by Sean Gilman

by Sean Gilman Retrospective Film

Love Exposure | Sion Sono

August 22, 2016
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Sion Sono’s Love Exposure is an epic, four-hour romantic comedy about terrible fathers, upskirt photography, Catholicism, and the meaning of love. Where Sono’s Bicycle Sighs could be categorized as a fairly typical minimalist art film, and his Suicide Club firmly entrenched itself in the millennial wave of Japanese horror, Love Exposure is much less easy to peg—a wholly original pop construct springing forth from its auteur’s cracked heart. If the film has a stylistic precursor at all, it’s the freewheeling exuberance of ’70s exploitation cinema: the…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective Film

Suicide Club | Sion Sono

August 15, 2016
Suicide Club

Suicide Club opens with a montage of the city at night: documentary realist footage of pedestrians moving through Tokyo, on and off of trains and through stations, is scored to a peppy martial beat. Then, in a dreadful instant, the familiar tropes of the city symphony turn to horror as 54 teenaged girls leap, in unison, from a subway platform and in front of an on-coming train—leading to a cataclysm of squished heads and blood-spray. This is how Sion Sono begins his…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective Film

Bicycle Sighs | Sion Sono

August 8, 2016
bicycle-sighs

Sion Sono’s 1990 debut feature is a coming-of-age story heavily influenced by the then-fashionable minimalist style, but with a few of its own distinctive quirks. Sono himself plays Shiro, one of three friends who hang around, deliver newspapers, and study for their college entrance exams. Shiro’s best friend, Keita (Masahiro Sugiyama), is under pressure from his family to become a doctor and pines for an old girlfriend (Hiroko Yamamoto). Shiro is ambivalent about college; he just wants Keita to help him finish…

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