Mother love gets the Shinya Tsukamoto treatment in the Japanese auteur’s latest mindfuck, a boldly abrasive, sometimes overwhelming tour of an unbalanced psyche. Said psyche belongs to a young, single mother (played by J-pop star Cocco) who imagines sinister doppelgangers lurking everywhere, stabs potential suitors with forks, lacerates her skinny arms with razors (“I cut my body to confirm it,” she muses in voiceover) and, above all, turns any activity involving her toddler son into grueling bouts of hysteria. Only singing seems to soothe her, and one of her songs catches the attention of a masochistic novelist (Tsukamoto) who’s willing to let her beat him into a bloody pulp in order to forge a relationship with her. Filmed with a reeling, zooming camera, scratchily edited, and set to a deafening cacophony of enfant shrieks and industrial noise, this virtuoso bit of grisliness may have something to say about violence-saturated societies nurturing Medea fantasies, but any thematic exploration plays second fiddle to Tsukamoto’s insistence on sheer sensory overload.
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