Written and Directed by – Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine, Shunichiro Miki
Starring – Andrew Alfieri, Hideaki Anno, Moyoco Anno, Tadanobu Asano, Maya Banno, Kazue Fukiishi, Chizuru Ikewaki, Shihori Kanjiya, Ryo Kase, Rinko Kikuchi, Kenji Mizuhashi, Ryu Morioka, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Erika Nishikado, Machiko Ono, Takahiro Sato, Kotaro Shiga, Mariko Takahashi, Susumu Terajima, Ikki Todoroki, Kanji Tsuda
Here’s the first of my Toronto After Dark Series. It screened at the 2006 film festival and I was not able to attend that year. I don’t think I missed too much by not seeing this film though.
That description I gave it above is about as good as I could do because this movie is basically an acid trip on a rocket ship straight through the rings of Saturn. It’s a collection of 5 to 10 minute shorts that are only connected through characters that appear in each of the shorts. The actual story to each short is a mess of ideas. Basically it’s a 5 minute look into the lives of some very odd people. I always like to assume that foreign comedy is lost on me since it can be very cultural based and I just may not get it. At least that’s how I’m feeling here. Some of the shorts were pretty funny but some just left me scratching my head.
One part that I really loved about the movie was the music. There are some really good tracks running throughout the film and one of the final scenes is a girl playing a violin in the forest when she realizes that there are girls who are remixing her music through equipment that is planted into the ground. It’s much more weird than I probably make it sound. Most of the flick is a treat to the ears though and I was loving the surround sound effects that played in my living room. A great use of sound that I don’t find in enough movies.
The shorts look great. Sometimes there is alot going on visually that is exciting to watch. Scenes set in a weird type of dreamspace that consists of all white moons and a cute little blob of white with a glowing dot for an eye. My big problem with it is that it’s just too long. At 2 and a half hours I was getting a little bored. When a scene was good it distracted from the length, but when one was bad all I could think was ‘Is this almost over?’. I’m not even sure who I would recommend this one to. This is one that you’d have to decide for yourself. It’s very weird, it has no point whatsoever, and you may or may not find it funny. I can’t even think of another movie to compare this one to so you’d get an idea of what to expect. I think it’s on that basis alone that people should see it. It was unlike anything I can think of watching and it does have moments of entertainment, especially the soundtrack. If you do check it out and you just can’t sit through it, I suggest checking out the last few scenes as they wound up being some of my favorites.
Tonight I’ll be checking out Frostbite, a Swedish vampire flick. So be back here tomorrow for the second flick in the Toronto After Dark Series.
Under the marquee – Will