Close Up

12 November 2021: Book-Paper-Scissors


Nanako Hirose, 2019, 94 min
Japanese with English subtitles
Introduced by Sonali Joshi

In an ever-growing digital world, Nobuyoshi Kikuchi, who over the course of his career has painstakingly designed over 15,000 book covers by hand, represents an old-school world of artisan craft and design. Using traditional methods, his work reflects a fusion of minimalist aesthetics and meticulous design. Yet in this exploration into Nobuyoshi Kikuchi’s craft and artistry, the film also lays bare an existential crisis for the ‘physical’ book. Nanako Hirose, who previously worked as an assistant to acclaimed directors Hirokazu Kore-eda and Miwa Nishikawa, creates a portrait of a man, now in his 70s, whose daily life is shaped by small pleasures in life – freshly brewed coffee, an old gramophone, wandering through flea markets – as well as someone for whom perfection is an eternal pursuit.

Screening as part of Urban, Natural, Human: Exploring Japan on Screen

Information on further screenings as part of this programme can be found at:

Screening as part of Japan 2020: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.