Posts Tagged ‘Experimental’

This movie is an anthology of 3 short stories:
Last Song – a man on the run hides down a blind alley. Hearing footsteps coming towards him, he grabs a steel pipe close by and lashes out at the person not realising that it’s just an innocent woman. She’s killed instantly but returns from the dead to perform one song and dance number with her killer!
Shadows – Also on the run, a man runs into the same blind alley where the person chasing him catches up. Drawing both their guns, a mexican stand-off occurs but who will pull the trigger first?
Fly – Running from the cops, a man heads for the rooftop of a building where he takes a young schoolgirl hostage and threatens to blow her brains out. What the man hasn’t realised is the girl has suicidal tendencies!

Director Sogo Ishii goes all experimental with this short 60 min trio of stories concerning people running into dead ends and I can see some people either thinking this is quite an inventive movie or a bit of a muddled mess. Whilst it may be fresh and different, I still thought it was a bit of a strange movie to say the least. All 3 stories start with a black screen and you can hear something going on – a fight or a confrontation before we see each 3 protaganist on the run from someone. As each short suffers from a lack of running time, it’s hard to get into them because there’s no back story. There’s no explanation as to who or what they’re running away from. The first story might start out as normal but then it goes all weird when the woman who has just been killed starts twitching on the floor where her prone body is laid out and comes back alive to starts a song and dance routine much to the chagrin of her confused killer. It completely caught me by surprise and my initial thought was ‘what the hell is going on!!’. After the segment finished I was still perplexed as to what I’d just witnessed! The second short in my opinion is the weakest as it’s just 2 men involved in a Mexican stand-off saying nothing to each other and standing motionless. The majority of the segment is just an excuse for the director to try some camera trickery to add some tension to the situation. Personally it didn’t work for me. Some viewers might say it’s high on style and captures the most out of a single moment in time but I found it just dull. The third and final story makes more sense than the other two in that it starts out as a conventional man on the run from the law story. I felt it was exciting and contained more energy than the previous 2 stories. It’s also got Tadanobu Asano in it which was a big plus in myself watching this movie. He’s as cool as ever in his story. A shame it had slightly less running time and ends rather quickly. I would have liked this story to have been expanded a little bit more. This segment also goes a bit weird near the end as well.

If you like movies that sees directors experimenting and trying new things out, this might interest you otherwise I’d urge everybody else to not bother. I wouldn’t call it a great movie by any means but it has its moments.

No trailer but here’s a clip from the last short Fly:

Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

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Akira is a teenager who is haunted by a “bouncing ball” song his mother used to sing to him when he was a child. He is desperate to find the origins of the song and in his ‘journey’ he comes across a nymphomaniac who’s lost in her mansion and other odd characters.

This surreal 40 minute avant-garde erotic experimental feature by director Shuji Terayama is a strange but interesting movie about a young man’s dream that turns into a nightmare. The story defies logic but from what I can gather Akira is just about starting to get sexually active in his life and he’s constantly smothered by his mother who doesn’t want to see her son growing up, he is then seduced/raped by a female neighbour seemingly lost in her own house and his mother gets angry at this. She ties him up to a tree and paints kanji characters on his body and clothes so that the woman can’t use her ‘devil’ powers to tempt him. In addition there’s something about a bouncing ball which gets bigger as the story progresses and a fertility stone which makes a woman pregnant if she touches it. As if the tale wasn’t bizarre than it already was, there’s a group of odd people (some of which have been painted all over in white) which start to jeer Akira and chase him around. Perhaps the nightmarish vision that Akira is experiencing is some sort of sign of him wanting to break free from his overbearing mother and it has manifested itself in his dreams? That’s only my interpretation and somebody else could say something completely different. Even though nothing makes any kind of sense, I did like the way the movie has been shot as it’s very colourful with great cinematography. There’s some tasteful nudity on show as well. Terayama had a habit of making movies that only certain people seem to understand. I wasn’t too keen on Throw Away Your Books, Rally In The Streets but thankfully this was better.

Too weird for mainstream viewers, this will only appeal to those that like a taste for bizarre movies.

I can’t find a trailer.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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