Mind Game


Directed by: Masaaki Yuasa
2004 / 103 minutes / R 18+


A psychedelic and surreal feast for the eyes

Robin Nishi is a 20-year-old with little going for him besides his dream of becoming a manga artist. One day, he runs into his childhood crush Myon and begins to reminisce about what could have been, but his sad life is cut tragically short when he is shot and killed by a yakuza loan shark. Instead of moving on to the great beyond, Nishi’s death gives him a fresh perspective and a new lease on life.

What ensues is a psychedelic comedy road trip that takes Nishi and Myon inside the belly of a gigantic whale, with uncanny sequences and montages offering insight into the background of the various characters.

Mind Game is the directorial debut from Masaaki Yuasa, introducing his surreal, unconventional style and distinct colour palettes to viewers around the world. His artistry shines in his presentation of complex themes through unique visuals, which set the stage for his future feature films.

Mind Game won Best Film, Best Director (Masaaki Yuasa), Best Script and Special Award for Visual Accomplishment at Fantafestival 2005.
Audience warning: Contains strong themes, violence and sexual references

Sunday 7th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Wednesday 17th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Sunday 6th December

National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

Sunday 10th January


QAGOMA, Brisbane

Sunday 17th January

General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Screens in: Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane

Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Screenplay: Masaaki Yuasa

Cast: Koji Imada, Takashi Fujii, Tomomitsu Yamaguchi, Kenichi Nakajo and Sayaka Maeda

Genre: Anime

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

Format: 35mm colour

This film is part of the JFF Classics 2020 program, Provocation and Disruption: Radical Japanese Filmmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s.

From subversive Japanese New Wave cinema to surrealist psychedelic expressions and gritty cyberpunk, Provocation and Disruption features boundary-shattering masterpieces from avant-garde Japanese auteurs including Seijun Suzuki, Shinya Tsukamoto and Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. The program is all about the poetic, the abstract, the visceral and the abrasive in visionary Japanese cinema. This program broadly encapsulates films that were fiercely uncompromising and transcended convention, each leaving its unique mark on Japan’s film industry.