Somai Shinji × 3
Screening Dates
  • November 4, 2023 8:30
  • November 10, 2023 6:30
  • November 12, 2023 8:30
New Restoration

All of Somai’s themes are crystallized in Typhoon Club, [in which] the heightened emotion of a darkened, flooded provincial middle school is the perfect setting for a rite of passage.”

Hasumi Shigehiko, Film Comment

Among Japanese critics, Somai Shinji’s Typhoon Club isn’t just the director’s finest work, it’s one of the country’s greatest films. (Kinema Junpos 2009 poll slotted it 10th, its closest contemporaries being Miyazaki’s Nausicaä and Morita’s The Family Game.) As in his previous films, this is a school-adjacent world of parentless children and elemental force, but Somai’s refined narrative spans even wider than before, encompassing seven key characters in their experience of a storm that, as if out of a myth, tests and reveals the inner spirit and fate of each student. Somai establishes an uncanny air in the days leading up to the typhoon’s arrival, an approach that allows the compressed time of the sudden outburst—of torrential rain and emotional disturbance—to land with a shattering impact. The next generation of Japanese directors, including Shiota Akihiko and Iwai Shunji, unmistakably carry the influence of this film’s mix of cruelty and utopic yearning.

In Japanese with English subtitles

If I must pick one film [by Somai], it would be Typhoon Club … I think what I really learned from his films in particular is that no matter how you frame a scene, if you can accurately capture the liveliness and emotionality of a person’s life, then people can connect with that.”

Hamaguchi Ryusuke

Invigorating … The storm [in Typhoon Club] disrupts the regimented routine of the students’ lives, destroying not just the spaces of childhood but also its sense of time: with the rules that govern them in a state of suspension, they are forced to reconsider their sense of self.”

Emerson Goo, Film Comment