Set during Japan's Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting. A number of interpersonal conflicts are brewing in the ... See full summary »
Nine convicts escape from prison; most are convicted murders. They commandeer a van from a strip club. Their plan is to find a stash of counterfeit money that a deranged cell mate told them... See full summary »
Sumin is an orphan trying to balance work in a factory with study at an art college and an evening job. One night, a rich young businessman makes an advance on him during one of his driving... See full summary »
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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