Shion Sono – The Virgin Psychics AKA Eiga: minna! Esupâ da yo! (2015)


From Busan International Film Festival:

High school student Kamogawa Yoshiro wakes up one day to discover that he has psychic superpowers. He also soon discovers that others in the city have the gift, only some of them are hellbent on causing trouble. He becomes embroiled in several strange incidents and eventually overcomes those seeking to do the city and its people harm, meeting the woman of his dreams along the way. A film that takes a different approach to the superhero genre by introducing a joyful young man who becomes a hero not by boasting of his superpowers but by overcoming temptation.
The Virgin Psychics is an adaptation of a serial comic strip that has been published in Weekly Young Magazine since 2009. It was later made into a TV show (also by SONO Sion) in 2013 and is the director’s fifth film. SONO is the same filmmaker who brought us Love & Peace, Shinjuku Swan, The Chasing World, and the independent film Whispering Star (scheduled to be released in theaters next year), which was shot in the area ravaged by the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown. (PARK Jin-hee) Continue reading

Shion Sono – Ai no mukidashi AKA Love Exposure (2008)


Plot:Yu is a high school boy who lives with his father who became a priest after Yu’s mother died. But one day, a woman, Kaori, falls for Yu’s father although she knows that he is a priest. Yu is completely against this because he does not like Kaori’s eccentric presence intruding into the father and son’s peaceful life, and even more because she brings with her Yoko, the girl he fell in love with at first sight. He does not want the girl of his dreams to become a step-sister! One day, religious cult member Koike finds this so-called family an interesting group and kidnaps three of its members, leaving Yu behind on purpose hoping he will join the cult soon. He will not fall for Koike’s tricks, but instead will do anything to save the love of his life, Yoko, from this cult. Continue reading

Shion Sono – Himizu (2011)


Set after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, all 14-year-old Yuichi Sumida (Shota Sometani) wants to become is a regular boy and live a decent life. His environment though repeatedly drags him into the mud. He runs his parent’s rental boat business, which is located next to a nondescript lake. His mother frequently comes home with different men and soon she leaves him entirely. His father only comes around looking for money. Whenever Yuichi’s father is drunk he tells Yuichi “I wish you were dead.”

Keiko Chazawa (Fumi Nikaido) is a classmate of Yuichi Sumida. She harbors a severe crush on Yuichi. Keiko’s home life isn’t much better than Yuichi’s. Her mother builds a gallows with a noose in place for Keiko to take her own life. Her mother believes her life would be better off without Keiko. Continue reading

Shion Sono – Ore wa Sono Sion da! (1985)


This is the highly experimental first film by the then 22-year-old Sono. The title means “I am Sono Sion!” Shot on 8mm, it is a free-wheeling, intimate, poetic cinematic journal in which the artist contemplates his life as he approaches his birthday. The film clearly reveals the experimental roots of a director whose subsequent work has made him a cult figure both inside and outside Japan. Continue reading