Written and directed by: Non
Produced by: Chikako Nakabayashi
Special effects by: Shinji Higuchi
Starring: Non, Rio Yamashita, Daichi Watanabe,
Karin Ono, Misayo Haruki, Daikichi Sugawara
Film courtesy of Nihon Eiga Senmon Channel
How did you spend your Covid-19 lockdown? Chances are it wasn’t a period as frustrating, soul-searching, and illuminating as Itsuka’s. But then, you’re probably not as young, restless, or creative as she is.
Itsuka (Non) is an art student who’s putting the finishing touches on her graduation project when her college is closed due to Covid. The graduation exhibition is summarily canceled, and students are given just a few hours to either haul home their work (much of it is site-specific and thus not portable) or toss it in the trash. With this shining moment of their youth stolen from them – and with job offers suddenly being revoked, as employers delay hiring amid the pandemic – Itsuka and her best friend Hirai (Yamashita) struggle to hang onto their future promise.
Itsuka’s mom (Haruki) arrives one day in a homemade hazmat suit to clean up her daughter’s messy apartment and inadvertently tosses her artwork. “It looked like a child’s project,” she tells her bluntly. Faced with Itsuka’s ire, she dispatches her husband (Sugawara) the next day to make sure she’s okay. He arrives with a “social distancing” pole and her favorite pudding. Itsuka’s germaphobe sister Mai (Ono) is the next visitor, and the two young women venture out to a nearby park for some fresh air. There, they discover a potential stalker (Watanabe) and flee.
But as the shutdown continues and time seems to stand still, Itsuka, Hirai and an unlikely ally are able to start turning things around, to reclaim their identities as artists, and to find ways forward.
Non has created an exceptionally engaging coming-of-age story in “Ribbon,” anchored by her irrepressible spirit and her metaphorical expression of emotion through ribbon art. Her special effects team was led by “Shin Godzilla” director Shinji Higuchi, who animates the film’s ribbons so they dance in response to Itsuka’s many moods. Non herself created the character’s gorgeous paintings.
Please join us for this sneak preview of “Ribbon” before its Japan release on February 25, 2022.
For more (in Japanese): https://www.ribbon-movie.com
NON (née Rena Nonen) was unofficially declared Japan’s sweetheart in 2013 while playing the titular character “Amachan” in NHK’s popular asadora. She has since focused on her singing career and on film roles. She made her film debut in 2010 with “Confessions,” and went on to appear in “G’mor Evian!” (2012), “Hot Road” (2014), “Princess Jellyfish” (2014), and the international hit “Hold Me Back,” which won the Audience Award and the Governor of Tokyo Award at the 2020 Tokyo International Film Festival, and played widely overseas. This is the second film directed by Non, following YouTube Original “Ochi wo Tsuke Nanase” (2019), and marks her debut theatrical release. “Ribbon” had its world premiere at the 2021 Shanghai International Film Festival.
Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk ( 03 3211-3161 ) or register below.
All film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests. We kindly ask for your cooperation with Covid-19 prevention measures at the reception desk and that you wear a mask on the premises.
– Karen Severns, Film Committee
Japanese Director and actress Non attends a Q&A session for the film Ribbon at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on February 7, 2022, in Tokyo, Japan. Director Non, who is better known in Japan as an actress, answered questions from journalists after the screening of the Japanese film. The film will be released in Japan on February 25. (Photos by Rodrigo Reyes Marin). To license these images and more please visit: ZUMAPRESS
Gallery of Non