Soul Music ソウル・ミュージック (2020) Dir: Masaki Soejima

Soul Music    Soul Music Film Poster

ソウル・ミュージック Souru Myu-jikku

Release Date: N/A

Duration: 30 mins.

Director: Masaki Soejima

Writer: Masaki Soejima (Script),

Starring: Teruyuki Oshima, Kazuaki Koyama, Yoshio Otani, Miki Aoyagi,

Website

Director Masaki Soejima is both a psychiatrist and filmmaker who combines the two to make a funny mockumentary in which a duo of bumbling middle-aged men make a supernatural song recording.

“Can you write a song with a ghost?” This is a request sent into a late-night radio show by an elementary schoolgirl. What she is doing up late at night listening to Teruyuki Oshima and Kazuaki Koyama, two musicians with laidback radio personalities is anyone’s guess but in the middle of a ratings slump, their producer sees her challenge as a chance to get a bump in listeners and so he sends his reluctant charges out into a haunted forest with a small crew to make music with a ghost.

Their trip, as absurd as it sounds, is done with maximum seriousness as the deep tones of the narrator informs us of the progress of their psychic explorations and cues up lots of documentary-style clips and talking head interviews involving scientists and a psychiatrist (played by Soejima himself) detailing aspects about supernatural phenomenon. There are also clips of (what appear to be) real-world ghost hunting shows to set the tone and the milieu (if you’ve watched Ghost Adventures and Most Haunted, you know will know exactly what I mean). While some of these may seem like fictional inserts they are packed full of information and technology that is based on the latest ghost research and introduce equipment such as EMF readers and a ghost box, the device that will record the ghost’s voice based on a design by Frank Sumption.

Subverting the seriousness of everything and bringing the chuckles are Teruyuki Oshima and Kazuaki Koyama, a lackadaisical pair of lumpen middle-aged guys hilariously unprepared for traipsing in a haunted forest. They are like a manzai duo with the slightly smarter one berating the duller one every time something silly comes out of his mouth and so, when they meet a ghost they ask absurd things such as, “Do you like Justin Bieber?” Not forgetting this is partially a horror film, the ghosts do have an edge and like to scare our Scooby duo and their ability to haunt the guys leads to a nice twist at the end but, as with other MOOSIC Lab films, the focus is ultimately on making music and movies combine and SPOILER ALERT they do get some material to make a cool song (which you can hear below).

Overall this is a fun film to watch and one of my favourites of the MOOSIC Lab films released last year.

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