An alienated eighteen-year-old who seeks solace in the Gothic Lolita look, a hikikomori (social recluse) who hasn’t left his apartment in months, a beleaguered salaryman who lives to sleep, and a convenience store clerk who alternates between glancing disinterestedly at the store’s security monitors and flicking through anti-war demo leaflets are but a few of the disconnected loners brought together by the mysterious figure of Hasegawa and his Peep TV Show website, a conceptual experiment capitalising on the public’s innate voyeurism and craving for the ‘real’.
Shibuya, the vibrant epicentre of Tokyo youth culture, an urban jungle of neon and noise in which the image has reached saturation point acts as the effective Ground Zero of this sophisticated feature from guerrilla filmmaker and ‘media activist’ Yutaka Tsuchiya, which provocatively examines the ramifications of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre for those on the other side of the globe. As one of his characters states, ‘this is where the plane hit us’. Tsuchiya’s story unfolds in a collage of DV-shot original footage supported by scenes mediated through TV screens, CCTV cameras, and internet webcams, throwing up issues regarding the media’s ability to amplify, distort and keep us divorced from reality, while presenting a self-reflexive look at how, with the accessibility of modern media technologies, it is now possible for everyone to reclaim their own identity within it by creating, distributing, and consuming whatever form of reality they desire. JS