Films & Schedules

  • Inju, la bête dans l'ombre
    Inju, the Beast in The Shadow

  • Barbet Schroeder

French, Japanese
105 minutes

Production Company:
SBS Films/ France 2 Cinéma/ La Fabrique de Films
Said Ben Said, Verane Frediani, Franck Ribiere
Jean-Armand Bougrelle, Frédérique Henri, Barbet Schroeder, based on the novel by Edogawa Rampot
Production Designer:
Fumio Ogawa
Luciano Tovoli
Luc Barnier
Jean-Paul Mugel
Jorge Arriagada
Principal Cast: Benoît Magimel, Lika Minamoto, Gen Shimaoka, Ryo Ishibashi, Maurice Benichou

International Sales Agent:
UGC International

Thursday September 1109:00PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1211:00AM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1306:45PM ISABEL BADER THEATRE Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Barbet Schroeder has always been drawn to exotically diverse material. What else could explain a directorial career that encompasses the stories of Charles Bukowski, Idi Amin, Claus von Bülow, Klaus Barbie and Koko the guerrilla, and that boasts films shot in France, the United States, New Guinea, Uganda and Colombia?

Schroeder's latest film is based on a novel by the great Japanese noir writer Edogawa Rampo, whose creepy, cleverly designed, kinetic work was influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and American pulp fiction. Rampo is best known as the author of Black Lizard, which was adapted twice in the sixties into raucous films by Umeji Inoue and Kinji Fukasakut

If there is one common thread that links Schroeder's work, it is his fascination with the dark sides of sexual impulse and intellectual vanity. Inju, la bête dans l'ombre is suffused with both, bringing French and Japanese cultures together in a bizarre and engrossing story about two writers who find their lives inextricably entangled. Alex Fayard (Benoît Magimel), a young and charismatic French novelist, has garnered fame by appropriating the literary style of the great Japanese author Shundei Oe. Riding high on the wave of his recent bestselling book, Fayard visits Japan, where strange dreams and encounters, plus his intimate knowledge of Oe's violent and disturbing work, convince him that he is being stalked by the elusive writer. One evening he encounters Tamao (Lika Minamoto), a beautiful geisha. She claims to be an ex-lover of Oe, and is convinced he now wants her dead. Falling for the enigmatic Tamao, Fayard finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a chaotic underground world of killings and false clues before learning the truth about his inspiration and foe.

No stranger to foreign lands, Schroeder weaves a magical spell around his protagonist's eerie encounter with the mysteries of the East. He is true to Rampo's unique spirit while also bringing his own Western sensibility to play on the material. Beautifully photographed in a three-camera shoot by Luciano Tovoli, Inju, la bête dans l'ombre is a superior thriller full of absurd interconnected puzzles.

Piers Handling

Barbet Schroeder is a French filmmaker and actor born in Tehran, Iran. He is the founder of the production company Les Films du Losange, which produced some of the best-known films of the French New Wave. His credits as director include Barfly (87), Reversal of Fortune (90), Kiss of Death (95), Before and After (95), Desperate Measures(98), Our Lady of the Assassins(00), Murder by Numbers (02), L'Avocat de la terreur(07) and Inju, la bête dans l'ombre(08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award