects from the walls, creating a life sized mouse trap game..” The man surrounded by dogs in the trailer is an aging Mexican wrestler who is (non-) preparing for a big match, much to the concern of his family. There is a spoiler-worthy meta-sounding connection between the two.
FirstShowing’s Alex Billington saw the movie at the recent TIFF Midnight Madness event and in a one-sentence review said, “Like Cube, but if it were Japanese, comedic, on acid, starring one man, and completely insane.” In what Rick McGrath at QuietEarth calls a non-spoiler, a scene is described in which, “[pajama man] simply climbs the wall, using penises as handholds, and as he does we’re treated to a montage of symbolic historical events, he finally he reaches the top, and now, all dressed in white, he enters a room call ‘The Future’ which has a map of the earth on one wall, and a huge penis and scrotum on the other.” So many dicks in this movie. The film’s message sounds both Jungian and playfully refreshing.
For a non-embeddable full-length trailer that is much more intense and less ambiguous, go to the film’s website and click around. Also, the Japanese street wear label, BAPE, famous for being made cool by the Beastie Boys and uncool by N*E*R*D* has released a limited run of tie-in shirts for the film. They’re not all that bad in that, you know, Tokyo toystore man-child with endless cashflow way. View all the shirt designs here…