Synopsis: When a single mother suffers a nervous breakdown, she is suspected of child abuse and her child is taken away. Her mental suffering escalates as she succumbs to her darkest fantasies. Read More »
Quote: Set during the tumultuous mid-19th century Edo period of Japan, Killing is the story of a masterless samurai or ronin named Ikematsu Sosuke. As the prevalent peace and tranquility are sure to be replaced by war and conflict across the land the swordsman feels restlessness creep upon him. Read More »
Quote: A school was built on one of the Gates of Hell, behind which hordes of demons await the moment they will be free to roam the Earth. Hiruko is a goblin sent to Earth on a reconnaissance mission. He beheads students in order to assemble their heads on the demons’ spider-like bodies. Hieda, an archaeology professor, and Masao, a haunted student, investigate the gory deaths and eventually battle Hiruko. Read More »
Tokage was commissioned by television network NHK for a series in which the works of famous Japanese authors would be narrated on film, as captured by noteworthy directors. Tsukamoto was asked to direct the short story Lizard, by Banana Yoshimoto.
Lizard concerns a love affair between two healers who are unable to heal their own psychic wounds. The narrator is a counselor for disturbed children. He has fallen in love with a profoundly sad woman nicknamed Lizard who longs for oblivion. Lizard has an uncanny ability to diagnose and treat other people’s illnesses. Read More »
Quote: 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. Read More »
A man wakes up to find himself locked in a cramped concrete maze of corridors, in which he can barely move. He doesn’t remember why he is there or how he got there. He has a terrible stomach injury and is slowly bleeding to death. Read More »
A beautiful meditation on love, memory and mortality. After surviving a car accident which kills his girlfriend, an amnesia-struck student (Tadanobu Asano) returns to medical school and confronts his slowly emerging past on the autopsy table. An enthralling movie with probably the tenderest autopsy scene in movie history and engrossing interplay between Asano, his masochistic girlfriend (Kiki), the affected families, and his own past feelings of love. Read More »