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An unknown future. A boy confesses to the murder of another in an all-boy juvenile detention facility. More an exercise in style than storytelling, the story follows two detectives trying to uncover the case. Homosexual tension and explosive violence drives the story which delivers some weird and fascinating visuals. Written by
I adore this film far too much to restrain gushing. I also have way too personal an attachment to pay any heed to other comments or input, which I normally enjoy when reading about movies. This is Takashi Miike's self-professed masterpiece, a statement I whole-heartedly agree with.
As I am still a novice to Japanese culture, I have to give my impressions with Western references: The lighting is Caravaggio and the colours are Rembrandt. Jun's character could easily have jumped out of Camus or Rimbaud, while Shiro is absolute Bataille at his most abstract yet violent and carnal. The punctuations of real-life inserted amid the prison scenes are more jarring than any of Miike's more overt attempts to discomfit his viewers in previous films (through violence, sex, or both). The outside world looks like an unwelcome schism in the timeless, almost monochromatic prison. Via the character of Shiro, the film brutally dispatches all Euclidean and Cartesian occupation of time, space, and psychology - but crucially, does not seek to put anything in its place (something that Jun attempts and fails to do repeatedly). All that's left when Shiro has conquered his final opponent (himself) is the love between the two main inmates.
I can see why anyone with the word 'pretentious' as a regular feature in their vocabulary would blank out this film. Probably just as well, in my opinion.
Favourite bit: when Jun and Shiro first see each other in the prison 'waiting room', and Shiro is revealed in extreme out-of-focus as a kana form.
I've never had a 'favourite film' before in my life, and now I do. Arigatou gozaimasu, Miike-sama.
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