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Love & Pop (1998)

 |  Drama  |  9 January 1998 (Japan)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 642 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 8 critic

Teenage drama; schoolgirls, enjo-kosai (compensated dating)

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Love & Pop (1998)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Captain XX
Mitsuru Fukikoshi
Megumi Hayashibara ...
Voice
Akira Ishida ...
Voice
Kirari ...
Chisa Noda
Hirono Kudo ...
Nao Yokoi
Kotono Mitsuishi ...
Voice
Asumi Miwa ...
Hiromi Yoshii
Leo Morimoto ...
Hiromi's father
Yukie Nakama ...
Chieko Takamori
Nana Okada ...
Hiromi's mother
Toru Tezuka ...
Uehara
Ikkei Watanabe ...
Kobayashi
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Storyline

Teenage drama; schoolgirls, enjo-kosai (compensated dating)

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Drama

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Release Date:

9 January 1998 (Japan)  »

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Filmed using miniature digital cameras. See more »

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References Captain EO (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Touchy subject. Bizarre presentation. Only Hideaki Anno can pull it off.
30 June 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This film is about pedophilia, perversion and prostitution through the eyes of 15-17 year old high school girls. It was filmed entirely using mini digital cameras mounted in bizarre places (like in a bowl of soup, on a pair of chopsticks and up a girl's skirt).

OK, if that didn't scare you off, then please continue reading.

It's a heavy, disturbing subject right off the bat. That plus the unconventional camera-work rings of "pretentious art house film". But somehow Hideaki Anno pulls it off. I suspect that it's because this is a sort of *tongue-in-cheek* pretentious art house film. Unlike certain snotty Cannes Film Festival contenders who seem to take themselves too seriously, Anno deliberately goes way over the top, as if to say, "Yes, I am a very strange man who likes to put cameras in microwave ovens." As a result, the mood of this film is a cross between CLOCKWORK ORANGE and AIRPLANE 2. Take it or leave it.

You might be wondering why I rated it only 6/10 despite the fact that I seem to be praising it. You see, I've rated it on my special Hideaki-Annometer which grades on a much tougher scale. True, it's a worthwhile film. But relative to some of his other work, this comes across as a bit experimental and fractured.

His later work SHIKI-JITSU is the perfection of what we see here. You'll even notice many recurring trademarks such as train tracks, red lighting and "countdown" intertitles. In the two years following LOVE & POP, Hideaki Anno mastered the style he dabbled in here.

But oh wait I forgot about the music. (I may have to bump my rating up to a 7.) As with SHIKI-JITSU, he matches the perfect doleful piano pieces with poetic voice-over narration. In particular, I recognized a few Chopin sonatas, Debussy's "Claire de lune" and 1 or 2 other haunting melodies. Despite the vulgarity of the subject matter, these classical/romantic pieces provide a very interesting counterbalance. And I believe that is the whole theme of the film: the precarious balance between perversion and innocence.

It's certainly a memorable film. But it requires some patience. Be sure to stick around for the 2nd half when things get REALLY weird.


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