When Syamoto's teenage daughter is caught stealing, a generous middle-aged man helps resolve the situation. The man and his wife offer to have Syamoto's troublesome daughter work at their ... See full summary »
In an alternate Japan, territorial street gangs form opposing factions collectively known as the Tokyo Tribes. Merra, leader of the Wu-Ronz tribe of Bukuro crosses the line to conquer all of Tokyo. The war begins.
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Twenty-nine-year-old Ryotaro is underemployed, has no friends, hyperventilates and is awkward. Worse, he is also a virgin and never been kissed before. To remedy the situation he picks up a... See full summary »
The erotic novelist Taeko is writing a morbid story of a family destroyed by incest, murder and abuse. Her assistant, Yuji, sets on a mission to uncover the reality of this story, but the reality might be too much to bear.
A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", ... See full summary »
A major hit in Japanese theaters since its release in June, 'Okinawa: The Afterburn' is the first documentary film to provide a comprehensive picture of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa and the ... See full summary »
Three emotionally abused people from the fringes of society get locked in a convoluted love triangle. Yuu, a Catholic boy searching for true love ends up taking erotic photographs of women in public until he discovers Yoko, whom he sees as his Virgin Mary. Yoko, an antifamily, misandristic girl finds that her foster mother will be marrying Yuu's father. Koike, an "original sinner", coordinates a plan to convert Yuu's family to her cult. Under her careful direction, their lives come crashing together in one fateful street fight.Written by
The film gained a considerable amount of notoriety in film festivals around the world for its four-hour duration and themes including love, family, lust, religion and the art of upskirt photography. The first version was originally six hours long, but was trimmed at the request of the producers. See more »
A reflection of the boom mic and camera crew can be seen on the van during the kidnap of Yoko. See more »
A freewheeling, four-hour epic saga of teenage crushes, Christianity, upskirt photos, double identities, shady cults and perversion. Director Sion Sono gives himself free rein to shift gears at the drop of a hat, and amazingly it doesn't end up an incoherent mess. In fact, somehow the more ridiculous it gets, the more you start to take it seriously. There's an awful lot of thematic ground covered here, but for me it felt particularly successful as a story of adolescent self-discovery. Yu and Yoko cycle through various roles that their social structures, institutions and backgrounds have set up for them before they "find themselves" in a finale that in itself may be yet another false construct. The film's Christian angles are a little tougher to get a hold on, but ultimately I feel Sono's stance is satirical (rightfully so) regarding the hypocrisy of organized religion while not completely writing off the possibility of a fulfilling spiritual life. The sexual content has an unusual complexity to it as well. I am a little concerned about the casual treatment of Yoko's lesbianism (which I can't get into without spoiling) but I suppose that's usually going to be an issue when you have a male writer/director tackling the subject.
Despite the hefty length, the movie is never dull, mixing up styles and tones in a way that keeps you wondering what will happen next. Comedy and action and melodrama bleed together effortlessly (it's something the Japanese tend to do rather well) and no matter how wacky the proceedings become, there's a sincerity and heartfeltness to it. I liked the use of music, especially the "Bolero" in the first chapter, building up to the "miracle" that smashes our heroes together. The performances are all fine... I don't know if I was particularly impressed with any of them, but they seemed to fit.
Overall, I thought it was fantastic, complex and very entertaining. A bit like Jodorowsky, but more enjoyable.
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