Sweating the Small Stuff / Edaha no koto

Japan, 2017., 114' DCP
Director: Ryûtarô Ninomiya • Scenario: Ryûtarô Ninomiya • Photography: Hidetoshi Shinomiya • Montage: Ryûtarô Ninomiya • Production: Kurinke • Roles: Yuki Hirose, Shinji Imaoka, Tomoki Kimura

Bearing the stamp of Tokyo’s prestigious PIA Festival, which is dedicated to Japanese independent film, Ninomiy’s piece has a lot of autobiographical elements. That is why the main hero is called Ryutaro (and the filmmaker himself is acting in the role). He works in an automobile garage and he is crazy about literature. In leisure time he hangs at a bar with his non-stop drunk friends. Because of his short and squat figure, they mock at him by saying that he looks like Doreamon. One day, Ryutaro gets a phone call from his childhood friend who tells him that her mother is dying of hepatitis C. Although he knows about her disease, after a long period of postponing it, he decides to visit her. She persuades him to go back to writing again. And indeed, in one scene he will open a laptop, but not to write, but to masturbate while watching porn. He will satisfy his raw passions in the company of a local bartender, making her put on the school uniform of his beloved sister (for a long time we have not seen a frontal shot of female genitals in the Japanese film, not even in the boldest pink film classics in which it is usually pixelized). Nihilist Ryuntaro has given up his dreams a long time ago. His anger and frustration will come to surface in verbal form only in several scenes.

Translation: Martina Klarić

Ryutoro Ninomiya was born in 1986. After studying production for a year, he enrolled in an acting course. In 2012, he made his first feature film Miryoku no ningen (The Charm of Others), in which he also starred. His other piece, Edaha no koto (Sweating the Small Stuff), was successfully shown at the last year’s Locarno Film Festival.