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The Blue Danube

1h 45m Experimental, War, Comedy 2021


In an imagined village, war with the neighboring town has become a matter of daily ritual, with volleys of shots traded over the river that separates them from 9 to 5. No one can recall how long the conflict has been going on, or bring themselves to question their sacrifice and enmity. When the soldier Tsuyuki (Kou Maehara, Mari and Mari) is transferred to play trumpet in the marching band running drills every morning, he begins practicing the Johann Strauss waltz which gives the film its title on the riverbank until he begins to wonder about the other side. Akira Ikeda (Anatomy Of A Paperclip) extends a spare Beckettian premise to both hilarity and insight, with star Maehara lending the profundity of Buster Keaton’s deadpan gaze.

  • Special Jury Prize, Tokyo FILMeX 2020
  • Official Selection, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021

“Ikeda seems to have absorbed a catalogue of influences that stretches from Kubrick to Kaurismaki, Python to Pinter, Joseph Heller and beyond.” —Screen Daily

Streaming in the U.S. from August 20-September 2 as part of JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film 2021

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Akira Ikeda





Bonus Content

Introduction by Akira Ikeda

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