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Strange Circus (2005)
"Kimyô na sâkasu" (original title)

 -  Drama | Horror | Mystery  -  6 March 2007 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,701 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 45 critic

The erotic novelist Taeko is writing a morbid story of a family destroyed by incest, murder and abuse. Her assistant, Yuji, sets on a mission to uncover the reality of this story, but the reality might be too much to bear.

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Title: Strange Circus (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Masumi Miyazaki ...
Mitsuko / Sayuri / Taeko
Issei Ishida ...
Yûji
Rie Kuwana ...
Young Mitsuko
Mai Takahashi ...
Young Mitsuko
Fujiko
Madamu Rejînu
Mame Yamada
Pyûpiru
Erika Mine
Keiko Yokomachi
Tsutomu Ihara
Emiko Yamada
Rinco
Sachiko Yamagishi
Ken Sasaki
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Storyline

In Tokyo, the twelve year-old girl Mitsuko accidentally sees her parents having sex in their bedroom and her dysfunctional and pervert father Ozawa Gozo, who is the principal of her school, forces her to see her mother Sayuri having intercourse with him hidden inside a cello case. Then Osawa rapes Mitsuko and forces her mother to see the incestuous intercourse with their daughter. Osawa lives with Mitsuko and Sayuri and has sex with them, and Sayuri is jealous of her own daughter. The dysfunctional family is affected first by a murder and then by an attempt of suicide. But the bizarre story is actually a novel written by the disabled writer Taeko that uses a wheelchair to move. When her publisher visits her with his new hire Yuji, he gets close to her and helps Taeko to find the truth about her past. But in the end, which one is the dream? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Plot Keywords:

sex | school | novel | incest | wheelchair | See more »


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Release Date:

6 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Circus  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film marks the comeback of actress Miyazaki Masumi after a decade off the screen. See more »

Soundtracks

Namae no nai koinu
Written by Shion Sono
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User Reviews

 
Wheels turning with the stuff of nightmare
2 July 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

What a strange movie. It reminds me of Chan-wook Park in the way that it teeters so close to the edges of bad taste, or the trite movie conventions of melodrama, in an effort to ultimately transform them into grand gestures. So that the lowly and visceral can be ennobled, humanized into something akin to an opera.

The first half hour of this is superb stuff, or really close to it. The violated mind as a vaudeville stage, to which we are literally invited by the impresario holding out a hand at a first-person camera; once inside, the reality of vicious trauma involving pedophilia, incest, and a cello case, this perversity that we usually find in Miike reflected, thus reversed (a mirror is crucial in this segment, and eventually fractured), into a nightmare world of the mind rendered with images of Cronenberg and rooms painted bloodred.

This part is great because it understands the stuff of nightmares, and how the mind is a funhouse mirror that distorts the violence heaped upon it.

Then the movie becomes something like an inverse Audition, about an unstable woman with a cello case full of dark secrets weaving her web and about another web being woven by her prey meant to ensnare her. She is an author writing a novel about the childhood stuff we just witnessed in the first part. The most interesting notion here is that her victim sets out to find out about her and why she writes herself in her books, what kind of self hides behind the facade.

All this is marred by a pretty juvenile finale, where we are tossed about through a bunch of shocking revelations from one reality to the other, in an effort to know what 'actually' happened. Here lies the problem for me; we are told too much, too much of what was earlier a suggestion is attempted to be explained away (we even experience an earlier scene in the way that it actually happened, this tacky Fight Club device) and too much of this hinges on some unexpected twist than something that crawls underneath.

Interesting movie and I will keep from it the amazing shots of the damaged mind envisioned as a neon-lit luna park, but it only reminds me again of how important it is that we have David Lynch.

Having achieved the fame and exposure that he has, surprising in itself, it is perhaps easy to leave him behind in lieu of more obscure, undiscovered works such as this. But none of these can sustain and sublimate like he knows the dreamy illusion within movie structures that remain vague, mere outlines that hint at spiritual perils. He knows the stuff of nightmares but more importantly what mechanisms control them in the mind, how illusions are formed. This one has some intuitive grasp, but grasps blindly.


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