A man sees his life changed for ever when his fiancee shoots herself. Baffled, he wants by all means to obtain such a weapon of destruction and he finds himself caught in a violent group of... See full summary »
Losing his son Tom in a hit and run triggers violent emotions in Anthony, whose body begins to transform. When the driver who killed Tom reappears, Anthony mutates into a mass of metal - a human weapon fuelled by an uncontrollable rage.
A spell of time in the life of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Though her husband is busy working at an office, Yoshiko is not an ordinary housewife, instead ... See full summary »
Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »
The supposedly true story of a 23-year-old otaku (Japanese geek) who intervenes when a drunk man is harassing several women on a train. The otaku ultimately begins dating one of the women, ... See full summary »
Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »
Shou's father Norio finds his son in a rather meaningless existence in Tokyo dominated by alcohol and porn videos. Having left home two years earlier to pursue life as a musician, Shou has ... See full summary »
Of all the countries whose films I've seen (see my comment history) I've gotta say only the Japanese seem to be able to create art without seeming pretentious and stuffy. I think it comes from their great cultural tradition of humility, subtlety and, perhaps most importantly, a wacky sense of humour. Here we have a film that explores the most profound philosophical ideas an artist can ever encounter; yet it doesn't come across all dry, heavy and ponderous, the way a Kieslowski film would. And for the record, Kielsowski is one of my favourites.
Where is it written that all cerebral films have to be humourless dramas? And where is it written that all comedies must completely vapid and devoid of philosophy? KOI NO MON is the perfect example of how to get it all in one very entertaining package. Don't let the hilarious opening scene throw you off track; there's a lot more beneath the surface of this insanely goofy flick.
As I said earlier, this film jumps into the fundamental conundrum of all artists (including writers, musicians and chefs also): What do you do when no one understands your art? How do you present a truly revolutionary concept when everyone laughs at you? And in the resulting vacuum, how do you deal with your loneliness and isolation? Heavy stuff. Tarkovsky would have us crying in our beer. But leave it to the Japanese to present the idea every bit as profoundly but in a crazy romantic comedy.
Much like my other favourite underrated Japanese films (University of Laughs, Cutie Honey, Summer Time Machine Blues) this film can be enjoyed by philosophers as well as people just looking to be entertained. It's the ultimate answer to the question "How do you present a truly revolutionary concept when everyone laughs at you?" The answer is: laugh with them. Coat it in comedy, and they'll swallow anything and like it. I sure did.
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