Japan Foundation

North American premiere
Cheval Noir


Directed by Shinichiro Ueda


Official selection

Udine Far East Film Festival 2022


Shinichiro Ueda


Shinichiro Ueda


Yoji Minagawa, Hidenobu Abera, Eri Tokunaga, Harumi Shuhama, Yuka Iseki



Japan 2022 96 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre DramaComedyFantasy

Tokyo is in the midst of a mysterious “skyfish” invasion. But Tagami Tatsuya (Yoji Minagawa, MELANCHOLIC) pays that no mind. He has found great success as the CEO of an online manga-reading platform—built on the back of creators, mind you—and is busy basking in his accomplishments. He forgoes not being a colossal dick to everyone around him… until a fantastical twist of fate takes that away. Indeed, one morning, he discovers his genitals have spontaneously disappeared. Poof! Gone! Presented with a straw-sized hole where his junk used to be—and myriad opportunities to embarrass his arrogant self over it—he soon discovers, however, he is not alone in this peculiar condition. The “Popran Club” clues him into what happened to his member. Thus begins a six-day quest to retrieve his thing before it withers and dies for good. Gasp!

Following the success of ONE CUT OF THE DEAD and SPECIAL ACTORS, Shinichiro Ueda returns with a wacky comedy-drama tackling—you guessed it—masculine ego by way of penises on the run! Ueda’s trademark slapstick sensibility, lowbrow humour and usual obsessions are on full display here, as is his penchant for meta-commentary, which here targets corporate content industries and cult-like organizations alike. It’s a goofy, absurdist, yet wholesome package (pun intended) that cuts to the heart of it all. Beyond genitalia, one finds a story of redemption, personal growth and reconciliation that makes POPRAN the perfect cautionary tale for the dick in your life. – Ariel Esteban Cayer