A Shinya Tsukamoto Film
(91min/color/16:9 /DCP/5,1 channel/Drama/Japan/2011)


Shinya Tsukamoto burst onto the international film scene with Tetsuo the Iron Man (’89), his first feature film that greatly influenced many creators around the world. He followed up with Tokyo Fist (’95), Bullet Ballet (’98) and then, A Snake of June (’02). That film which depicted life in an urban community and the loneliness of its inhabitants was powerfully visualized in bluish black and white color. It was recognized at the Venice Int’l Film Festival with the prestigious Jury’s prize.

In this new film, while keeping the recognizable Tsukamoto style, he embarks on a new direction. From his early works on, the images of war and violence have been a running constant. This time through the iconic story of a mother and child, these images come to wield a frightening power.

The main character is a single mother who harms herself by cutting her body on a regular basis. Her name is Kotoko. She doesn’t do this to die but it is her way of confirming her body’s will to live. She is driven by two conflicting impulses…the body with a strong will to live and the mind trying to purge the body. However a new life, her new born baby, enters into her existence, a helpless life that can be lost if not properly cared for. Tending to something so fragile, she lovingly protects the new life from any possible harm. As she reads and hears the daily news of violence, her desire to love and protect her child becomes so intense that she begins to act abnormally.

Kotoko is filled with intense emotions that cannot be labeled simply as love, rage, fear, and doubt. As she is being driven by these emotions, she lives her life continually seeking relief from them. Yet she refuses to define these emotions through the filter of rationality. They are indefinable, invisible and something of an organic mass. These emotions are ultimately transformed into a strong desire to live.

There are poems in the film; Kotoko sings these poems and dances with them. The main character Kokoto is played by a singer songwriter, Cocco, whose song was used as the theme song for the movie Vital (’04). In this film, she gives an overwhelming reality to Kotoko’s character through her extraordinary performance and commanding presence. She not only acts but also is responsible for the production design and music. Her creative talent is well-matched with multi-talented Shinya Tuskamoto who assumes multiple roles in his films, such as producing, writing, shooting, performing, directing, etc. Their creator vs. creator relationship and collaboration has made this film into an example of great cinema.


It is a story of a mother who suffers from double vision. She sees a person splitting into two…a negative person and a positive person. Because of this, she never feels at ease and caring for her baby is a nerve wrecking task that eventually leads her to a nervous breakdown. Things get out of control and subsequently she is suspected of being a child abuser and her baby is taken away.

She doesn’t see double when she is singing. It is the only time in which her world becomes united and her mind is at peace. She becomes intimate with a man who is enchanted with her singing but the two eventually go their separate ways. In the mean time, her dear child finally comes back to her but her “seeing double” becomes so intense that….


Singer Songwriter / Artist

Born and raised in Okinawa, Japan.
Debuted as an independent singer through TOWER RECORDS’ Bounce label in both Japan and the United States.
Had her major débuted as one of Japan’s top singers through Victor Speedstar Records with the release of 16 single CDs and 8 albums inclusive of “The Best”.
Cocco Inspired movies, collective music clips shot by different directors was released in June as part of the effort to support the rescue operation for Eastern Japan after the historic disaster. The profit generated from its sales will be donated to the victims.
 The Complete Best of Bests album by Cocco, "The Best -BAN" will be released in August.

Cocco is also active in writing essays, picture books and novels. Her first novel, Polomeria has been reprinted many times, setting a record for sales longevity.
She will be celebrating her 15th anniversary as a singer in 2012.

Shinya Tsukamto
Born in Tokyo, Japan on Jan 1, 1960. He started making films when he was a junior high school student. He graduated from Nippon University, majoring in oil painting. After graduating the university, he was employed by a TV commercial film production. While working for the production, he participated in stage activity along with the people who became both the cast members and film cre for his film, Tetsuo The Iron Man (’89). The film instantly put him in the limelight as a filmmaker with an original vision and style in the international film scene. The films that followed Tetsuo received many rave reviews and prizes: Tetsuo II, the Body Hammer (’92), Tokyo Fist (’95), Bullet Ballet, and A Snake of June (’02) which won the Jury’s Prize (Contro Corrente section) at the Venice Int’l Film Festival. He recently completed his trilogy of Tetsuo films, with Tetsuo The Bullet Man (’09) which entered the competition at the Venice Int’l Film Festival. In his 2004 film Vital, the closing theme song was provided by Cocco who is the main lead in his latest film, Kotoko.

He is also an ardent actor and has acted for many directors. He received the Best Supporting Actor at the Mainichi Newspaper Film Concours in 2002.

ADVENTURE OF DENCHU KOZO 8mm/color/45min. '87
TETSUO THE IRON MAN 16&35mm/black and white/67min. '89
HIRUKO, THE GOBLIN 35mm/color/90min. '90
TETSUO II THE BODY HAMMER 35mm/color/83min. '92
TOKYO FIST 35mm/color/87min '95
BULLET BALLET 35mm/black and white/87min. '98
GEMINI 35mm/color/84min. '99
A SNAKE OF JUNE 35mm/black,blue and white/77min. '02
VITAL 35mm/color/86 min '04
TAMAMUSHI(FEMALE) 35mm/color/22min '04
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 35mm/color/106min ’06
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2 35mm/color/102min ’08
TETSUO THE BULLET MAN 35mm/color/DolbyDigital/71min/’09


Cocco as Kotoko
Shinya Tsukamoto as Tanaka


Planning/Produce/Screen Play/Cinematography/Edit and Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
Planning/Inspiration for story/Music/Production Design by Cocco
Sound Editing by Masaya Kitada
Special Make-Up and Plastic Art Design by Mai Hanai
First Assistant Director/Cinematography by Satoshi Hayashi

Production Company: Kaijyu Theater Co., Ltd.
World Sales: Gold View Co., Ltd.

©2011 Kaijyu Theater Co., Ltd. / Shinya Tsukamoto