6 user 10 critic

Talking Head (1992)

A revered director with an obscure style, Rei Maruwa, has gone missing during the production of his latest animated feature, Talking Head. With the deadline approaching and next to no ... See full summary »


Mamoru Oshii


Mamoru Oshii


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Cast overview, first billed only:
Shigeru Chiba ... Rei Maruwa
Tomoko Ishimura Tomoko Ishimura ... Tamiko Kobayashi
Fumihiko Tachiki ... Gen Handawara
Yoshikazu Fujiki Yoshikazu Fujiki ... Jiro Itano
Keishi Hunt Keishi Hunt ... Kazumaro Ito
Takashi Matsuyama Takashi Matsuyama ... Toshiki Tahara
Natsumi Sasaki Natsumi Sasaki ... Chie Sasaki
Hisayoshi Izaki Hisayoshi Izaki ... Hiroshi Kitakubo
Koichi Asuka Koichi Asuka ... Shoichi Yamashita (as Masaya Kato)
Zenchû Mitsui Zenchû Mitsui ... Yasuo Handa
Mayumi Tanaka ... Shijimi Shiba
Kei Mayama Kei Mayama ... Aya Yasuda
Kujira Kujira ... Tsuya Yasuda
Hiroko Kaneko Hiroko Kaneko ... Secretary
Shô Nobushi Shô Nobushi ... Shinichi Unoyama


A revered director with an obscure style, Rei Maruwa, has gone missing during the production of his latest animated feature, Talking Head. With the deadline approaching and next to no progress made, the producer calls in a "shadow director" with the ability to mimic any director's style. Arriving at the studio, he begins meeting with the eccentric crew members in order to understand the project, but soon they begin dying in the same order that he met up with them.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


Mamoru Oshii: [basset hound] See more »


Walt Disney is incorrectly referred to as being Italian-American. While he was indeed an American, he was of Irish descent on his father's side, and of English and German descent on his mother's. This is not the kind of mistake people familiar with film history would make. See more »


I: The situation couldn't have been any worse. The work continued to stagnate. The staff members were dropping off because of the mysterious serial killer. And, hiding something important, Tamiko, my assistant, was probably keeping a watch over me. And, it's possible because of his obsession with the production, Handawara came back as a zombie. With those two as my team, I had to complete the unidentifiable movie.
See more »


Spoofs A Trip to the Moon (1902) See more »

User Reviews

Talking Head will blow your mind
15 October 2014 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

"In a movie, every action must have some semblance of reality," says a man who has just opened his belly up to expose a bunch of fake looking sausage links inside, "otherwise, I would just be some fool fiddling with his guts."

This wacky yet profound scene is exactly the sort of stuff you can expect for 90 minutes of beard-stroking, mind-fudging fun. As if making fun of itself, the movie takes us into surrealistic territory that would make Terry Gilliam faint. Shot entirely in a movie theater with only a minimal amount of props to denote location changes, this is the 2nd most minimalist film I've ever seen (the 1st being "Dogville" shot entirely on a stage with chalk outlines of a "town"). But don't let that scare you off; the visuals are anything but boring. There is a certain visual intensity that couldn't be created any other way.

The plot (although it isn't really the focus) is about a "migrant animation director" who is called in to finish an anime film after the original director mysteriously disappears, leaving almost no clues as to what he was up to. Methodically, the new director begins to piece together his predecessor's work but not so much in a literal sense as a philosophical sense. Herein lies the beauty of this film because there are some absolute gems of wisdom unearthed in his interviews with the crew: thoughts on the very nature of art & film and their purpose in the world. If you're an artist, musician, or particularly a filmmaker, you'll find yourself soaking up every word, despite their deceptively bizarre & corny presentation (like the guy I mentioned who's fiddling with his guts).

Oh, and did I mention that the crew begins to be killed off one by one in the most ridiculous ways? And I almost forgot to mention the strange ghost who appears from time to time. There's definitely a lot going on that'll spin your head. But the point is, as one character says in the beginning, a movie makes its own rules.

Definitely one of the best surrealistic films I've seen, "Talking Head" takes its place alongside my other favorites: Jan Svankmajer's "Faust" (which uses an odd blend of actors and life size marionette puppets), "Dark Mind" (an underrated indie gem about nerdy inventor who believes he's being tailed by the Russians), the aforementioned "Dogville" (an unsettling metaphor for human society) and the godfather of them all, Orson Welles' "The Trial". In "Talking Head" the comedy is the most pronounced, making it perhaps the most fun of the lot, but at the same time it packs some of the most challenging ideas making it one of the hardest to digest. In any case, "Talking Head" is a total mind trip.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Bandai Entertainment





Release Date:

10 October 1992 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Talking Head See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed