It’s good to explore the cultures of places far away. Doing this can help make us a lot more understanding of the views of others, better able to celebrate what we have in common and appreciate what makes us different, rather than simply go around labelling everyone else as foreigners and you know, ‘not like us’. Looking to fully play my part in this global exploration and to help reduce my own prejudices and ignorance, I’ve been spending the past few weeks finding out all about Japan and the Japanese, through the medium of film. First I watched “Kamikaze Girls” and discovered what it’s like to be a teenage Japanese girl in modern Japan. After that I watched “The Masked Girl” and found out what’s it’s like to be a Japanese superhero. Then finally I watched this film and came to understand the difficulties of being a young man in Japan, coping with a father who lacks parenting skills, (well two fathers actually). So my conclusion? Japan is, ‘interesting’. (Insightful stuff I know.) Actually Japanese films are great, because they have a whole, different set of characteristics to just about any other. I just wish I could relate to them more, but sadly my Western brain is just too limited to comprehend most of them; I must continue my studies further…
1979 – Certificate: Unrated – Japan
On some levels, this is a great, erotic thriller, with a wide range of suitably nasty, unpleasant and disturbing scenes. On the other hand, it’s pretty distasteful for exactly the same reasons. I didn’t really enjoy it that much, but I can appreciate it for what it is. It did feel a little like the writer had a tick-list of ‘shocking things you can include in films’ and was going to get through the whole lot, regardless of the results. Murder, kidnapping, rape, character assassination, incest, torture, Nazi worship, it’s all here; and I’ve no idea what the scene with the butter and the Alsatian was all about. At times it was a bit slow, but it does have a proper plot, is nicely filmed and in a technical sense looked excellent (considering its age and small budget). Tatsuya (the film’s main protagonist) really isn’t a very nice person! He’s a psycho playboy basically. Even before he turned nasty I hated him, he was far too intelligent, talented, attractive and rich for my liking; (not that I’m jealous or anything). With all his advantages and messed up childhood, he could easily have become Batman.
Recommended for people who like to watch challenging movies and twisted movies in general; or who’re used to exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new life and new civilisations. It’s probably not worth watching if you think “Brokeback Mountain” represents the worst extremes of depraved modern cinema.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? Jun Yashioji (the pop singer) whacking Tatsuya over the head with a stool, in an effort to escape; (and it looked really solid on the screen too). Her singing was pretty terrible, but at least she made an attempt to get away. Somewhat tragic timing in the end, talk about being unlucky; even though she was a bit of a bitch I did feel sorry for her.