Kimyô na sâkasu   2005   Japan Strange Circus
Strange Circus Image Cover
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Director:Sion Sono
Studio:TLA Releasing
Writer:Sion Sono
IMDb Rating:7.0 (4,653 votes)
Awards:1 win
Genre:Drama, Horror
Duration:109 min
Sion Sono  ...  (Director)
Sion Sono  ...  (Writer)
Masumi Miyazaki  ...  Mitsuko Ozawa / Sayuri / Taeko
Issei Ishida  ...  Yûji Tamiya
Rie Kuwana  ...  Young Mitsuko
Seiko Iwaidô  ...  Young Mitsuko (as Mai Takahashi)
Fujiko  ...  
Madamu Rejînu  ...  
Mame Yamada  ...  
Pyûpiru  ...  
Erika Mine  ...  
Keiko Yokomachi  ...  
Tsutomu Ihara  ...  
Emiko Yamada  ...  
Rinco  ...  
Sachiko Yamagishi  ...  
Ken Sasaki  ...  
Sion Sono  ...  Composer
Yûichirô Ohtsuka  ...  Cinematographer
Jun'ichi Itô  ...  Editor
Comments: This is better than I'm ranking it because it distanced me

Same as it ever was. I get the sense that this is the kind of film Sono whips out in a few weeks. Throw a bunch of bizarre dreamy stuff out there (Acts I&II) and then assemble a narrative about it for Act III.

It's full of creepy (incest, child molestation, etc.), and cheap (all the ugly shots of ugly food, and bloodletting). I would have no argument against someone who punted on it and said: "Fuck this revolting piece of shit movie". But if for whatever reason you are of the ilk to give Sono a pass on the don't-go-there stuff, it is remarkable how he brings it all together and makes a compelling story in the third act.

"I was sentenced to death at birth"

Okay, so I just re-watched Strange Circus. Because.

I thought I might have liked it back when, and it wouldn't hold up now. It seems like a film deep in the pocket of 2000s Japanese intense movies. Sono understood that milieu, and shaped it in a way, I guess. I'll bet he made the film in a few weeks. It sort of rambles around for the first two acts and then story pops up in the third.

The dad/principle dude is one creepy actor. I couldn't watch him caressing his daughter and almost punted. Tomoro Taguchi always manages to show up in creepy perv roles wherever he goes. Pretty strong (gutsy, courageous--festival speak for 'does nude scenes') 3 role performance by Masumi Miyazaki.

I apologize that the ugly food scenes disgusted me more, and felt cheaper, than the incest and child molestation and amputations and bloodletting.

The third act takes everything to another level. I think that's where Sono started. He had the twisty idea first and threw a bunch of bizarre opaque improvised stuff around for Acts I & II, and then hits a home run at the end. I gave it a 4/5 back then and give it the same today.

Summary: Suicide Club's maverick cult director Sion Sono returns with a disturbing, visually electrifying shocker about a sexually abused young woman and her hallucinatory reality. This surreal shockfest just gets more disturbing as it progresses…even before the amputations, bondage imprisonment, and secret transsexuality! Teenage Mitsuko is forced to watch her parents' lovemaking through the peephole of a cello case. Soon she is involved in her father's wicked sex acts, the death of her mother and suicide attempts… yet all of this is apparently a novel being penned by reclusive, wheelchair-bound author Taeko. Or is it? Strange Circus is an often wicked, always bizarre, cinematic ride for the adventurous!

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