I have yet to see Vital but I’ll check it out. The only two other films I’ve seen from him right now are A Snake Of June and Bullet Ballet. Which were both visually interesting, but felt really flat for the most part aside from the aesthetics. A Snake of June I felt started out really well, but I ended up not liking it as a whole.
I haven’t seen A Snake of June yet, but I know what you mean about Bullet Ballet. Also, homegirl is CRAZY SKINNY. Scarily skinny!
Well, the list does have my favourites in the beginning and less favourites in the bottom. I would say the first 20 are must-see if you like contemporary Japanese cinema (the first 10 are masterpieces that any serious film fan should watch) As a Sono fan I imagine you might be into taboos and social problems in Japanese society, so here are a few recommendations that you may find interesting in that case:
- Blood and Bones (Korean immigrants in Japan with identity crisis)
- Harmful Insect (young social dropouts)
- Bashing (’’selfishness’’ of an individual versus the social pressure of an entire nation)
- United Red Army (Wakamatsu’s 3 hour take on the infamous radical leftist student group that killed most of its own members in the early 1970’s)
- Vibrator and It’s Only Talk (more social outcasts with both the amazing Terajima Shinobu in the lead, the most talented actress in Japan at the moment)
- Nobody Knows (children left by their parents to start new lives)
- Kanaria (about the Tokyo Gas attacks and the effects on the perpetrators’ family)
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
I think I’m gonna start my watching with Nobody Knows, I always like watching movies with children as the leads.
Bringing it back to Sion Sono, I have just seen Cold Fish and Guilty of Romance. And can I also brag, both in the cinema.
Cold Fish is a rollicking ride of blood, sex, gore and religion, though his underlying ever present themes of love and family cut through the sensational and anchor the film into classic Sono teritory. His sense of humour is at its perverse best with declarations of love coming from blood soaked charecters sitting in amongst chopped up corpses, I mean what else could you think of in moments like that? I’ve seen it twice and I’ll admit that the second time around was much better, I was able to get under the surface and around a very ‘shouty’ charecter. well worth a view and a must see for Sion Sono fans.
Just when you thought he’d topped himself with Cold Fish along comes Guilty of Romance. How prolific is this man?….thank god, what a treat. Down and dirty onto the street and the cheapest of cheap. This is a tale of conservative shackles being thrown to the wind, of high inteligensia going full circle to plumb the depths of depravity and perversion.
“Words are meaningless without actions” says the professor of literature and then she demonstrates her stand. WOW!
This is another film based on reality or true events? Ha, what does that mean? I think the most grounding aspect of both of these films is that they are hyper real, they are exagerated to a point where they are very watchable and then the message of the director can be seen. I watched an Australian film called X which to was about two street prostitutes but it based itself in social realism (unsuccessfully I thought) and as a result was very hard to watch through its violence and sex scenes. It fell into the exploitation genre and seemed to be a bit gratuitous wirth not a lot of meaning behind the actions.
Yesthis was my favourite of the two but both will satisfy any Sion Sono fan and probably sicken all the others.
Just wanted to say it’s pretty awesome you were able to see both of those in an actual theater.
I know this thread has been kinda dead for over a half a year, but Sono’s already got more on the way.
I’ve heard rumors of some of his older stuff being released in a box set, but I’m not sure what region…
However, I was able to find one of his 90’s films "佳子ですけど” (Keiko Desu Kedo) online, so maybe there’s hope for more of us to see some of his earlier work…
For now, I’m just waiting for Himizu.
Now that I’m back in the West, I have better access to this stuff. Love Exposure is on its way via Netflix disc, and I just watched Cold Fish on Instant Watch.
Wow! One of his best yet! With a lot more linear and narrative storyline, it’s also pretty elegant in how it moves along and tells you precisely everything you need to know. The movie takes place over a single week and you’ll feel as rushed as the characters do, and though it has some of Sono’s sick sense of humor, it’s a lot more sober and meaningful than how sarcastic some of his movies can sometimes seem.
He’s really coming into his own with practice. It does not look like Guilty of Romance is available through Netflix right now but I’ll keep an eye out for it on other venues. In the meantime I’ll check back with my thoughts on Love Exposure once I’ve seen it.
I’m glad Love Exposure is finally being released here, especially on Netflix.
I got the UK DVD a couple years back.
I actually saw Cold Fish at Wal-Mart awhile back, but I’ve heard the region 1 did a horrible job with subtitles… putting too much on the screen at once.
Didn’t seem to be a problem with the streaming video on Netflix, but I don’t know who the distributor or subtitle company was on that one so I cannot comment.
Sounds like it’s a smoother sub on Netflix, which is good.
Himizu and Love Exposure are both coming to Blu-ray soon!
Sono Shion recently premiered his long-lost film from 1995 “Bad Film”.
I think there will be an official release next year.