A personal, poignant, vibrant and revelatory inquiry into the low expectations of today’s youth.
(Watashitachi ni Yurusareta Tokubetsu na Jikan no Owari)" followed by a Q&A with director Shingo Ota
Thursday, July 24 at 7 pm
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2013 119 minutes
Writer-Director: Shingo Ota
Coproduer: Yutaka Tsuchiya
Cast: Sota Masuda, Kurando Tominaga, Shingo Ota, Yuma Hiraizumi, Yasuhiro Arita
Film courtesy of Midnight Call Productions
Talented young singer-songwriter Sota Masuda has it all: looks, smarts, talent, an affectionate family, admiring friends and adoring fans. His big break comes at 17, when he wins a music contest and discovers that a career in music is not beyond his reach. He drops out of high school and heads to Tokyo for his major-label debut. But it falls through. Masuda soon turns to drugs to blunt the pain of loneliness and despair. After a brush with death by overdose, he returns, defeated, to his Nagano hometown.
His friends and former bandmates attempt to rally him, but a series of small concerts are met with even smaller audiences. In the end, Masuda chooses death as his only option. And a film that was meant to document his comeback - this film - instead takes us on a heartbreaking journey into a life, interrupted.
Director Shingo Ota was a close friend of Masuda's, and began their documentary collaboration with the same sense of hope and adventure the two shared in their school days. But gradually, as Masuda's optimism dims, his friends are forced to confront their own fears about the future. When Masuda kills himself in the midst of the project, he leaves a note for Ota: "You have to finish the film," it says. "Promote my music and paintings after my death." This plunges the director into a spiral of guilt, as he grapples with his own imagined role in the suicide and wonders whether all of us are implicated when so many Japanese youth are checking out so early.
More than just a record of a life cut tragically short, "The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed" is a tremendously personal, poignant, vibrant and finally, revelatory inquiry into the increasingly low expectations of today’s youth.
Please join us for this sneak preview screening of "The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed" before it opens in Tokyo on August 1.
For the trailer: http://watayuru.com/
Writer-director SHINGO OTA studied film at Waseda University and had his first feature success with "Graduation" (2009), which played the festival circuit and won awards at the 2010 Image Forum Festival. His 2010 "Boys and Girls" was a documentary about Koji Fukada's hit film "Hospitalité," which screened at festivals. His latest, "Fragile" (2014) is now entering the festival circuit after a contretemps with the City of Osaka, which attempted to censor scenes for their too-realistic depiction of life in Japan's biggest slum. Ota is a member of acclaimed theater group Chelfitsch, which is in constant demand on global stages.
Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority. Please reserve in advance, still & TV cameras inclusive. All movie screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.
- Karen Severns, Movie Committee