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Archive - 9th Five Flavours Film Festival

Love & Peace

Japan 2015, 117’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Sion Sono
screenplay: Sion Sono
cinematography: Shinya Kimura
editing: Junichi Ito
music: Yasuhiko Fukuda, Revolution Q, RC Succession
cast: Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Aso, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eita Okuno, Sports Makita, Motoki Fukami, Toru Tezuka, Miyuki Matsuda
producer: Moriyama Atsushi, Teshima Masao, Kamagata Eiichi, Yanagimura Tsutomu
production: Gansis Production
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Film description

Ryochi wanted to be a rock star. It didn't work out. Now he spends his days in a boring office, with colleagues who keep making fun of him. In a moment of despair, he buys a miniature turtle and calls him Picadon – atomic bomb in Japanese. He has no idea how explosive the consequences will be...

Sion Sono's insane imagery seems to have no boundaries. This time, the director combines kaiju eiga – a Japanese genre with monsters attacking cities – with a pastiche of TV music quiz shows and Hollywood family and Christmas movies. He throws in a generous pinch of slapstick, an office romance, and some spectacular explosions, as well as live toys and talking animals (for years Siono has been declaring that his favorite film is "Babe," though this time he was also inspired by "The Christmas Toy" from John Henson's Studio). All of this is served in a form of a musical – songs performed by Revolution Q, Sono's own band, combine Japanese rock and catchy tunes (the main theme stays in the head long after seeing the film), and at one point the protagonist appears on stage in a costume worthy of David Bowie.

The extravagant play with form has also – like it always does for this director – a deeper meaning. The Japanese monster films always had metaphorical, political subtexts. Here, too, the adventures of a tiny turtle become a pretext for a satirical comment on the megalomaniac inclinations of the authorities, preparations for the 2020 Olympics, and the insane consumptionism of the Japanese society. And there is more – in Sono's dark, surreal, brilliantly absurd vision everyone can find something for themselves.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Sion Sono

Born in Tokoyawa in 1961. Debuted as a poet At the age of 17, and turned to directing a couple of years later, he was also a member of a punk band. In 1990 he made his first full-lenth film, "Bicycle Sighs" ("Jitensha Toiki"). Since then, he is often invited to international festivals, and praised for his radical artistic vision, his ability to combine a shocking form with an apt social diagnosis, and a radical film language.

Selected filmography:

1985 Ore wa Sono Sion da! / I Am Sion Sono!
2000 Utsushimi
2001 Jisatsu sakuru / Suicide Club
2008 Ai no mukidashi / Love Exposure
2010 Tsumetai nettaigyo / Cold Fish
2011 Himizu
2013 Zabawmy się w piekle / Jigoku de naze warui / Why Don't You Play in Hell
2014 Tokyo Toraibu / Tokyo Tribe
2015 Hiso hiso boshi / The Whispering Star
2015 Love & Peace
2015 Minna! Esper Dayo! / The Virgin Psychics
2015 Shinjuku suwan / Shinjuku Swan Kabukicho Skauto Sabaibaru
2015 Riaru onigokko / Tag

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