A teenager escapes her provincial town and moves to the big city to find an Internet cult group called Haikyo.com where she meets the site’s web-master, and loses herself in the cult practices of this strange group—which include a unique approach to prostitution and mass suicide.
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My favorite work of 21st century existentialism & one of the hardest masterpieces I know. Y2K existence crisis,meaning of life in society, purpose of family. What makes you you? Sono is so ambitious. Makes your mind wrap around this. He goes deep, perhaps too deep, and yet always so subtle. It's really something & a rewatch only solidifies it. The final act is...seismic,destructive, absolutely one of a kind.
A horror film that is about the pain of loss and the anguish of loneliness; about the promise of redemption and forgiveness being obtainable for those who may want them yet there are those who want neither redemption nor forgiveness and would rather start anew rather than start over. A film about the illusion of what we call family and the reality of what that can sometimes mean.
Dazzling. For real. Extremely labyrinthine and novelistic (not surprising since Sion Sono adapted it from his own novel), this feels like one of the All Time Great Screenplays. Sets a template for some of his later more ambitious films, none of which match NORIKO's emotional power. Also gotta be All Time Exhibit A for how far you can go w/ a minimal budget. Superlative moments are captured on the fly. Masterpiece.
'She'd come to Tokyo to be happy but I knew she would transcend that' Sono followed up 'Suicide Club' with this deeper and dramatic film that bookended the previous film's events. Two sisters are drawn into a business that simulates family experience by acting for various lonely people, bringing to mind Lanthimos' 'ALPS' which came later, whose emergence in these dramas could even include death. Strange but ...
I got totally absorbed by this movie and its twists. It is masterly how Sion Sono pieces his story together during the five chapters, always changing the narrative perspectives and showing something the spectator yet didn't know. And finally he gives insight into some of the direful emotional voids of present day society.
Wonderful and harrowing companion piece to Suicide Club. I just wish I could make sense of the whole story. But on the other hand, not comprehending but rather sensing the narrative is way more fun. I just know that if Sono would display the complete story it would not be as cool as I imagine it.
A heavyhanded and immature but nonetheless gleefully fun frolic through nihilism. Clever enough that it's hard not to wonder if the abysmal production value & excruciatingly drawn-out run time weren't actually some sort of giddy fuck you. Sion Sono comes off a bit here like a wacky Japanese Von Trier. For me, who found Suicide Club lacklustre, this is a much stronger piece. "What's capitalism?" "I'll tell you later."