7.1/10
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23 user 49 critic

Kimyô na sâkasu (2005)

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Masumi Miyazaki ...
Mitsuko Ozawa / Sayuri / Taeko
Issei Ishida ...
Yûji Tamiya
Rie Kuwana ...
Young Mitsuko
Seiko Iwaidô ...
Young Mitsuko (as Mai Takahashi)
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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6 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Circus  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house the film uses as a set is a real house. Director Sion Sono asked the owners for permission to shoot inside it. See more »

Soundtracks

Aus der Tiefe Rufeich (Chorale Prelude) BWV 745
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

 
Fitting title
20 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

For the first 30 minutes or so of Strange Circus, you might be fooled into thinking you're going to be watching a linear story of child abuse, weird sex, cello cases, and circuses. Then, throughout the next 30 minutes, you wait and wait, hoping that the story of an insane, schizophrenic, handicapped woman who is writing a novel might lead to some compelling connection with the first part of the film. Finally, at the last 30 minutes, you grow frustrated that nothing adds up, nothing makes any sense, and you've just wasted 90 minutes of your life on what feels like a director making up a plot as he goes along.

I'm no stranger to this kind of cinema, and I am also familiar with this director's other works, so I kind of knew what to expect going into this. However, as the plot teeters from needlessly complex to just needless, I couldn't help but feel that the director himself didn't know what was happening in this film, throwing in twist after twist near the end for no good reason than to make the film more, um, "strange".

This film is loaded with some great imagery such as class rooms filled with bloody walls and a coffin filled with flowers that is set on fire. There are even some disturbing, thought-provoking sequences peppered throughout, and I'm not usually disturbed in the slightest by anything in films. The acting and music are fine all around. The pacing of film can be a bit disorienting, though the hyperkinetic editing won't be shocking to anyone familiar with these types of movies. Basically, without spoiling the plot, I'll say that the film is told in a completely nonlinear fashion, jumping from past to present to future without any regard to the viewer, and it is a deeply convoluted plot involving a) a principal having sex with his daughter and b) the loss of identity.

It's definitely worth a watch, though don't expect to walk out of this one understanding anything. I typically hate the term "Lynch-like", but a lot of the film will seem familiar to Lynch fans, as it explores many themes Lynch has been trying to cram down our throats for the past decade. Though whereas Lynch makes nonsense compelling and somehow holds his films together by a thread, the nonsense here is simply that -- nonsensical.

Not a terrible film by any stretch of the imagination and actually quite compelling for most of the running length. A shame about the final half hour or so, though. I often see this film recommended to fans of challenging cinema -- I dunno, this film didn't really challenge me, it just frustrated me. Worth a look.


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