Ritual (Shiki-Jitsu)

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Hideaki Anno, who previously made his name creating cutting-edge animated films, moves further into the real world in this, his second live-action feature. A filmmaker (Shunji Iwai) recording the world around him with his video camera and an eccentric young woman (Ayako Fujitani) with a remarkable collection of umbrellas are trying to work their way out of a collective emotional funk. The girl has a habit of saying "Tomorrow is my birthday" every morning, and has developed an odd premonition -- she's convinced that as soon as one of her dreams becomes a reality, she will cease to exist. Shunji Iwai, who plays the filmmaker in Shiki-jitsu, came by the role naturally -- he's directed several features and is considered one of Japan's finest independent filmmakers. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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