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
Takashi Miike considers, "Big Bang Love: A Juvenile Love Story of 4.6 Billion Years", his masterpiece, and while certainly his most intellectually and aeshetically challenging work to date, it falls a tad short, of it's epic aspirations.
For a "love story" there's very little sex, love, affection, or romantic notions of any sort, there's an unstated attraction between the two characters, repressed homosexuality (one of the characters is apparently sexually assaulted by another man at the gay bar where he works, his subsequent revenge the reason for his imprisonment, but it's never shown on screen.) Had the box not mentioned "homo-eroticism" the sexuality of the characters would be impossible to tell for a good deal of the movie.
That being said, this is really more of a murder mystery, whose end is kinda predictable early on.
However Miike has grown somewhat as a director, largely the film takes place on empty stage like sets with only one or two objects in place, like a piece of absurdist theater. There's even an opening interpretive dance sequence, which though beautiful ranks up there with Miikes greatest WTF moments. Though some scenes resemble "Dogville" in their sparseness, there's also subtle use of special effects here, a small animated image of a man trying to escape and being burnt to a crisp, a computer generated impossibly colored sky, and the reoccurring images of the space ship and the ancient temple (the paths within and without). All of the bargain basement effects which Miike has utilized in the past, are integrated well here, from out of nowhere fight scenes, to awkward muted comedic moments of intimacy. So while the story alternates between aggression and tenderness somewhat awkwardly, the visual aesthetics of the movie, fill the screen and the eye with both space and discreet details (otherwise this probably be a two star affair, ratings wise.) If you like Takashi Miike movies, at their most experimental (Gozu, Izo, etc), this is essential viewing, or if you happen to be interested in abstract, philosophical, prison love, sci-fi, murder mysteries....and who isn't?
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