A revolver-wielding stranger crosses paths with two warring clans who are both on the hunt for a hidden treasure in a remote western town. Knowing his services are valuable to either side, he offers himself to the clan who will offer up the largest share of the wealth.
Reiji Kikukawa, who has a strong sense of justice, graduated from the police academy with the lowest score ever. He becomes a police constable, but is suddenly fired by the Police Chief due... See full summary »
An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.
A star, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) plays Oiwa, the protagonist in a new play based on the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. She pulls some strings to get her lover, Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizo ... See full summary »
A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
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
A Mind-Blowing Agent For the Viewer To Perceive On His/Her Terms, However Confined To the Film's Implications
This voyeuristically expressionistic film is set in an unknown future in which Ryuhei Matsuda plays a soft, sad gay bartender imprisoned for his strange and brutal killing of a customer who attacked him, and Masanobu Ando is a Yakuza thug packed to the top with pent-up anger and violence that makes him tight as a drum till he sporadically bursts. The two arrive in a juvenile detention center on the same day and, with nothing in common, they become tangled by yearning, shared visualizations of flight to an imagined world, and a murder of another boy inside the stockade that results in one dead and the other pleading guilty to the carnage. It's a murder mystery of young incarcerated men in lust, seen through surreal composition on sets of darkness and illumination and the simplest trace of detail.
Two detectives try to expose the indictment. "Why did this trigger it?" One of them questions as to why the inmate would lead this course of self-ruin and devastation, seeing a rainbow. "Only he himself knows." In the humankind that judges people under the duplicitous laws prearranged as a result of a perversely archaic edition of religious principles, Miike bares violence in its most honest form, as an instinctive undertaking. It cannot be made clear further than the surface of palpable means of interaction. It's too mysterious and puzzling for anyone beyond of the person perpetrating the action to entirely grasp. Sexual friction and short-tempered violence propel the story to its mind-blowing outcome.
Takashi Miike puts his heart and soul into his fascinating visual actualization of the morally ambiguous story, which is heavily reminiscent of Jean Genet novels like Our Lady of the Flowers. It is avant-garde theater translated onto film, voice-over and screened words as the literal point of view of the investigators. The film is punctuated by wonderful, infectious closing music, and you realize you have just experienced film-making in a unique manner, a conspicuous trance consisting of definite colors alive in the bounds of a vast universe of an unlit void. Thick with striking images like pyramids, a classic sci-fi rocket ship, and an opening dance sequence coming unexpectedly. That's just the tip of the iceberg to all of the creative dexterity Miike affords the viewer.
One may come from this film thinking that it wasn't about the story. That's an understandable way to put it, put it is not quite correct. Really, in order to be a narrative at all, it can only be about the story, but Miike does not betray the sheer weight of the story's content and ideas. Can there have been a simpler depiction of it? The film, essentially, is about existence. It is a concept spanning 4.6 billion years! Miike, who normally makes cynical if not outright self-deprecating microcosmic yakuza and horror movies, has aggregating all of those impressions into a claustrophobic, life-refracting prism of all the world's details and creates a blemish on the face of the world of cinema that audaciously, patiently, calculatedly tackles humankind and the self-worth behind which it hides, self-worth largely created by the belief in God, which this film could be read as implicating doesn't exist. The movie's likely metaphors for evolution and faith have very telling differences in outcome, as the movie's symbolic image of evolution augments and that of religious conviction remains the way it has since the beginning. The movie is only an agent for the viewer to perceive on their terms, however confined to the film's implications. Miike is correct: This is his masterpiece.
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