BACK TO BACK: Sono, Suspense, Samurai
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This is a film review and film edit by staff member Saiko. His opinions are solely his and do not reflect that of JFF. (He simply wants to spread the word about Sion Sono Japanese films.) Looking to see or have seen this film? Let us know what you think by tagging us on all social media with #jff2015au.

Every year, picking what to watch at JFF can get daunting. Just look at all those film descriptions we have to read! After all nobody wants to make the wrong movie choices. Instead of going through the films one by one… why not tackle them in pairs?


Sion Sono Strikes Again
TAG x Love & Peace

 Love & PeaceTag

All the Sono fans in Sydney and Melbourne make sure you catch the Sion Sono double bill! TAG is a very gory and distinctly Sono piece; while Love & Peace is a rare heart-warming film from the director. Since there was not a single drop of blood shed, for a while I was worried I was watching the wrong film. But at the end of it all I was left questioning my existence… Which is a good sign.

If you don’t know Sion Sono (in which case we’re probably not friends) then these two films would be a good introduction to his art. If you just feel like watching something shocking and confusing, followed by something funny and confusing, then these two films would be perfect.

Light-hearted    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★   Dark
Mainstream       ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★   Cult

I also highly recommend the super mega awesome The Ninja War of TORAKAGE for a cult film fix.

 Mystery, murder and suspense
Solomon’s Perjury I: Suspicion x Solomon’s Perjury II: Judgment

Solomon's Perjury - Part2 Solomon's Perjury - Part1

There’s not enough action for me but Solomon’s Perjury would be great for mystery drama fans. Don’t pass up screenings of Solomon’s Perjury I: Suspicion and Solomon’s Perjury II: Judgment. “After a mysterious death was discovered within the grounds of a high school on Christmas Eve, the students take matters into their own hands and hold their own trial.” Spooky…

Light-hearted    – – – – – – ★ – – –    Dark
Mainstream       – ★ – – – – – – – –    Cult

In Perth or Brisbane? Don’t pass up at Home. I’m personally impressed with the unique premise of the story. Criminal parents and three children who are not biologically theirs. What’s going on?!

If you’re in Canberra or Adelaide have a look at The Big Bee. It’s more edge-of-your-seat suspense than mystery drama. There’s no homicide case to be solved in this film but… there are car chases and a helicopter jack involved.

Samurai Spirit
A SAMURAI CHRONICLE x The Emperor in August

A Samural Chronicle The Emperor in August

An excellent film that captures the essence of being a samurai is A SAMURAI CHRONICLE. Don’t expect to find a lot of sword-wielding in this one – instead, you will find a tale of of honour and integrity. A great match for this is The Emperor in August, set towards the end of WWII and based on real events (a little known coup d’etat) that occurred in Japan before their surrender. These two films provide an interesting comparison between samurais and the samurai honour that lived on amongst soldiers as Japan stepped into a modern era.

Light-hearted    – – – – – – ★ – – –    Dark
Mainstream       – – ★ – – – – – – –    Cult

Alternative: Pair either film with KAKEKOMIan entertaining story of love and divorce, samurai style!

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