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The Past

Unknown Soldier:
Shinji Sômai

Shinji Sômai was a remarkable Japanese film director, most prolific in the 1980s and early 1990s. Sômai was renowned for his dexterous combinations of artistic and popular motifs. A number of his movies became blockbusters or cult films for young audiences, some triggered the stellar careers of their protagonists or inspired the next generation of Japanese filmmakers, namely Shinji Aoyama or Kiyoshi Kurosawa. And yet, they stood closer to avant-garde production than to the mainstream. Shinji Sômai’s creative talent is characterised by unique camerawork, long takes and travelling camera, multiple plans of action or switching between different image sizes. This section will present four films that will exemplify the main principles of Sômai’s multi-genred production, mostly dealing with the challenges of adolescence.