Taking cues once again from real world issues, industry meta, and in this specific case–according to the press notes–personal experience, Nakanishi Mai’s latest short movie begins simply enough. A young woman is talking with a friend on the phone just as she begins watching her favorite TV series. She swoons to the romantic scene playing out between a young couple. But then, something goes awry with the broadcast before the situation turns nightmarish.
In an economical six minutes, Nakanishi touches on the sense of fear and apprehension that stems from situations or events which are beyond our control but nevertheless can wreak havoc on our lives. On a more intimate scale, given the story’s set up, she also addresses how social and maybe even traditional media or technology has perhaps made all of us vulnerable on many levels to “intrusion”, “abuse”, and even “violence” from people we don’t even know.
The runtime may be too short for Nakanishi’s fans, but the compactness of this vignette is appropriate enough to convey the severe violence that can suddenly visit an unsuspecting person or someone living under a constant state of fear. Simultaneously, the way with which this story unfolds also seems like Nakanishi is pushing against the atmospheric, tension-ratcheting dread for which she’s already becoming known. Perhaps she will develop Border into a longer format through which she can explore a more aggressive brand of horror.
Border will be available as part of the 2023 Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia’s online screenings from April 27th to June 6th ahead of the in-person event.
**Online screenings available only in Japan.