Midnight Madness favourite Sion Sono (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, winner of the 2013 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award) ventures even further into uncharted cinematic territory with this yakuza-street gang-hip hop-musical epic.
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What's not to love? Just constant pure mastery of the cinematic machinery here at the service of perverse, berzeroid phantasy. It's Sion Sono, man. A kid in the candy store of cinema. This is beyond genre cinema. Genre cinema was some quaint roadside attraction this thing blew past at near-point-of-origin. Woosh. There are tracking shots here to rival the greatest ever. It does fall apart, sadly. But still (!).
In the near future, Tokyo's districts will be carved up by a group of feuding rap gangs who preach violence and power, but for one who champion the virtues of friendship and love. Their story is told in the hip-hop martial arts musical (!) "Tokyo Tribe," a film that represents yet another stylistic tour de force from Sion Sono and further proof why he's possibly the most exciting voice in global cinema.
A very unusual and weird hip hop dystopia, consequent in the blending of different stylistic features. E.g. cuts and montage often are related to DJ scratching techniques. Also remarkable is the set design, especially the human furniture - a citation of the milk bar from Kubrick's "Clockwork Orange". And there are lots of other sometimes very funny references (like the short dialogue: "Kill Bill?" - "No, Bruce Lee").
TIFF '14 Well if you've seen one hip hop musical/ gang warfare/ candy coated exploitation picture you've seen them all. Highly original musical (!) from Sion Sono which rates comparatively low to his previous work but is still one hell of a ride. Gets a little tiresome at two hours but is a solid creation. A good mix of Walter Hill( Warriors, Streets of Fire), BET and Japanese pop culture.
Leave it to Sono to make an adaptation that's more over-the-top than the original manga. The print medium obviously lacked music, so here we have what must be the first hip-hop opera movie. But this post-Tohoku-disaster allegory of unity and survival is a floundering mess. Too much exposition is wasted on Buppa and his ridiculous clan and the music doesn't quite rise to the occasion. Crazy yes, but dull.