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Made

A Japanese lady holds an intriguing double life, but her secret is about to be discovered.

15 – 20 | 2014 | Drama | Identity | Live-Action | UK

Minako, a young Japanese female, lives in a Tokyo penthouse with her European boyfriend, a successful musician. One morning she leaves the apartment as usual, dressed in formal office attire. But instead of arriving at a desk, she emerges amongst the busy crowds of Akihabara’s infamous entertainment district.

From a station locker, she takes out a mysterious pink suitcase. Inside, everything needed to dress up as a sexy lolita and work in one of the many Akihabara maid bars, “cosplay restaurant” subcategory where the staff serves customers with ultra-adorable demeanor and a subservient attitude, where even paid sexual intercourse can be subtly negotiated.

Later, David, a European lawyer and a Minako’s boyfriend’s pal, turns up at the Maid Bar. Their brief encounter will turn out to be a threat to her carefully orchestrated multiple lives. She has a deeper secret, which proves to be much more dangerous than her subservient maid character would suggest.

This film – whose obvious reference is Belle de Jour, with a much more obscure development – speaks of false identities and unconfessable secrets reminding us that nothing is ever as it seems, but above all, no one is ever quite who it claims to be. Identity is, to some extent, always a constraint, that represses the virtuality of the “Others” we wished to be and the impulses that we would not contain – beyond the daily “good conduct”. A grade of “deception” is always present in all things, in the attempt of reality to appear adhering to itself, without double bottoms.

Made – written by Juanita Boxill and starring Rina Ohta, Jonathan Forbes and Gardar Eide Einarsson – was included in last year’s Cannes, London Independent Film Festival, and East End Film Festival. It represents the return to moviemaking of the German-born photographer Norbert Schoerner who is currently at work on his first feature film – a Yakuza story – and a new photography monograph.

Nice choice of music that adds the short a candid yet disquieting sound dimension, appropriate to the story. It is “Hana” by Asa-Chang & Junray, first track from “Jun Ray Song Chang Album“. Big Up!

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Founder, creative director, curator @ Good Short Films. Fond of great stories, great thinkers, great booze. My motto is, your motto.

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