Magare! Supûn [Go Find a Psychic!] (2009)

(Literal title:  Bend it! Spoon)

This is an absolutely incredible film.

You need to see it.

Unfortunately, none of you are likely to be happy with a bare statement like that, so we’ll have to go into a bit more detail.

One of my favorite Japanese comedies is Summer Time Machine Blues, a beautifully minimal film about a group of students who get snarled up in a wild time travel adventure in their school club room, thanks to a broken air conditioner remote control.

It was directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro, who has a long and varied list of directing credits for live action, anime and TV, and written by Makoto Ueda, the director and playwright for the Europe Kikaku theater troupe.  Ueda also wrote another of my favorite Japanese comedies, the amazing one-shot time travel film Droste no hate de bokura [Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes] (2020) as well as the entertaining (if boob-obsessed) anime, Pengin haiwei [Penguin Highway].

Four years after Summer Time Machine Blues came out, the two teamed up again for another comedy with a science fictional twist, this time about Yone, a young woman who spent her life longing to find evidence for psychic powers, flying saucers, Loch Ness-type lake monsters, or Bigfoot.  Instead, she ended up working for “Are You a Psychic?“, a rather cynical TV show that gives people who claim to have strange powers a chance to show off their talents.

Her boss sends her out on a mission across Japan to check out all the offers they’ve got in the hopes of finding at least one real psychic.

Mind you, her boss has forgotten all about her and is upset she isn’t there for their big show, and her latest prospect ended up in the hospital.

Meanwhile, not far away, several men have gathered at a little place called Cafe Kinesis as they do every Christmas Eve.  They would probably seem a fairly ordinary group of people if they didn’t all have genuine — if not necessarily terribly useful — psychic gifts.

And the one thing none of them would ever do is appear on “Are You a Psychic?

Only things get complicated when someone with a very dubious talent joins them by accident.

And we know that sooner or later Yone will find them as well…

Like Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, Go Find a Psychic! could easily have been a play if it weren’t for all the special effects.  Once again most of the events take place in a single setting — the Cafe Kinesis — and we have a large, varied cast who all get substantial roles to play.

Mind you, we get a marvelous sequence as Yone journeys across Japan on her quest (complete with Indiana Jones style map and airplanes) only to find disappointment (including a funny wink and a nod appearance of some of his Summer Time Machine Blues cast and their time machine), and a trip through the city around the Cafe that introduces us to a lot of minor characters and places that will be more important later.

But a big part of the fun is how long it takes to get Yone to the Cafe: as soon as we meet the people inside we know she’ll get there sooner or later, but Motohiro and Ueda deliberately draw things out, and she actually passes the cafe a few times before she finally enters.

While they think they can get rid of her once she interviews her latest prospect, the “Thin Man,” things start getting more complicated as a spider gets involved — and a bit of X-Ray vision.

Just amazing.  Character based comedy, cleverly used special effects, and an explanation for teleportation which is actually more incredible than teleporting.  They even manage to work in the remote control for an air conditioner.

It all leads to curious discovery, a plan to help Yone, and a final surprising series of heartwarming twists that bring everything to a perfect ending.

Even if Yone is still having trouble with that lens cap.

It’s an incredible comedy which combines the fantastic and unimaginable with the ordinary and everyday.  It is absurd and very funny — and yet ultimately heartwarming.

And what more could you ask for in a comedy?

Particularly one which involves psychic powers, Santa Claus, and a guy who can fit through very narrow spaces?…

Buy from Amazon (Region 3.  Paid link):



Check out our new Feature (Updated January 4, 2022):

The Rivets Zone:  The Best SF Movies You’ve Never Seen!



(which this time features…Michael Nesmith???)

And by all means peruse my choices for:


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