Blog Archives

Gozu (2003)

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Takashi Miike is a controversial filmmaker, and Gozu is one of his most controversial films to date. It was banned from cinemas, and yet it was invited to the Cannes Film Festival. It was loved by many, but others were disgusted by it. So, how did I find the viewing experience? Well, let me try and explain.

The story begins with the killing of a ‘Yakuza attack dog’ (more like an innocent cute little puppy) by Ozaki, a member of … (read more)

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Sakuran (2007)

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If Sakuran was a person, it would be the kind of person other people write songs about; quirky and vital and brave, marching to the beat of a drum no one else hears; charming and impossible to dislike, drawing everyone in like moths to a flame which is in the end gone far too soon.

Which sounds like a cliché (or a 70’s rock star) and in fact is. At first, Sakuran seems to be all about style and nothing … (read more)

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The Bird People in China (1998)

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I’d like to be able to start this review off by saying that, on the surface at least, The Bird People in China is a bit like a road movie, Miike-style. Unfortunately that would be somewhat less than true because, actually, it’s a little more like a road movie Kitano-style. Takashi Miike – best known for films both creepy and extreme – turns his hand to a subject a little more intimate than blood and guts; heart and soul, … (read more)

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Tetsuo (The Iron Man) (1989)

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I have an absolute argument-winner: the next time someone tries to dispute that Japanese filmmakers are weird, I can show them Tetsuo. Then, after I’ve revived them and stopped them gibbering, they’ll have to admit that yes, I’m right, and yes, Japanese filmmakers come from another planet. The film damn near sucked out my brain like a whelk.

If you make it as far as the salaryman being pursued through the train station by a secretary who’s unnacountably turning … (read more)

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Ginji the Slasher (2003)

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Ginji the Slasher opens in 1953, with a background of archival military footage overlayed with a Japanese flag. The military images are slowly cross-faded with walls covered in blood. Finally, a row of dead bodies leads to the killer — Ginji Sonezaki, in a flash military aviator uniform, slashing his way through a number of guys with an expensive looking sword. There is blood everywhere — with every slash, Ginji manages to paint another wall red. At this point in … (read more)

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DOA & DOA2 (1999)

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After the quiet reflective tone of Sandy Lives, I was jolted into hyper reality by this Miike Takashi double trouble celluloid gross fest.

My only other dalliance with Miike is The Happiness of the Katakuris so in my well-informed and knowledgeable opinion, after viewing a mere three films by Miike-san, I have come to the conclusion that his films always open with a bang.

The first 10 min always kicks arse — in Happiness of the Katakuris, it … (read more)

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