Suicide Club (Sion Sono)

“There’s mass confusion on the platform. This is unprecedented.”

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Last night I watched Sion Sono’s best known film, Suicide Club. My growing infatuation with Love Exposure, which played at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival earlier this month, inspired me to seek out his other films in search for his unique brand of absurdism and passion. Suicide Club is difficult to watch, and perhaps even more difficult to decipher. It seems heavily ingrained in Japanese culture, and it’s cross-over to North America is no doubt linked to its unforgettable violent creativity, which will no doubt remain unmatched for a while, at least in my own film viewings. The images though stand on their own with their disturbing violence and off-putting enthusiasm. Each scene of blood and gore is tinted with a sort of lightness that is even more alienating. The suicides are, for the most part, not inspired by anguish or hopelessness, but a deeper sense of meaning and self-understanding, as well as a “light” playfulness. This lightness is enhanced by the superficiality of their actions that are seemingly inspired by the monotony of group-thinking and empty pop cultural icons. The film offers some interesting, though perhaps, underdeveloped philosophical musings on interconnectedness. This ties into the commentary on pop culture, as the individual is eliminated, for better and worse. The film is less concerned with how every action has a reaction, but how we create and define our own identities, and even whether or not existing as an individual is important.

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4 responses to “Suicide Club (Sion Sono)

  1. Goodness, I didn’t realize you’d gotten so enmeshed in this fantasmagoric cinema! Perhaps now I’ll have to admit my shameful devotion to Jean Rollin. This “Suicide Club” sounds nightmarishly upsetting. Are you directing your full energies now into Asian horror? (i note the gig writing at– twitch is it?)

    I’ve been visiting (500) Days reviews, since I have to wait another week for the product itself. The brilliant, reckless Nathan Lee and the middlebrow yet infectiously gloomy David Edelstein reassure me that Summer is haughtily empty (Lee: “There’s no there there”) but the presence of Hall & Oates, a comical bete noire in my banterings with my ex, lends another savor of inevitability. Even if I hate the film, I’ll still have to “like” it.

    And of course I’m going to hate this “happy ending”! What’s more sour a message than the bliss of “moving on”?!

    By the way, have Coppola’s Tetro or Allen’s Whatever Works availed themselves to viewing in your neck of the woods? I’d gladly sacrifice the upandcomers for the underappreciated offerings of the Old Masters . . . I”ve seen a Tetro still today that quite ravished me.

  2. Pingback: Best Horror Films of the 2000s « House of Mirth and Movies

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