Monday, June 11, 2012
Sad Goodbye: Sion Sono's Himizu out in selected UK cinemas now
Himizu, the award-winning film from Japanese director Sion Sono has opened in selected cinemas across the UK. I saw this film at the Terracotta Film Festival and was transported by it's tale of the harshnesses of life and the little tendernesses that love can bring.
I have to confess to not making it all the way through director Sion Sono's 4 hr upskirt panty photo epic Love Exposure,so I was not really familiar with his work. The skill he shows as a director in Himizu did make me want to see his more recent serial killer film Cold Fish (more on that later).
Himizutells the story of two teenagers’ struggle to live in a dystopian future Japan destroyed by a natural disaster (the tsunami possibly). The 2 young lead actors give extraordinary performances coping in the turbulent, surreal and sometimes evil world which surrounds them (masochistic parents, dysfunctional relationships, violent yakuza gangsters). At times I found the relentless violence (lots of slapping and hitting) quite difficult to bear, I wondered if it was a metaphor for the way that nature has repeatedly brutalised the Japanese landscape with natural disasters. The ensemble cast are excellent too - especially Den Den (star of Cold Fish) who plays a yakuza with a penchant for garish 1980s' jumpers.
The only thing I would fault the film on is a sometimes predictable use of music to enhance the drama. Other than that it is easy to see why it won the audience award at the Terracotta Film Festival.
Go see at the cinema while you still can: http://thirdwindowfilms.com/films/himizu
The reason this post is entitled 'Sad Goodbye' is that Third Windows have announced that Himizu will be their last theatrical release. You can read more about why that is here at Twitch Film.
TWF will continue to distribute East Asian titles on DVD and Blue Ray and indeed Sion Sonos' Cold Fish is now out on DVD and Blue Ray. This stars the charismatic Den Den as a fish shop owning psychopathic serial killer. Den Den's performance is outstanding and the film is a cringe-making, creepy, beautifully harrowing, wonderful piece of film making.