|Riaru onigokko 2015 Japan Tag|
For some reason I was completely in the dark about this one. It became available, I put it on, and, my gosh it was fun--Sono Style Fun. And though not nearly as deep, nor as ambitious as Love Exposure, it does reach Love Exposure levels of fun.
Sono gets music and has great taste in it for the most part--when he doesn't lose vision and go classical. He uses one of my favorite bands, MONO, my sixth most scrobbled artist ever over at last.fm, to provide most of the soundtrack for the film. I just saw them a few months ago. They are super melancholy, then super noisy, then super melancholy again. Sono sticks with the melancholy.
There is a scene which captures pure innocent joy as well as its been captured in a film--four girls running through a forest, holding hands, waving arms, screaming and laughing. Sono doesn't use MONO for the scene but whatever the music is, it's beautiful. He even uses a drone to capture them aerially. Lovely.
I can say, without spoiling anything, that there is/was a bit of a kerfuffle about what Sono is doing here. Is this a satire? Is it cynical? Is Sono exposing his latent misogyny? SPOILER ALERT: (I don't care). There is not a single dude in the film until the third act (save for one wearing a pig face mask-wink wink, nudge nudge). The third act and the ending are the weaker points of the film.
A bulldozer's gotta run out of gas at some point.
Summary: A bus full of high school girls are on their way to a school trip. A sudden gust of wind slices the bus in half, length-wise killing 40 girls in the blink of an eye, except Mitsuko our protagonist, who ducked just in time. The Wind, however, turns back around to Mitsuko. She runs for her life...and incomprehensibly finds herself walking to school with her classmates. Mitsuko and her classmates, Aki, Yuki and Sur(short for Surreal) chat like they've done hundreds of times. Was the tragic deaths of 40 high school girls a nightmare? The next moment, a schoolteacher with a machine gun opens fire, leaving piles of dead girls. Mitsuko runs again. Now she finds herself in a peaceful street lined with shops. "What's wrong, Keiko? Today's your wedding!" says her old friend. Mitsuko is now Keiko, a 25-year-old woman. Before she can resist, Keiko is dressed in a wedding gown. A pig in a tuxedo holding a knife, chases her. What is this irrational world? One of the women tells Keiko, "As long as ...