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Burst City (1982)

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Burst City, to me, is not only the name of a film, but also a fairly accurate description of my mind after being confronted by two hours of Ishii Sogo punk rock mayhem. After all, what can synapses do, when faced with such an assault on the senses, but explode? It’s the sensible thing to do.

This is a film that has a reputation for being an important stepping stone in the development of Japanese cinema. It is widely … (read more)

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Dead End Run (2003)

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Ishii Sogo is what I would call a Rorschach director: he makes films that are often as incomprehensible as those ink blots used in psychological testing, but which can tell a great deal about you by your reaction to them. It follows that Ishii’s films are not enjoyed by everyone, and can be lauded as ‘excellent fun’ or condemned as ‘weird and boring’.

As described in the synopsis, each sequence begins with a chase down an alley. After a little … (read more)

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