Well I have to admit, the title of Akihiko Shiota’s entry in CineRocket’s Love Cinema series did initially puzzle me, but all became clear with the opening shot of a girl with her leg in plaster hobbling up an apartment block staircase. Gipusu is the Japanese for a plaster cast, taken from the word gypsum, the soft white mineral from which Plaster of Paris is made. Yes, as its name suggests, the fifth film in the series of DV-shot features centred around the theme of “pure love” is a pretty rare piece indeed, but given some of the other films that accompanied it (Visitor Q and Tokyo Trash Baby / Tokyo Gomi Onna) perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised. —Jasper Sharp
Akihiko Shiota (塩田明彦 Shiota Akihiko?) (born 11 September 1961, Maizuru, Kyoto is a Japanese film director and screenwriter.
Born in Kyoto Prefecture, Shiota attended Rikkyō University, where he began making 8mm films in the tradition of other Rikkyō students like Kiyoshi Kurosawa. His independently made films were recognized at the Pia Film Festival and he began writing film criticism and working as an assistant for Kurosawa and other filmmakers. He also studied screenwriting under Atsushi Yamatoya, who wrote scenarios for Seijun Suzuki, and worked as the cinematographer for films by Takayoshi Yamaguchi.
His first two films as a director, Moonlight Whispers and Don’t Look Back, were both released in 1999 and earned Shiota the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award. Don’t Look Back also won the Jury Prize at the Three Continents Festival.Harmful Insect (2002) screened at the Venice Film Festival and earned two more awards at the Three Continents Festival. His first… read more