3-4. A bit overexposed here and there; the voice-overs probably could have been cut down a bit; and existentialism has its hangups as a philosophy. But still, there are a number of wonderful evocations, parallels, and subversions on display here; in particular I liked Mikan, a very clever device to evoke a woman's sense of id, societal role as performance, and the idea of a 'false' (but flashy) ordinary girl.
"Some will kill, some will be killed. That's the circle of life, though there are contradictions. There are no perfect circles anywhere in nature. But if you draw a circle with a compass and a big fat marker, a thick outline will make it seem perfect...I'll be whatever no one else wants to be. I'm sick of shameless outlines of people seeking happiness."
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.
This film hovers between All About Lily Chou Chou and Visitor Q. Portrait of family life in Japanese film: (1) Parents are generally joyless, violent perverts. (2) There is no mode of discussion between a muffled whisper and a hysterical scream. (3) Murder, suicide and forced prostitution are easier than communication with family. (4) Approach with dread.
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 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."
'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 ...
Intended as a prequel to the Suicide Club. I haven't watched the Suicide Club but intend to watch after seeing this film. The film was way too convoluted at points rambling on nonsensical and impenetrable thoughts by the main characters. Premise and plot were interesting, thus kept me going.
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.
I don't know what makes me happier - the fact that this film exists and is so great, or that I'm not the only one really freaking confused. Noriko's Dinner Table complements Suicide Club, but is quite strong on its own. Sion Sono is the bomb, and I'm so excited to read the print version of this.