of Sion Sono, this film will be considered a lost masterpiece, perhaps
a key to understanding his extraordinary yet frustrating talent. Those
cinema purists will relish in the anarchy and, ultimately, the fleeting
romanticism of Sonism. To others, the clunky style and imposing
visual techniques will lessen the overall impact while calling too much
attention to his mixed metaphors and other failings born from simply being
too young, too inexperienced to make a film.
This is Sion Sone's
first cohesive motion picture, shot in 8mm, shortly after I
AM SION SONE and his family documentary A Man's Flower Road.
He was 27 years old.
After a short nude-in-the-flashlight
sequence featuring young Hiromi Kawanishi [a silent section removed from
most prints, but included here], the movie stabilizes on a heated discussion
between members of girls' liberation force inside their dorm locker room.
The main business at hand is to organize a girls vs boys marathon race
which will spill into the city streets and eventually culminate on the
seashore. Considered by Sono himself the most successful work of his 8mm
period, here is the first attempt to downplay engulfing personal introspection
[prevalent in his many short films] to concentrate on - at least - a germ
of a story. While it is true that many of his characters seem to be masquerading
as thinly veiled variations of self-awareness, they are also stylistic
homages to Sono's most influential filmmakers from Goddard to Truffaut.
the promise of a conflict between the sexes [as indicated by even the
title itself], Sono opts instead to address more personal themes of submission
and disintegration which will be explored more thoroughly in later works
like LOVE EXPOSURE, HAZARD
[Hollow Body]. Ultimately, his disregard for cinematic convention
takes this work closer to the early cyberpunk stylings of Sogo Ishii,
without the overbearing nihilism. In reality, this film more accurately
sets the stage for THE
ROOM, Sion Sono's venture into quiet desperation four years later.
film with optional ON/OFF English subtitles; fullscreen format,
uncut 102 minutes, DVD Package encoded for ALL REGION NTSC FORMAT.