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'Big Man Japan' to screen

RELEASED: Sept. 21, 2010

poster for Big Man JapanEAU CLAIRE — "Big Man Japan" (Japan 2007) will screen Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. "A deadpan mockumentary with a lively sense of the perverse" (The New York Times), the film will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

A wickedly deadpan spin on the giant Japanese superhero, "Big Man Japan" is an outrageous portrait of a pathetic but truly unique hero. Japanese comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto wrote and directed the film, and stars as Daisoto, the latest in a family line of monster killers. He is an unhappy middle-aged man who has lived in bachelor squalor since his wife left him and took their daughter away with her. Daisoto's job involves being shocked by bolts of electricity that transform him into a stocky, stick-wielding giant several stories high who is entrusted with defending Japan from a host of bizarre monsters. But while his predecessors were national heroes, he is a pariah among the citizens he protects, who bitterly complain about the noise and destruction he causes.

And Daisato has his own problems — an agent who insists on branding him with sponsor advertisements, an Alzheimer-afflicted grandfather who transforms into a giant in dirty underwear, and a family embarrassed by his exploits.

"It becomes clear that [Matsumoto] is satirizing three genres: the personal documentary, monster movies and reality TV," wrote film critic Roger Ebert. "And he does this slyly, with a scalpel instead of a hatchet. Only the monsters are over the top, and are they ever."

"But the most impressive special effect here is Mr. Matsumoto's hilariously restrained performance, a tour de force of comedic concision in a movie bloated by increasingly surreal developments," wrote The New York Times.

Presented by the International Film Society, the 113-minute film is rated PG-13.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films must purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4; a family membership costs $10.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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