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.
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?