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Exclusive Toronto Trailer Debut: Matsumoto's 'R100'

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by Anne Thompson
August 12, 2013 4:29 PM
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Nao Omori and director Hitoshi Matsumoto in "R100."

Watch the exclusive debut of the trailer for "R100," the Hitoshi Matsumoto film that will world premiere in the Midnight Madness section at September's Toronto International Film Festival.

The film marks the fourth feature directed by Japan absurdist auteur and TV comedian Matsumoto. Hollywood producer Neil Moritz is remaking his first film, Cannes entry "Big Man Japan" (2007) and the Cinémathèque Française mounted a 2012 retrospective of his work in Paris. There Matsumoto announced his next project: “I’m going for far-out absurd nonsensical movie on the next one," he said. "Since 'Scabbard Samurai' is more like a movie, the next one will go to the extreme opposite. It will be rated 80 (meaning no one under 80 will be permitted to see the film).” The title of R100 is a word play on the Japanese ratings system, suggesting that the viewer should be at least 100 years old to see the film. "R100"'s tongue-in-cheek subplot about the filmmaking process challenges the concept of rating, or any kind of judgment, of films. 

In a comedic performance as a dead-pan, no-nonsense police officer, Matsumoto asks the question: "What happens if you get what you asked for?" Matsumoto set out to create a “far-out absurd nonsensical movie” that is kinky and even silly, full of S & M sexual fantasies. That's a subject Matsumoto has explored in his comedy skits and radio shows. He was intending to break down the notion of comedy. While his last three films used improvisation and employed a mockumentary style, with "R100" Matsumoto stayed close to the script and hired professional actors. In that sense, "R100" resembles the more conventional structure of a feature film. 

Here's the synopsis:

A very ordinary man (Nao Omori) who takes care of his son while his wife lies in a coma, enters a very ordinary building. Following a seductive ride on a merry-go-round, he signs up with an exclusive club. Membership is one year only and cannot be cancelled under any circumstances. Happily he endures dominatrix intrusions in his daily life, until they get a little too close to his unsuspecting family. With a courage not displayed in his professional life as a bed salesman, he tries to cancel his membership, evoking the wrath of the American CEO, who descends upon Tokyo to teach him a lesson...


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