Special Series

Tetsuo: The Iron Man


Directed by: Shinya Tsukamoto
1989 / 67 minutes / Unclassified 18+ (restricted to persons 18 years and over)


Man and metal collide over a gritty industrial electronica score

Marked as director Shinya Tsukamoto’s (Killing; JFF2018) breakout film, Tetsuo: The Iron Man tells a horrific visceral story of the relationship between humanity and technology. Metal Fetishist, a strange contagious man with a compulsion for stuffing metal into his body, is on a mission to get back at Salary Man and his girlfriend for running him over with their car. After the accident, Salary Man starts sprouting metal parts from his body, slowly evolving into a hybrid technoman with a telepathic connection to the man he thought he had killed. Unbeknownst to Salary Man, his nemesis Metal Fetishist is controlling his lurid, hell-like transformation and will soon be back to exact his revenge.

Shot on grainy black and white 16mm film, Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a grotesque audio-visual experience that can be likened to an hour long music video sprinkled with stop-motion animation techniques and sound effects that get under your skin.

Shinya Tsukamoto won the Best Film Award at Fantafestival 1989 and the Audience Award at the Sweden Fantastic Film Festival 1998
Audience warning: Contains high impact gore, violence, and sexual themes

Wednesday 24th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Sunday 28th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Saturday 16th January

General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Wednesday 20th January

General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Screens in: Sydney and Brisbane

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Producer: Shinya Tsukamoto

Music Composer: Chu Ishikawa

Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Tomorowo Taguchi and Kei Fujiwara

Genre: Special Series

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

Format: 35mm b&w

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.