Interviews

Confessions of a Box Man, Provocative Debut Feature by Mika Johnson

Bizarre theories abound in Mika Johnson’s eerie and evocative debut feature, Confessions of a Box Man, the first in a trilogy of films about the three basic shapes: box, circle, and triangle. Mika Johnson’s cinematic exploration traces the origins of a new kind of man imagined by the late Japanese author Kobo Abe in his 1973 novel, The Box Man.

Logline: When a frustrated journalist seeks to understand a group of men who leave society behind for life inside a cardboard box, he uncovers a story that will either set him free or destroy him.

Placing the concept of the box as a tool and symbol of power that began, to some degree, with the rigorous land-planning of the agricultural revolution, where it replaced the circle that was central to prehistoric tribes.

The Official Trailer for Confessions of a Box Man by Mika Johnson


Confessions of a Box Man acts as a sort of compendium of theories about this eccentric, radical lifestyle, touching on a wide range of interconnected themes, from Catholic confessionals and Christ’s legs to the erotic history of women’s legs and chronic masturbation, a trait common to Box Men, who may be, according to one anonymous priest in the film, “using masturbation to expand their awareness, and that might be spiritual, especially if it gives rise to visions, revelations, or even access to other realms. It is in that cardboard shell where the box men can become whole again.” Fascinating, absurdist, and confrontational, Confessions of a Box Man unpacks an entire cultural system to find out just how damaged our social mores and sexual attitudes truly are.


Directors Statement: Confessions of a Box Man is my first feature film. It is a story about obsessions with a particular shape (more a cuboid than a box) and perverse desires that dehumanize us. It is also a story about escape and freedom. The script’s inspiration comes from Kobo Abe’s novel, The Box Man, and my love for creating mythologies. In this case by mixing documentary and fiction film techniques. As a project, the film was also a desperate act, as I needed to make Confessions at any cost because my life and the story began to overlap. In this way, the film is truly confessional.

Confession of a Box Man Poster by Jakub Tranta

The cast are Marek Zelinka (Thomas Zielinski), Mantas Ceskauskas (The Box Man), David Woodard (Dr. Albert Woodard), Ozcar Burfitt (as A), Lucie Končová (the Nurse), and Eva Larvoire (the Editor).

The crew includes Writer, Director & Producer Mika Johnson; In Association with The Lab; Music Ryan Lester; Sound by Eli Stine; Photography Julian M. Grünthal; Additional Photography Xoaher Musavvir; Editor Inga Kempe, Martin Schumet, and Mika Johnson; Poster and Press Kit Jakub Tranta.

About Mika Johnson: I am a multimedia artist directing fiction and documentary films, music videos, XR projects, and commercials. My most recent projects include Ilios – a VR poem about Covid-19 made in collaboration with Marcel Karnapke – and The Republic of Dreams, which uses immersive audio to adapt the works of Polish artist Bruno Schulz. Other projects include The Infinite Library, a VR piece based on expanding definitions of the world’s libraries, and VRwandlung: a VR adaptation of Franz Kafka‘s The Metamorphosis. Long-term projects include The Amerikans—a web series featuring 15 short documentaries—and my recently completed debut feature: Confessions of a Box Man, the first part in a trilogy. Along with exhibiting my work internationally, I present, lecture, and teach workshops worldwide.


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