Quirky Guys and Gals サビ男サビ女 (2011)

Quirky Review Header

Quirky Guys and Gals Basic InformationQuirky Guys and Gals is a production from New Cinema Workshop where students learning to be producers handle making movies. With this production they give four directors a story outline to work with which results in four entirely different comic vignettes peeking at dark topics and celebrating the overcoming of accepted social boundaries through the unlocking of a quirky side. It could have been painfully unfunny but succeeds at being very amusing and original in most sections.

Quirky Guys and Gals (Sabi Otoko, Sabi Onna) ties together four stories of people searching for a spark in their lives. Yosuke Fujita (Fine, Totally Fine) leads off with “Cheer Girls,” an entertaining tale of a woman (Nanami Sakuraba) whose passion is to lead cheers—though not for sports teams. Rather, she finds common people and creates anthems to encourage them in everyday life. Tomoko Matsunashi’s “Boy? Meets Girl,” is a Tootsie remake in a high-school setting. Mipo O’s “Claim Night” sees the 30-something Mayuko (Tomochika) return home to find the electricity in her apartment turned off, yet when she finally gets a repairman to come over, their over-the-top confrontation gives rise to a wildly comedic situation. Lastly, Gen Sekiguchi (Survive Style 5+) offers up “The House Full of ‘Abandoned’ Businessmen” a quaint tale of a housewife who collects out-of-work salarymen to try and give them a fresh start.

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Cold Fish DVD and Blu-Ray Release

One of the names creeping up regularly on this blog a lot is Sion Sono because he is a prolific film-maker hard at work at making the provocative films with outrageous themes, scenes, violence, dark humour and gore. So it is understandable that I was very excited when I got information about the forthcoming release of Cold Fish by Third Window Films on the 27th of June:
Cold Fish DVD Case
‘Cold Fish’ – Director Sion Sono (Japan 2010, 145 minutes, Horror)

Third Window Films is pleased to announce the release of ‘Cold Fish’, Sion Sono’s grusome follow up to ‘Love Exposure’, as a 2 disc DVD set / Blu-ray on June 27th, 2011

Technical Details
Anamorphic Widescreen transfer with removable English subtitles

Blu-Ray with 5.1 DTS HD Sound / DVD with 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound

Exclusive interview with author Jake Adelstein, reporter on the original ‘Saitama Dog-Lovers Serial Murders’ case, the inspiration behind the film

Two exclusive interviews with scriptwriter Yoshiki Takahashi on the creation of both the film and original artwork

Trailer / Trailers of other Third Window Films releases

Synopsis
Inspired by and loosely based on the real-life exploits of serial killer couple Gen Sekine and his ex-wife Hiroko Kazama (the perpetrators of Tokyo’s notorious 1993 “Saitama serial murders of dog lovers” killings), ‘Cold Fish’ is a psychotic cavalcade of sex, violence and comedy

Shamoto runs a small tropical fish shop. His second wife, Taeko, does not get along with his daughter, Mitsuko, and this worries him. One day Mitsuko is caught shoplifting at a grocery store. There they meet a friendly man named Murata, who helps to settle things between Mitsuko and the store manager. Since Murata also runs a tropical fish shop, Shamoto establishes a bond with him and they become friends; Mitsuko even begins working for Murata and living at his house. What Shamoto doesn t know, however, is that Murata hides many dark secrets behind his friendly face. He sells cheap fish to his customers for high prices with his artful lies. If anyone detects his fraud or refuses to go along with his money-making schemes, they’re murdered and their bodies disposed of by Murata and his wife in grisly ways.

Shamoto is suddenly taken in by Murata s tactics, and by the time he realizes that Murata is insane, and a serial killer who has made over fifty people disappear, he is powerless to do anything about it. But now Mitsuko is a hostage at Murata s home, and Shamoto himself has become the killer s unwilling accomplice. Cruel murders gradually cripple his mind and finally the ordinary man is being driven to the edge of the abyss.

Based somewhat on a true story (read Jake Adelstein’s Tokyo Vice for insight into that particular case) Cold Fish follows Love Exposure and precedes Guilty of Romance, the three films forming Sion Sono’s Hate Saga. For any fan of Japanese cinema, Sono’s work has to be some of the most exciting to come out of the country and it seems like Cold Fish will continue this tradition as it looks to be another cult classic according to a stream of positive reviews and successful festival appearances.

This is the first DVD release of the film in the world even beating the Japanese release. The extras look brilliant, especially the interview with Jake Adelstein who wrote the excellent Tokyo Vice, so if you have any taste for provocative Japanese films go and buy this.

Cold fish can be pre-ordered from Amazon.