February 18, 2012 (2012-02-18)
Ikiteiru mono wa inai no ka (play) by Shiro Maeda
Shiro Maeda (based on the play by), Shiro Maeda (screenplay)
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Isnt Anyone Alive?, in Japanese Ikiteiru mono wa inai no ka () is a 2012 Japanese film directed by Gakuryu Ishii (credited in his previous films as Sogo Ishii). It features an ensemble cast including Shota Sometani and is based on the play of the same name by Shiro Maeda. Playwright Shoji Kokami has referred to the story as an outstanding example of the study of dying in the Theatre of the Absurd. It was released in Japan on February 18, 2012 and was featured at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2012.
Set in a university campus attached to a hospital, "Ikiterumono wa Inainoka" revolves around a girl who escapes from the hospital, a strange man, students who talk about an urban legend, students involved in a love triangle, coffee shop workers, men who witnessed an accident, an otolaryngologist who has a crush on a hospital employee, idol university students, a mother who looks for a child and suddenly the characters disappear. Laughing, the world comes to an end.
The film follows 18 individuals in separate but sometimes related groups on the campus of a Japanese university hospital. These groups include a mother and father of an unborn child; a group of friends during a dance rehearsal; staff at the university hospital and a team of students researching urban legends. Ostensibly, the plot is concerned with a mysterious outbreak resembling a viral pandemic which causes the films protagonists to suddenly die one-by-one. It is suggested during the film that this is due to secret experiments being conducted by the United States Armed Forces in the hospital. However, rather than attempting to resolve the mystery of the outbreak, the focus of the film is largely devoted to the relationships between the characters and their reactions to their own and each others impending deaths. Ishii has stated the film is made to show the absurdity of the characters not knowing when or why their deaths will occur and highlights the importance of drama and dialogue within the film, in contrast to his previous works.
In a review for the website efilmcritic.com, Jay Seaver gives the film 3 stars out of 5, highlighting the strong performance of the cast but noting that ultimately the conceptual tone is difficult to sustain for the duration of the film.
ReferencesIsnt Anyone Alive? Wikipedia
Isnt Anyone Alive? IMDb Isnt Anyone Alive? themoviedb.org