The day before I watched this, while walking the northern edge of San Francisco's Alta Plaza Park, not far from the multiplex that houses the city's film festival, my eye caught a huge sunlit brown wing, maybe twice the size of the largest seagull's, just as it disappeared into a tall cypress. Year before last, I'd seen the same type bird, huge hawk, golden eagle, whatever it was, in the Presidio. That one swept within a few yards of me, a live squirrel in its talons, dropped the squirrel, dived to retrieve it, failed, then glided away over the bay's edge.
Toward the end of "Down the Drain," without giving anything away, there's a "Miike moment," a maybe gratuitous special effect, followed by a shot of just such a huge bird gliding above the urban site. Maybe the film's are vultures. Don't know. They also put me in mind of Larry Cohen's "Q."
Anyway, Yaguchi, on the evidence of this, "Waterboys," "Adrenalin Drive," and "One Piece!" seems a curious mix of hack and auteur. Judging from the dvd case and a manga section in the dvd "extras," this may be another movie-zation of a comic. More than once it put me in mind of the better comics-originated film "Ghost World." Yaguchi's protagonist's unrelenting bad luck never bores. At best it has the feel of Buñuel or maybe the Godard of "Weekend." But I would rather have seen a film about the thin shadow girl who lives, deliberately, not as victim, in other people's houses.
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