The Short Film ‘In the Still Night’, Shot in Tokyo with Eric Wareheim, Shown on Canal+

The first film from French director Jean-Baptiste Braud was featured on ‘Top of the Shorts’ on Sunday 30 June 2019.


The first fiction film from French director J.B. Braud was featured in France on the programme Top of the Shorts on Sunday 30 June 2019. In the Still Night, a short film produced by Pen Films and shot in Tokyo with Eric Wareheim, the iconic actor known for his performance in the series Master of None and films of Quentin Dupieux (Reality, Wrong Cops), was shown at 22:30 on Canal+ Cinema.

Here he plays Matthew Hyla, an American art curator who is passing through Tokyo for a photography exhibition that’s being held in the very hotel where he’s staying. The tone is set from the first few images. Matthew Hyla is weary, lying down in his hotel room, sending a text to his ex that conveys his jaded sense of humour. They haven’t actually gone through the breakup yet and the thought of it distracts him as the Japanese team in charge of the exhibition takes him to look at the hangings. His mind is elsewhere and this comes across in his interactions with the Japanese, whose language and codes of behaviour he cannot understand. This is where Eric Wareheim’s talent for finding the comedy in situations comes into play. He brings out Matthew’s awkwardness in a memorable scene where he swaps business cards with the hotel director, and shows his almost ingenuous side when he improvises some dance steps.


Between dream and reality

Often alone in the immense setting of Hotel Gajoen, its impressive escalators and exquisite garden, Matthew Hyla lets himself get carried away by art. Whether by the traditional Japanese works that adorn the corridor walls, or by the photographs that catch his eye… The fantastic enters the story through the medium of art. The curator also has a surreal encounter with a character played by actress Saki Asamiya. Thus, the boundaries are blurred between dreams and reality.

The evanescent atmosphere is enhanced by the impeccable images, where the interplay of light and shadow add a muted touch. The rhythm gives the viewer time to soak up this atmosphere, sometimes deliberately slow and accompanied by a soundtrack that is in turn subtle and discreet and outrageously festive.

In the Still Night is the first short fiction film from J.B. Braud, who formerly worked as a producer for Canal+. His second film, The Sound of Water, was filmed with the same Japanese production company, Pen Films, and is also set in Japan but this time on the sacred mountain of Koyasan.


In the Still Night
Director and Author: J.B. Braud
With: Eric Wareheim and Saki Asamiya
Franco-Japanese production (Pen Films/Braud Films in association with Noise Gate Circus)
15 minutes

© Pen Films

© Pen Films

© Pen Films

© Pen Films