Gay Essential Films To Watch, Japan Japan

Imri is the classic young adult who has boldly ventured out of the insulated bubble of his hometown and stepped foot in the crush and hustle of the big city, Tel Aviv. However, from there, he aspires to something more exotic, to pack up and move to the unfamiliar terrain of faraway Japan (hence the double emphasis in the title, Japan Japan) . He cannot do so because of financial limitations; He is disillusioned with his unexciting day job. He happens to be a clerk at a party supply store. Imri wants fulfillment in something more: Sex, fun, and namely, the sultry whisper of faraway locales.

The influence of the Internet pervades Imri’s personal landscape: He receives video postcards from a friend who lives in New York; these video diary-style clips are sporadically referred back to throughout the narrative. Gay pornography is Imri’s personal indulgence. He consumes online porn (which ranges from the typical to the depraved), erotic manga, and perpetual virtual tomfoolery provide the wayward main character with temporary distractions from a more permanent isolation. Browsing the web spurs him to arrange daring rendezvous with men he meets online (they come from all walks of life; one that the audience meets is a collector of Arabic trinkets). Imri often arranges these tawdry meetings for payment.

Japan Japan


“The restless, mini-DV-camera-shot visual style of Lior Shamriz’s semi-improvised fiction matches the wanderlust of its twentysomething gay hero, and its mood of displacement enhances the explicit thesis that escaping from your home (or culture) seldom means you can leave it behind.”
   Bill Weber, Slant Magazine

“A quasi-docu homemovie, digitally manipulated and aggressively punctuated with pornographic inserts from an alternate image system, namely cyberspace.”
   Ronnie Scheib, Variety

Did You Know?

Repeated at beginning and end of the film Japan Japan is a quote “Cinema Is Dead”.  When questioned about this sentence at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, director Lior Shamriz felt that the magic from cinema had gone, that due to technology the era of cinema has passed. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll
- 3 months ago
Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll