The short film In the Still Night, shot in Tokyo with Eric Wareheim, to be shown on Canal+


The first fiction film from French director Jean-Baptiste Braud is featured in France on the programme for Sunday 30th June’s edition of ‘Top of the Shorts’. At 22:30 on CANAL+ Cinéma, viewers will be able to discover 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).

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.

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 Jean-Baptiste Braud, who formerly worked as a producer for Canal+. He is currently working on a second film with the same Japanese production company, Pen Films, also set in Japan but this time on the sacred mountain of Koyasan.

After being broadcasted on CANAL+Cinéma, In the Still Night will be available online in France on MyCanal or on Canal+ on demand.


In The Still Night
Director: Jean-Baptiste Braud
With: Eric Wareheim et Saki Asamiya
Franco-Japanese production (Pen Films/Braud Films in association with Noise Gate Circus)
15 minutes