Every Monday at 6 pm a young woman is murdered in the subway. The psychiatrist Setsuko Suma is called in to assist the police. The trail leads to another psychiatrist - Dr Rei Aku - who ... See full summary »
Renowned cyber-punk director Gakuryû Ishii strays from his roots, entering the realm of the subconscious with Mirrored Mind, a composed, contemplative and also a very personal film. Guiding... See full summary »
The Kobayashi family finally get the chance to move out of their tiny, cramped Tokyo apartment in favour of the suburban house of their dreams. But all is not well: the house is infested by... See full summary »
Based on novelist Muro Saisei's 1959 book, Bitter Honey narrates the story of a poet who informed by his physician of his impending death finds renewed flights of fantasy. He is visited by ... See full summary »
Benkei, a master fighter and killer, vows never to take another life after his conversion to Buddhism. His faith in pacifism, however, is shaken and ultimately broken by the attacks from a ... See full summary »
Dead End Run is de eerste film van Ishii sinds het overweldigende Electric Dragon 80.000 V (vertoond op het festival in 2001), waar sommige argelozen nog altijd met verbaasde oren aan ... See full summary »
The film offers a glimpse at a group of school girls who are very flexible in terms of gender roles, playing males both in the school play and in real life. A modern-day all girls high ... See full summary »
The movie is built around the very complex relationships between Yoshida, leaving Shimizu for Aihara (or at least he tries to), and his friend Ito, whose love for Yoshida seems to have ... See full summary »
Imaginative but slackly plotted film which never quite fulfills its potential
There's a new girl at high school, Isuku (Rena Komine), whose arrival as a high diving champion creates quite a splash. Her appearance coincides with a double meteorite strike in the forest outside the town, which inexplicably acts as a catalyst for a drought and a local epidemic which causes ones inner organs to turn to stone. Taking in the whole spectrum of pre-Millennial New Age phenomena, Ishii's bizarre film is a bit of a mixed bag. Thematically, its a real inspiration: The X-Files notwithstanding, this sort of imaginative pseudo-scientific fantasy stands uniquely amongst contemporary cinematic output. To my mind it evokes the more imaginative sci-fi pictures from the 60's or 70's, such as Quatermass and the Pit' or Doomwatch'. ). Unfortunately in execution it is often unfocussed and confusing, lurching from one idea to the next (Gaia theory, Chaos theory) but never quite drawing any satisfying conclusions. It has a detached air about it which I personally find to be the case in a lot of Japanese films. This is often down to the cultural and linguistic differences, though in this case it is the plotting which is most likely the cause. It perhaps suffers from trying to fit just too much into its running time, and the finale is rambling and unnecessarily protracted. Stylistically the film admirably eschews expensive visual effects or CGI in its portrayal of the assorted esoteric ephemera, settling for natural lighting, brightly lit exteriors, rapid multiple-angle edits, and abstracted close-ups of natural phenomena (much akin to Pi'). Ishii certainly has an aesthetic eye, and the film possesses an oneiric quality that will remain with the viewer for a long period afterwards.
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