Monday, November 17, 2014

WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL (2014)



Written & Directed By: Shion Sono 
Cinematography By: Hideo Yamamoto 
Editor: Jun’ichi Ito 

Cast: Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaido, Shin’ichi Tsutisumi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Gen Hoshino, Tomochika

A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud.

After watching a few of his films and becoming a fan I have to say this is his lightest film in terms of material. As the story isn't heavy and more of an outright comedy then any of his films really before. Albeit a dark one

Their is also not a heavy emphasis on sex either, he still allows for heavy violence. Though here it feels so ridiculous. It's hard to take seriously though that doesn't keep it from having stunning action sequences. That figure more heavily in the third act.

This is a movie best by to spoil, it's more of an experience, though be warned the film is not for the faint of heart. Most of the lunacy on display in the trailers is only a small taste.

I was quite shocked at how thoroughly and responsibly the filmmaker lays down the build up and stakes for what will eventually come.

Director Shion Sono's films are an acquired taste usually very wild and all over the place, but good after all this is a man who made a 4/5 hour film LOVE EXPOSURE devoted to a pornographer with a fetish and made it into a coming of age film and to was never boring or slow for it's whole running time.

His films are like Odyseey's into themselves a warped fantasy land mice into reality or honing a lift on the underground realities most choose to ignore.

He celebrates his obsessions and frustrations. Showcasing them for all to enjoy or a least watch and react by exposing the audience. A culture known for it's rules and repression at times.

What I admire about Shion Sono and his films are that he is not afraid to showcase his fetishes and obsessions in his films and use them to create a compelling story and awestruck visuals able to find beauty where other people might see trash. His films don't do down any kind of middle road.

Here his film feels more personal if only for the film showing a love and appreciation. Not only for cinema, but also filmmaking. He shows his passion for it and or the art of it. The emotions it can make you feel and inspire. Especially while making it also crazy enough to just seem absurd and maddening while sticking to it's plot.

The film might seem crazy and it gets that way in story but all of it's points make sense as the film goes along.

No matter what the film always manages to surprise you as there are no sacred cows throughout.

The score of what seems like mostly symphony operatic music makes the film seem grander even though it is more small scale.

The film has memorable characters and scenes. All of them essential and in their own way demented yet endearing.

The film even manages to throw curveballs. Such as having a romantic comedy scene is a car amidst the chaos that is humorous and sweet as well as most f the action taking place due to love affairs both positive and negative.

To be honest this film had me after I saw the trailer. Watching that trailer it had me in it's grip in ecstasy overpowering my senses with organized over the top madness that was on display.

The film also seems like a valentine for all the dreamers who devote their lives to their obsessions. Be it film, music, books etc and what would you do of your life's dream was accessible but you had to work around certain restrictions or within a dangerous or troubling atmosphere to achieve your vision. It might also feel a little familiar for those who have had the experience of trying to get your project made under certain pressures metaphorically represented here.

This film for all of it's over abundance to me is like a perfect morsel a nice slice of cake delicious and full.


Grade: A

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