Sogo Ishii’s “The Crazy Family” will be screened at the Barbican on June 11th

The Barbican are running an exhibition about Japanese homes and domestic architecture called The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945. It began on March 23rd and lasts until June 25th. As part of the exhibition there will be films screened. I’ve already written about Princess Kaguya, An Autumn Afternoon, and Woman in the Dunes, and this one is straight from left-field since it comes from Sogo Ishii (now known as Gakuryu Ishii) while he was still in his punk period! It’s called The Crazy Family and it was released in 1984. It will be screened on June 11th at 16:00.

Here is the information:

The Crazy Family Film Image

The Crazy Family   The Crazy Family Film Poster

逆噴射家族Gyakufunsha kazoku

Release Date: June 23rd, 1984

Running Time: 106 mins.

Director: Sogo Ishii

Writer: Sogo Ishii, Norio Kaminami, Yoshinori Kobayashi, (Screenplay),

Starring: Katsuya Kobayashi, Mitsuko Baisho, Yoshiki Arizono, Yuki Kudo, Hitoshi Ueki, Kazuhiko Kishino, Akira Ogata, Toyoko Koumi,


This was one of the last films produced by the Art Theatre Guild, a production company that operated between 1961 and 1984 which made films by New Wave directors like Shohei Imamura and Koji Wakamatsu. The fact that Sogo Ishii was one of the last directors to work in the auspices of this company is fitting since he represented a new generation that included Sion Sono. Many of that new generations films were on tour around the world last year in places such as the Berlin International Film Festival. I’ve reviewed a couple of other films by Sogo Ishii: Angel Dust and Isn’t Anyone Alive; and one other film from the Art Theatre Guild: Disciples of Hippocrates.

There are no decent trailers but this clip is fun!

Synopsis: The Kobayashi family consists of hard-working Katsuhiko, his loving wife Saeko and their two kids, Erika and Masaki and their pet dog. They have hit a patch of good fortune. Erika has got a record company audition while Katsushiko has finally got them a nice house in the suburbs far away from their tiny, cramped Tokyo apartment. Alas, things start to fall apart (almost literally) since the suburban house of their dreams is infested by termites and their unwanted grandfather Yasukuni moves in and starts getting World War II flashbacks. The family begin to fall to pieces as well as Masaki studies obsessively for an exam and Erika is equally obsessed with her audition. Katsuhiko becomes so worried about his family’s “sickness” that he thinks can only be cured by boarding up the doors and windows and getting everybody to perform group suicide… This is the start of a fight in which everyday objects become weapons in a battle for survival…

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