The Sion Sono
The Sion Sono
“Nothing costs more than life, than each second!”
Mike Hale of The New York Times argues that he is “the most recognizable, if not the most universally celebrated, director in Japan”, as well as the most subversive director of our times right now. Perhaps best known for the Hate Triology, especially the first of the series, Love Exposure, was a masterpiece that blew me away. When asked about his earlier works, the artistic experimentations, he spoke about the desire as a young film maker, to make the artistic works, like that of Godard and other influences. But as he got older, he realized he only wished to make films that he enjoyed, and expressions that moved him.
On my first viewing, and roughly scrolling through, I thought, what is this tv drama aesthetic and nonsense. The original cut of Love Exposure was even six hours long. The producers managed to have him cut it down to 4 hours. However, I was on the edge of my seat the entire way through.
He plays with perversion, misogyny, incest, taboo, sexuality, violence, and brings a beautiful empathetic conversation, that is difficult, yet understandable. They’re not just shock films, like that of Darren Aronofsky‘s Mother!, nor Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void or Love, but some how more relatable everyday situations, even if they seem absurd. Perhaps it’s the conjunction with the TV drama aesthetics, and directness, that I get a sense of directness, frankness, without any fillers nor fluff. That, is something which is so rare in today’s world.
Here is an excerpt from Arata Oshima (son of Nagisa Oshima, In the Realm of Senses), The Sion Sono, which is available on Netflix.
“Life isn’t about good or bad. Paint, express and live! that’s good.”