In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Damn, That's Cold!

The last film I’d like to talk about, as part of my TIFF coverage is Sion Sono’s newest Cold Fish.

Timid tropical fish storeowner Shamoto’s (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) life is shattered when he meets fellow storeowner Murata (DenDen) and unwittingly pulled into his criminal activities. Shamoto remains obedient for the sake of his wife and daughter, but as things escalate, his sanity begins to wane.

Sion Sono is a rare breed of filmmaker, whose works absolutely fascinate me. His films take their time and possess a unique rhythm. Even if it's a film like Noriko’s Dinner Table where it seems like not a lot happens, I still remain captivated. His films are organic, dense and intricate, managing to maintain a sense of realism, even when they veer off into the absurd.

Sono likes to make broad statements about Japanese culture in his films and Cold Fish is no exception. It is difficult for me, as someone on the outside looking in, to know how much of an exaggeration his bleak vision of Japan actually is. Considering the jumping off point of Cold Fish is based on an actual event, I would gather the truth and the fiction meet somewhere in the middle. It is a deep character study that offers up a mild mannered individual driven to his breaking point and consequently things go from bad to worse. Sono then puts an exclamation point on his views on life in modern society by delivering a climax that explodes into a symphony of gore.

While still a strong effort, I don't know if I got as much out of Cold Fish, as I have Sono’s previous films – Love Exposure was almost revelatory in its epicness and the double shot of Suicide Club & Noriko's Dinner Table made for one delightfully morose universe – but I’m glad I finally got to see one of his films on the big screen.

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