Join date: 2008-04-29
|Subject: [Japanese] Neji-Shiki aka Screwed - Teruo Ishii 1998 Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:07 pm|| |
Japanese hard-to-grasp trippy cinema... very strange, but captivating and it keeps your attention sharpened at any time!!!
and lots of nudity!!!
I HEART Teruo Ishii!!!
- Quote :
- If you’re a fan of Tadanobu Asano (and who isn’t?) you know he likes to pick some oddball projects. Likewise, if you’re a fan of Teruo Ishii, you know to expect anything, from the depraved to the profound, and potentially a mix of the two. But when the two team up to bring an influential manga artist’s tale of awkward love and loss to the big screen, you know you’re in for a treat.
Adapted from Yoshiharu Shiga’s Wind-Up Type, Screwed (aka: Neji-Shiki) stars Tadanobu Asano as Tsube, an unsuccessful Manga artist locked in a sexless relationship with an unfaithful woman (she likes to keep their partnership a secret). As she is the breadwinner Tsube puts up with her request to allow an old flame to stay the night as “a guest.” But, when she becomes pregnant with the child of a one night stand, a man with whom she had no prior relationship whatsoever, Tsube attempts suicide. Thankfully the attempt is unsuccessful, and Tsube embarks on a strange journey of destitute wandering spiced with sexual repression and gratification, culminating in a surreal patchwork of lust and despair that has to be seen to be believed.
Shiga’s original story (included as a DVD extra on the disc) detailed nothing more than his own experiences as a lovelorn loser, however in the hands of Ishii it becomes a carnival of the surreal and absurd. There’s an absolutely hilarious scene involving copious amounts of a bodily fluid, nods to old cinematic Freudian conventions, and more boobs per minute than in an hour of Fox News. The film is heavily filtered (possibly too much) with amber tones for the less exotic sequences, and heavy reds for the all out spectacles, featuring the performance art troupe featured in Ishii’s two subsequent films, Japanese Hell (Ishii’s Jigoku remake) and Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf. To be honest, Ishii’s embellishments to the story in the latter third of the film really defy any logical explanation, but nevertheless prove good fun.
Asano handles the film’s delightfully deadpan narration with ease. Despite the rather sad goings on in Tsube’s life you can’t help but laugh at his observations. Furthermore his physical performance is awkward, loveable, and absolutely hilarious. The other actors in the film do a decent enough job, though none come close to stealing attention from Asano. A few Ishii alum do make appearances, including Mutsumi Fujita, here in the role of a sleazy restauranteur, looking ten years younger than she did in Killer Dwarf, filmed a mere three years later.
When all is said and done, Screwed is an interesting diversion for the cult enthusiast, a midnight ride filled with offbeat laughs and tongue in cheek titillations. It may not be Ishii’s best film, nor is it quite “The Ultimate Japanese Cult Film,” but it is worth a look.
A DEFINATE 8/10!!!