This country-mice-in-the-big-city movie is kinda pure vintage late-90s Miike. Few filmmakers have ever done such sterling service to the central injunction of Marcel Carné 1933 essay "When Will the Cinema Go Down into the Streets?" LEY LINES feels especially embedded. Something burrowing in. Something frantically navigating fraught urban space. It is strangely balletic. Also, of course, bombastic. A scum opera.
Ley lines /leɪ laɪnz/ are apparent alignments of land forms, places of ancient religious significance or culture, often including man-made structures. They are ancient, straight 'paths' or routes in the landscape which are believed to have spiritual significance. The penultimate shot is mesmerizing.
I struggle with Mike but the quality of the camerawork and matching plot and story really brings the theme of the delinquent foreigner in Japan forward. The violence in this case is even not too over the top. Many truly amazingly creative shots and some of the only camera over shoulders shots that I did not resent.
A great noir-like crime picture by the legend that is Takashi Miike. A very sincere and human film, although extremely violent like many of his other works. How this dude was able to make 100 films since I was born is beyond me. The fact that he was able to make a few masterpieces is even more incredible. The fact that he made many masterpieces is even more astonishing. Long live Takashi Miike.
I'll be the voice of dissent and tell you right now, this is Miike's best film. It's not as immediately likeable as Rainy Dog, but give it another watch in a year. It sticks in the mind. It's so memorable because it has a sense of space and culture that is utterly convincing, but it's sprinkled with bits of magical realism that make this dreary tale come to life. That makes it feel like a substantial memory.
By the third film in this loose trilogy, Miike has become a far more confident pop-arthouse auteur, providing some breathtaking shots and set pieces at times. The narrative take some time to gain momentum however with the protagonists not coming together until around the always mark. There are also some questionable sequences of sexual violence which are intended to be surealist but are too close to misogyny.
Not sure why this didn't quite work for me, but I found it to be the weakest instalment of Takashi Miike's Black Society Trilogy. Perhaps it didn't help that I watched it so soon after the more impressive Rainy Dog. Not a BAD film, it's just a bit disappointing compared to the better Miike works.
A really intense film that involved a lot of violence, sex, and a demeaning view towards women. This film capitalized the life of struggling teenagers gang banging and committing devious crimes for money. I was not too impressed with the story but the acting was really good. The photography used in this film is new to me, however they do abuse the back and forth change of high-key and low-key lighting.
(2.5 stars) This one steers far away from the Yakuza and crime aspect of the previous two and focuses in on a few friends... all of whom are all knuckleheads. My biggest problem with this film was the absolutely HORRIBLE treatment of females. It's ridiculous and not at all the point of the film, so it's just extraneous and unnecessary in almost every way. Hated that. And I guess... I just couldn't get past it.
I think the movie and plot were well put together. I'm not sure what it is but the picture in the film look different from American films of today and around the same time as this one. At some points in the movie the picture was very dark then in others it was super bright.Ley Lines had many different setting from in the city of japan to country side in china, which to me gave me the feeling of actually being there.
Miike's enigmatic and very compelling finale for his Black Society Trilogy explores one of his most recurrent themes: outcasts in society. The story is told in broad strokes, and little by little we get to know the characters. Miike just loves to dive into the world of misfits and outcasts in Japan, and his adoration for these characters is contagious.