Sion Sono’s Twisted Romance “Love Exposure” Screened at Japan Society New York June 03rd

Love Exposure's Interesting Ride

The film section on the Japan Society (New York) website has a listing for a screening of Love Exposure (2009). There’s this sentence:

“In anticipation of the upcoming 10th edition of JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film (July 14-24, 2016) we screen Sion Sono’s notorious masterpiece about love, family, religion and upskirt photography.”

That sentence leads me to assume that Sion Sono’s two latest films, Whispering Star and Love and Peace will get screened at Japan Cuts this year. The two have been on the festival circuit and are at this year’s Nippon Connection.

Continue reading “Sion Sono’s Twisted Romance “Love Exposure” Screened at Japan Society New York June 03rd”

Third Window Films Release Love Exposure on Blu-Ray!

A Blu-Ray re-release of Love Exposure had to happen. At four hours the film has to be split up on to two discs when it is transferred onto DVD which means breaking the magic of a viewing experience by getting up and changing discs. Love Exposure is now on Blu-Ray (its release coincides with the DVD/Blu-ray release of Sion Sono’s newest film Himizu). You can hear what Goregirl and I thought about the film in our next Sono podcast next week. By the way, four hours was not the total running time of the film and a lot of it was cut but thanks to the storage capacity of Blu-Ray you get all of that cut footage amidst an awesome set of extras.

Here are the details!

Love Exposure

 Love Exposure Blu-Ray Case

(CERT 18)

 A film by Sono Sion
(Himizu, Noriko’s Dinner Table, Suicide Circle)

One of the most talked-about Japanese cult films of the last decade finally makes its way onto blu-ray featuring a new high definition transfer supervised by director Sion Sono along with brand new extra features!

Love Exposure's Interesting Ride Starring

Hikari Mitsushima (Hara-Kiri, Sawako Decides, Villain)

Sakura Ando (Crime or Punishment?!?, Our Homeland)

Atsuro Watabe (Black Dawn, Three…Extremes, Zebraman)

Japan / 2008 / 237 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / Colour / HD

 

DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASE DATE:  6th August 2012

Extra Features:

1 hour long ‘Making Of’

Additional 30 minute ‘Making Of’ featuring interview with Sion Sono

Sakura Ando Deleted & Extended Scenes

Hikari Mitsushima Deleted & Extended Scenes

Zero Church Deleted Scene

Theatrical Trailer

Yoko (Mitsushima) in Love Exposure

Yu (Nishijima) lives the life of a devout Christian. After his mother dies his father Tetsu (Watabe) becomes a priest but is soon seduced by an emotionally volatile woman named Kaori (Watanabe) who then proceeds to leave him. A heart-broken Tetsu begins to torment the spiritually and morally innocent Yu by forcing him to confess sins on a daily basis.  To appease his father Yu begins to sin and on the advice of delinquent friends he trains to become an expert in up-skirt photography and becomes a master at getting panty shots. One day, while dressed as a woman, he witnesses a beautiful man-hating girl named Yoko (Mitsushima) get into a street brawl. He instantly falls in love with her and decides to intervene. Little does he know that a cult leader in the Zero Church named Aya (Ando) is manipulating them for her own purposes.

Third Window Films Movie Extravaganza – Tetsuo, Himizu, Love Exposure, Are Any of You Alive?

At the beginning of the week Adam Torel of Japanese film distributor Third Window Films revealed to Twitch some great news: Love Exposure on Blu-ray, Tetsuo 1 & 2 on Blu-ray, and Are Any of You Alive? will get distributed in the UK.

Love Exposure Blu-ray

Aya Koike (Ando) and Her Gang in Love ExposureWhen I reviewed the Love Exposure as part of my Sion Sono Season I revealed my love of the film. Many of the commenters were well aware that the four hour masterpiece of love and identity was missing at least an hour of footage and they were curious as to what that might hold. Well they will now get their chance to see it sinceThird Window Films is giving the film is getting the Blu-ray treatment which means way more storage space for way more movie goodness. According to Adam:

The film will be a new transfer to HD (they’re making a new HDCAMSR from the original master and definitely no upconversion or anything like that) and will put the film on 1 Blu-ray, then extras on a separate DVD. This is really going to be an amazing release

Extras are to include:

Nearly an hour of deleted and extended scenes, New exclusive interview with Sion Sono plus the 1 hour long ‘making of’ which was on our original DVD release

Anybody who owns the DVD version will know that they have to swap disks halfway through but thanks to the power of Blu-ray there is no need to do that thus we don’t need to break the spell of the film. Plus we get to see what was cut from theatrical versions on a disc dedicated to extras. Sounds awesome.

Continue reading “Third Window Films Movie Extravaganza – Tetsuo, Himizu, Love Exposure, Are Any of You Alive?”

Love Exposure 愛のむきだし (2009)

Love Exposure

Sion Sono’s Love Exposure is a tale of lust, obsession and religious ferour which has a four hour running time but breezes by quite happily.

Yu (Nishijima) lives the life of a devout Christian. After his mother dies his father Tetsu (Watabe) becomes a priest but is soon seduced by an emotionally volatile woman named Kaori (Watanabe) who then proceeds to leave him. A heart-broken Tetsu begins to torment the spiritually and morally innocent Yu by forcing him to confess sins on a daily basis.  To appease his father Yu begins to sin on a daily basis and on the advice of delinquent friends he trains to become an expert in upskirt photography and becomes a master at getting panty shots. One day, while dressed as a girl, he witnesses a beautiful man-hating girl named Yoko (Mitsushima) get into a street brawl. He instantly falls in love with her and decides to intervene. Little does he know that a cult leader in the Zero Church named Aya (Ando) is manipulating them for her own purposes.

Aya Koike (Ando) and Her Gang in Love Exposure

Sion Sono has directed and written a story which is bursting with ideas and good humour. It is delivered in a non-linear manner from multiple viewpoints. Unlike Cold Fish there is no grit here and instead what we get is a bright and goofy story that satirises cults, high school romance, martial arts and ‘tosatsu’ – the art of taking pictures of girl’s underwear.

Continue reading “Love Exposure 愛のむきだし (2009)”

Sion Sono Season

Sion Sono Season Banner

It’s a short season and it features a silly banner but I don’t care. This is a quick biography of Sion Sono and I hope to review some of his works in the coming week. I want to write about a number of directors and since this is Sion Sono Season he goes first.

Sion Sono has had a varied career starting as an avant-garde poet before ditching a course at Hosei University for a career in underground filmmaking although he never turns his back on poetry which will recur in his early films. In 1987 he won the Grand Prize at the PIA Film Festival (PFF) for his film A Man’s Hanamichi. The PFF is designed to discover and support new filmmakers and following his win he received a fellowship with PIA and wrote, directed and starred in numerous films which contained underachievers, serial killers and other outsiders. These films regularly toured the international festival circuit and helped establish his name.

It wasn’t until the 2001 film Suicide Circle when he truly became a well-known cult director. Suicide Circle (which has special effects by Tokyo Gore Police director Yoshihiro Nishimura) is a satirical film dealing with pop culture, mass suicides, and a bewildered middle aged police detective played by Ryo Ishibashi (Audition) trying to understand it all while being assailed by deviants and horrific sights that challenge his perceptions. Following this success he expanded on the film’s world by taking it into different mediums such as novels and manga and a belated sequel named Noriko’s Dinner Table which was made in 2006.

Noriko's Dinner Table

Suicide Circle was a massive success and has set the tone for the rest of his films. Despite trying a gangster film (Hazard – 2005) and comedy-drama (Into a Dream – 2005), both starring Joe Odagiri (Adrift in Tokyo, Bright Future), he has continued to explore the darker side of modern Japan with a series of extreme titles including the ero-guro film Strange Circus (2005) which features sexual and mental abuse and incest, the aforementioned Noriko’s Dinner Table which deals with alienation and suicide, Exte: Hair Extensions (2007) which stars Chiaki Kuriyama (Battle Royale, Shikoku, Kill Bill) and is a far more mainstream J-horror title and then Love Exposure (2008) which stars Hikari Mitsushima (Sawako Decides) and can only be described as a religio-psycho-sexual mindmelt.

Love Exposure's Interesting Ride

Continue reading “Sion Sono Season”