Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Guilty of Romance (5 Stars)

Castles and pits have something in common. They both have high walls. The difference is that the walls of a castle are to keep people out, whereas the walls of a pit are to keep people in.

Yukio Kikuchi is a best selling author of passionate romance novels. Unfortunately his passion is only in his written words. His marriage is a loveless routine. His wife is nothing more than a servant who cooks his food, pours his tea and gets his slippers ready. Every morning he leaves the house at 7am to go to his office to write, and he comes home at 9pm. His wife Izumi can't deal with the dullness, so she asks his permission to get a job. He agrees, so soon she is working in a supermarket offering customers samples of sausages.

While at work Izumi is approached by a talent scout for a Japanese adult video company. I emphasise the word "Japanese", because Japan has a very unique type of pornography. First she poses for innocent "idol" photos, then she has to simulate sex with a male model. This gives her a taste for sex, so she gets together with the man off camera. Ironically this aids her in her life. It makes her feel more passionate towards her husband, and it makes her better at promoting sausages. She doesn't even notice that she's sliding down the walls of the pit.

Then Izumi meets Mitsuko, a university literature professor who works as a call girl at night. Izumi is fascinated by her and begins a new life as a prostitute. She feels like she is finally in control of her life, but things are not as they seem. The ones that she considers to be her new friends are keeping secrets and conspiring against her. The whole affair comes to a climax in a spectacle that could only come from the imagination of the brilliant director Sion Sono.

This is the third film in Sono's "Hate Trilogy" after "Love Exposure" and "Cold Fish". As in the previous two films we see the depths of depravity to which seemingly respectable people can fall. We see dysfunctional family relationships at the centre that are the cause of the depravities, directly or indirectly. Sion Sono is the most exciting director in Japan today.

The film hasn't been released in America, but it's available in England and most other countries.

On my way home by Ryuichi Tamura

I should never have learned words.
How much better off I’d be
if I lived in a world
where meanings didn’t matter,
the world with no words.

If beautiful words take revenge against you,
it’s none of my concern.
If quiet meanings make you bleed,
it also is none of my concern.

The tears in your gentle eyes,
the pain that drips from your silent tongue –
I’d simply gaze at them and walk away
if our world had no words.

In your tears
is there meaning like the core of a fruit?
In a drop of your blood
is there a shimmering resonance of the evening glow
of this world’s sunset?

I should never have learned words.
Simply because I know Japanese and bits of a foreign tongue
I stand still inside your tears,
I come back alone into your blood.

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