Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume, AKA “That Talking Chair Movie,” won’t premiere in the US until April. But it will appear outside of Japan for the first time next month, at the Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale.
The film will be part of the festival’s Competition section. Shinkai will be in attendance for the screening, along with actor Nanoka Hara and producer Genki Kawamura. The announcement came with a new quote from Shinkai revealing the inspiration behind the film.
“At its core, ‘Suzume’ is based on the massive disaster that occurred in Japan twelve years ago,” Shinkai said. “I’m eager to see how this film translates to international audiences: what makes sense, what doesn’t, and what common ground we have across cultures. The film’s imminent international release will hopefully give me the answer to those questions. And, I cannot thank our team members enough for their unprecedented talent and perseverance throughout the film’s production. On behalf of the entire team, I would also like to give thanks to all the fans who have cheered us on, making ‘Suzume’ possible.”
Suzume is the name of the movie’s protagonist, a survivor of a disaster that has left her Japanese town in ruins. But a mysterious stranger named Souta has come to help, someone who captivates Suzume. She’s barely gotten to know him when the movie’s villain comes after him — a demonic-looking cat who turns her new friend into a chair. Souta is a chair for a significant portion of this movie’s runtime and Suzume must carry him around while saving the world, though he can somehow walk on his own if he needs to.
Crunchyroll will distribute Suzume in the US. The film will have its theatrical premiere here April 14.