Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

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Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Nov 2008, 16:04

The lastest from Sion Sino (thanks to Sheldon Warnock of dvdmaniacs to bringing this to my attention). I have to check Strange Circus again to confirm my opinion on it, but Suicide Club at least is brilliant. This one could have some freshness to it (nice trailer on the official site). Hopefully.

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Official site with trailer:
http://www.ai-muki.com/
Last edited by HungFist on 27 Oct 2009, 12:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by diceman » 21 Nov 2008, 05:18

A 237-minutes movie about a photographer who has mastered the art of taking upskirt-shots? Sign me on. :mrgreen:

I sort of liked "Strange Circus". Even for Sono's most weird "Exte" I can spare some love, but "Suicide Circle" a.k.a. "Suicide Club" remains my favorite (even though I still have a lot of unanswered questions pending). "Noriko's Dinner Table", which is also supposed to be quite long, should be arriving in the next few days.

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Unread post by HungFist » 21 Nov 2008, 05:41

diceman wrote:A 237-minutes movie
Oh that was the running time? I was wondering what that "237 minutes" was referring to, but it never came to my mind it could refer to running time. Damn, I'm in. And I need to learn the kanji for "movie" (Edit: flawed thinking. What exactly do those two kanjis mean? Film? Running Time? Upskirt? Lol, do I even dare to ask an expert :lol: )

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Unread post by HungFist » 12 Dec 2008, 05:41

"Sion Sono's four-hour feature, LOVE EXPOSURE, about an upskirt photographer and Catholicism, has a trailer over here and it got a world premiere at Tokyo Filmex where the general reaction was: bow down to Sion Sono. Against all expectations, he's created a masterpiece..."

- http://varietyasiaonline.com/kaijushake ... -THE-YEAR-

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Unread post by Shingster » 12 Dec 2008, 10:17

Let's hope he doesn't deliver just half a good film like he did with Suicide Circle.

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Unread post by HungFist » 12 Dec 2008, 14:38

I re-watched Soicide Circle just recently. 4.5/5. What a delight in the middle of all the ringu, ju-on and Kiyoshi Kurosawa horror crap.

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Unread post by Shingster » 12 Dec 2008, 17:31

Considering Suicide Circle is intensely derivative of those films you deride as "crap", it's a wonder you like it so much! :D

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Unread post by HungFist » 12 Dec 2008, 18:29

Yes, you're right. In all fairness, I should like those films too because they inspired a good movie.

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Unread post by diceman » 13 Feb 2009, 17:39

German Company Rapid Eye Movies has bought the rights for "Love Exposure"!
THAT definetely made my day. And the day after that. And probably the whole year. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

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Unread post by bradavon » 13 Feb 2009, 18:24

4 Hours! My god, surely it doesn't need to be that long?

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Unread post by diceman » 13 Feb 2009, 21:32

Well, the movie has just been shown on the Berlinale, and I heard there was a lot of Praise and Standing Ovations afterwards. And close to none viewers actually left the Theater before the credits start rolling. Apparently those 4 hours are filled with constant amounts of Epic Win. "Love Exposure" is definetely my most-wanted movie this year.

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Unread post by HungFist » 22 May 2009, 09:41


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Unread post by diceman » 22 May 2009, 16:10

I think I already told you, but here I go again:
It's a fucking masterpiece. Every second of it, and not a single dull moment. :)

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Unread post by HungFist » 17 Jul 2009, 13:36

Third Window Films picks up Sion Sono’s “Love Exposure”
- http://www.nipponcinema.com/blog/third- ... -exposure/

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Unread post by HungFist » 18 Jul 2009, 15:50


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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2009)

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Oct 2009, 05:18

This is essentially a translation of a Finnish language review I wrote. It's not quite on par (translating can be tricky) but the main content is the same.

Love Exposure (Japan, 2008)

Director Sion Sono is probably best known for his cult hit Suicide Club (2001). This beautiful yet disturbingly graphic satire used the horror genre as its playground and painted an image of hectic modern Japan where popular culture and the societal demands could even make suicide fashion. The semi-sequel Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005) dropped horror from the mix, and delivered a 2½ hour dive into the mind of a teenager desperately looking for her identity. Sono’s new film, 237 minute Love Exposure, is logical continuation to the director’s earlier works. It’s also one of the most massive and best movies of the decade.

The primary theme in Love Exposure is religion. The main character, Yu Honda, excellently played by Takahiro Nishijima from the pop-band AAA, is a teenager living in a deeply Catholic family. There are two important women in Yu’s life; his saint-like mother, and Virgin Mary. As a child Yu promises his mother to find his own Mary when he grows up and start a family. After the mother’s death Yu’s father (Atsuro Watabe) becomes a priest, but ultimately descends into depression and starts forcing his son into daily confessions. Being an extremely kind and good hearted person, Yu can’t think of any sins he might have committed. This, of course, is considered even a greater sin. To please his dear father Yu even tries to make up sins, but is soon caught lying. The only solution left is to start committing real sins.

Despite this insane and tragicomic religious circle presented in the film, it is not Sono’s intent to entirely bash Christianity. The director respects the origins of the religion – even as much to include the line “Jesus Christ was cooler than Curt Cobain”. The film’s characters – including Yu, who believes he can be a devout Christian by following the norms taught to him, but doesn’t realize religion should come from one’s own heart and be based on one’s own decision – are as much victims as abusers of religious ideals distorted in the course of time. In Sono’s mad world religions are only one part of the twisted system that also includes the pop-culture insanity of Suicide Club, and the murderous identity crisis seen in Noriko’s Dinner Table.

Love Exposure’s 17 year old protagonist finds his sinful calling in tosatsu, upskirt photography. Yu’s new hooligan friends introduce him to tosatsu legend Lloyd (Hiroshi Ohguchi) who accepts Yu has his student. In Japan tosatsu is reality and a somewhat popular underground phenomena. Photos are taken with most inventive techniques, including the cute puppy strategy, where camera is attached to a dog’s collar. When the victim kneels down to caress the innocent dog, a clean view opens for the camera. In Sono’s hands the art of tosatsu is taken far beyond this, and even kung fu techniques are applied to steal a photo. These scenes present some of the most outrageously amusing footage seen on silver screen in the recent years.

Yu’s plan of committing religious sins is a success to the extent of his father losing his temper and hitting Yu. Yu is only glad about this; it’s the most personal reaction in a long time from his father, who now hides under the priest’s gown and treats his own son like a stranger. However, there is another, even more important reason for Yu’s obsession with tosatsu. Yu believes it’s the only way to find Mary, who is hidden somewhere amongst the millions of people of Tokyo. The signal for finding the right person would be a hard on (you read that right) that Yu has never before experienced. Waiting for that day Yu spends his time with his new friends – shoplifters and perverts – who ironically form a more understanding community than Yu’s real family.

Family is a regular theme in Sono’s movies. In Noriko’s Dinner Table a father was desperately trying to track down his runaway daughter, while Strange Circus dealt with incest. Obviously Sono’s family portraits are quite different from those of Japan’s beloved but Sono’s hated filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu. Sono’s has even gone as far to call Ozu an Antichrist. It would seem appropriate to call Sono an Anti-Ozu. However, Sono’s family-hell depictions are not only angst towards the safe and unexciting Japanese cinema traditions, but also, to some extent, based by the director’s own life. This is also true to Love Exposure, which was influenced by the director’s tosatsu loving friend as well as Sono’s own experiences as being a part of a religious cult.

Drawn together from a 370 page screenplay Love Exposure features such a massive amount of story that the plot summary presented in this review is nothing but a brief introduction. What would seem like the beginning of end – with Catholism and tosatsu already thoroughly inspected – turns out to be only the first phase. Many important characters, such Koike (Eiji Okuda’s daughter Sakura Ando), karate skilled Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima), and mysterious Miss Sasori, disguised in black coat and Meiko Kaji hat, have not even made their appearance in the film by this point. It’s only after their introduction, around 58 minutes, when the film’s title screen appears, and the first of the story’s five chapters is brought to a conclusion.

While the storyline unravels with logic, it also manages to be completely unpredictable on its way to the eventual climax. Adjusting to the varying moods of its characters, the film modifies its style and approach several times. Influences have been taken from classic Japanese exploitation films, art house movies, and even Hong Kong action. Due to the long running time this variety is only welcome and does not make the film less coherent. In shorter form the mix would probably become nonsensical, which was also observed by the director when he prepared the producer-pleasing 2 hour test-version. On the other hand, Sono’s first draft ran six hours and was more explicit. In the 4 hour version, which is Sono’s final cut, for example sexual undertones are constantly present, but there are no graphic sex scenes or nudity.

The film’s most problematic part might be, as reversed as it may sound, the sequences around the 60 minute mark. These scenes represent such audio-visual perfection that anything that follows can’t possibly reach the same level. Especially the film’s soundtrack, part of which was created by the punk-pop band Yura Yura Teikoku, deserves recognition. Religious music is also used to a great extent, sometimes even simultaneously with pop songs. Typical to Sono’s movies, there’s a good amount of handheld cinematography , which fits the film’s style well. Still, as a whole Sono’s vision relies more on storyline than technical credits, and this softens the impact when moving on from the wildest parts to more casual storytelling. Nevertheless, the viewer should be prepared for slower pacing and a bit less outrageous plot turns during the film’s second half.

More than anything else Love Exposure is an experience. As such it may be slightly flawed, but it’s also endlessly fascinating and almost certainly different from anything created before in the history of cinema. The extreme length may put off casual viewers, but the film isn’t boring for one second. When the storyline finally wraps up after four hours the viewer can’t help but to wish Sono had depicted the chain of event even a little bit further. What might have happened next is a good topic for discussion after the film, as Love Exposure is sure to remain in the viewers mind for days if not weeks.

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by HungFist » 28 Oct 2009, 14:58

The screen captures above are from the 3 disc R2J release. Here’s some brief info

Disc 1: Movie Part 1 (106 min)
Disc 2: Movie Part 2 (131 min)
Disc 3: Bonus Materials (135 min)

- Deleted scenes
- Hiroshi Oghuchi featurette
- Film Premiere
- Making of
- Trailer
- Credits

As you can see, the film has been split over 2 discs. Definitely good, considering the 4 hour running time. The change is well timed also. But here comes to punch in the balls; they are both DVD-5 discs, meaning the overall capacity is only slightly above a single DVD-9 disc. That being said the film looks quite alright, although it’s difficult to judge the transfer without having anything to compare it to, as Sono has intentionally given the film a soft and occasionally harsh visual look.

The bonus materials on disc 3 feature a 60 minute making of, which is basically behind the scenes footage and not especially informative. Premiere, brief Hiroshi Ohguchi memorial (he died in early 2009) and a trailer are also present. The most interesting extra is the deleted scenes. There’s approximately 40 minutes worth of unused footage on the disc. Most of it wouldn’t have added much to the film, but there are also some interesting bits like a graphic sex scene that features more nudity than the film itself.

Deleted scenes
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Hiroshi Ohguchi featurette
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Making of. I believe that bald guy is Yoshihiro Nishimura. He did some special effects for the film. Tak Sakaguchi was the action director.
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Sono
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Premiere
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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Oct 2009, 16:23

Now playing in London. So, if you live in London, go see it. If you live in the UK but not in London, buy a bus / flight ticket and go see it. The chances are you won't see anything else as great as Love Exposure this year, next year, or in the next 5 years to come.

http://jaspersharp.com/blog/news/shion- ... is-friday/

btw, Third Window Films' new website looks great.
http://www.thirdwindowfilms.com/

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by Yi-Long » 02 Feb 2010, 01:17

Any reviews for the UK disc yet!? It was released about a week ago...
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I was there, the big BNB blackout of november, 2008. We lost many that day...

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Feb 2010, 09:12

http://10kbullets.com/reviews/l/love-exposure/

(although it must be noted that this guy almost never gives negative review for dvd quality... regardless of quality).

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Sep 2010, 14:14

I've just discovered that the R2J dvd is censored. The optical censoring during the penis cutting scene... I always thought that was part of the original movie / original print. However, several people who saw the film at The Helsinki International Film Festival in 2010 have confirmed that the festival print is not censored.

Here's screencaps from the R2J dvd:
http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/2391/ai1g.jpg
http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/1606/ai2o.jpg
http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/9239/ai3.jpg

The UK dvd is supposed to be uncensored.

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by Yi-Long » 26 Sep 2010, 19:44

HungFist wrote:I've just discovered that the R2J dvd is censored. The optical censoring during the penis cutting scene... I always thought that was part of the original movie / original print. However, several people who saw the film at The Helsinki International Film Festival in 2010 have confirmed that the festival print is not censored.

Here's screencaps from the R2J dvd:
http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/2391/ai1g.jpg
http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/1606/ai2o.jpg
http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/9239/ai3.jpg

The UK dvd is supposed to be uncensored.
I'm still waiting for the UK disc to go down in price. I check play.com and other retailers about once or twice a week.
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I was there, the big BNB blackout of november, 2008. We lost many that day...

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Sep 2010, 19:52

I won't downgrade to UK just for uncut status, but I may get the German disc which seems to be Native PAL and better transfer than the R2J. I'll first wait for US dvd to come out (rights sold to Olive Films, but I don't think they have ever release a BD). Hesitant to upgrade for DVD when we live BD age...

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by Yi-Long » 26 Sep 2010, 23:22

HungFist wrote:I won't downgrade to UK just for uncut status, but I may get the German disc which seems to be Native PAL and better transfer than the R2J. I'll first wait for US dvd to come out (rights sold to Olive Films, but I don't think they have ever release a BD). Hesitant to upgrade for DVD when we live BD age...
Does the german DVD have english subs!?

Some of the german releases of asian movies have made their way over to Holland for a Dutch release, but sadly I haven't yet seen Love Exposure around. Also, the local store who used to have some arthouse flicks has moved away, and another store which had foreign stuff has cut down on that section.

I might visit Amsterdam in the next couple of weeks, but TBH, I'm affraid they still don't have many japanese movies released in Holland.
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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono) (2008)

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Sep 2010, 06:18

No English subs on the German dvd.

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