Tag Archives: Shin’ya Tsukamoto

Shin’ya Tsukamoto – Kotoko (2011)

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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 »

Shinya Tsukamoto – Haze (2005)

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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 »

Shinya Tsukamoto – Vital (2004)

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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 »

Shin’ya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo (1989) (HD)

A strange man known only as the “metal fetishist”, who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese “salaryman”, out for a drive with his girlfriend. The salaryman then notices that he is being slowly overtaken by some kind of disease that is turning his body into scrap metal, and that his nemesis is not in fact dead but is somehow masterminding and guiding his rage and frustration-fueled transformation. Read More »

Shinya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo (1988)

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An hour-long feature from Japanese director Shinyu Tsukamoto, Tetsuo (also known as Tetsuo: The Iron Man) tells a horrific, cyberpunk-influenced science fiction tale about the intersection of man and post-industrial technology. The central character is a Japanese salary man, an average office worker who is transformed by a brief encounter with a metals fetishist, a man who has purposefully implanted pieces of scrap metal in his body. The salary man soon begins sprouting pieces of metal from various parts of his body, a change which is accompanied by increasingly nightmarish visions and bizarre, metal-filled sexual fantasies. As the man evolves into a strange hybrid of man and machine, he also develops a telepathic connection with another of his kind: the metal fetishist, who has been undergoing a similar conversion, and may indeed be the cause of the salary man’s transformation. The two engage in a violent, destructive battle throughout the streets of Tokyo, accompanied by an appropriately industrial soundtrack. Shot on a small budget in 16 millimeter black-and-white, Tsukamoto reprised many of the images and plot elements of Tetsuo in a higher-budgeted sequel, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer.AMG Read More »

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Shinya Tsukamoto, Il-gon Song – Jeonju Digital Project 2005 (2005)

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Worldly Desires (43min)
A couple escapes their family to look for a spiritual tree in the jungle. When the night falls, a song comes from somewhere. It speaks about an innocent idea of love and happiness and conveys a sense of guiltless freedom when being hot by love. The film is a little simulation of manners and dedicated to the memories of filmmaking in the jungle during the year 2001-2005.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul Read More »

Shinya Tsukamoto – Bullet Ballet (1998)

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Carrying a gun

If there were awards for great titles then Bullet Ballet would surely be up for a gong or two. At once suggesting both violence and elegance, it sounds like the perfect Hong Kong era John Woo film, an all-action but balletic explosion of slow-motion gunplay that became the director’s trademark. But this isn’t John Woo, this is Shinya Tsukamoto, a director whose deeply personal style is a million miles from Woo’s slickly filmed action works. Tsukamoto’s concerns are far more localised, to the city in which he lives, to his neighbourhood, to his own body, and his cinematic style is far edgier and more dangerous. Which is not to knock Woo in any way, but nowadays when Woo is making the vacuous Paycheck, Tsukamoto is making the extraordinary A Snake of June. He is one of those rare directors who has never sold out and never compromised his vision. Tsukamoto is the very personification of a great outsider film-maker. Read More »