Symbol [Shinboru]


    Saturday 2 October 9:00pm
    Monday 4 October, 2:45pm


93 mins

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto Country: Japan
Writer: Hitoshi Matsumoto, Mitsuyoshi Takasu Original Format: 35mm
Dir. of Photography: Yasuyuki Tohyama Print Source: UMEDIA
Producer: Akihiko Okamoto
Cast: Hitoshi Matsumoto, David Quintero, Luis Accinelli

Film Details

UK Premiere

Short Synopsis:

A man wakes up and mysteriously finds himself trapped in an empty, white rectangular room, wearing clownish bright yellow polka dot pyjamas. 

Repeat Screening:

Monday 4 October 2:45pm
Screen C
Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus,
19 Lower Regent street,

Book Open Soon


A man in polka dot pyjamas, played by director/comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto, wakes up in a large empty doorless white room. He doesn't know how he got there, or how to get out. But a short inspection of the room leads him towards a small white protruding object, which he touches. Immediately heavenly sounds fill the room and thousands of angelic babies fly out of the wall laughing at him and before remerging back into the white paintwork. They leave no sign of existence other than the remnants of their tiny willies and scrotums protruding out of the wall.

As the protagonist stares bedazzled, some impulse helps him figure out that every time he 'flicks the bean(s)' - so to speak - an object flies at him from enigmatic holes that appear in the walls and ceiling before shutting closed. All he needs to do is figure out what combination of 'willy flicks' will lead him to his triumphant exit. Meanwhile, in a seemingly unrelated storyline, a Mexican boxing fighter is about to leave his family to join a match. Somehow both men's fates are intertwined.

To say this film is difficult to understand is a grand understatement; you're sure to be as confused as the film's lead well after leaving the cinema. But despite the utterly peculiar premise, Hitoshi Matsumoto's Symbol is nothing less than a cinematic masterpiece. Visually it is jaw-droppingly stunning, but there is also a hilarious and compellingly innocent vibe to it at the same time. Japanese cinema continues to be bold, brave and bizarre and when it lives up to its expectations like Symbol does, very exciting indeed.


Followed by Q&A


All films to be screened at:

Apollo Cinema: Piccadilly Circus
19 Lower Regent Street