Friday, May 20, 2011
The films of Sion Sono are a construction uniquely of and by the twenty-first century.
Although their narrative rhythms are composed of 'follow this link"and chapter addendum after chapter addendum,they seduce us with the lie of normalcy, a lie also known as Narrative. Sono's films start out as stories, but they erupt and fragment into multiple pieces. These movies engage the concept of crises, and his character centered films revolve around them. Highlighting the precarious status of the 'story' in modern moving image culture, his films simulate the sense of passionate online viewing and track subsequent paths of internet exploration.
With a logic of direct a to b causality, he ensnares us only to consistently frustrate and deny logic. Actions and focus of characters is constantly radiating out to outstretched arms of a family tree and to tangential associates barely in the frame. Watching a Sono film introduces one to the beauty of destruction. The shapes and angles of shattered storylines and fractured characters compose an infected, fevered take on narrative. Films like NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE, SUICIDE CLUB, COLD FISH and the amazing LOVE EXPOSURE taught me the striking elegance and beauty in not only being lost in a film, but being denied the trajectory of getting lost. These movies , which often discuss and illustrate brutal murder and copious blood, take a violent and sickened approach to assemblage in every aspect of movie and plot making.
LOVE EXPOSURE is an exaggeration of this idea and so it is the most poetic. Perhaps people even mistake it as his most ambitious film, for doesn't it just expand upon everything that started with SUICIDE CLUB? How many films and characters had asked me "am i connected to myself ?" before LOVE EXPOSURE. SUICIDE CLUB was as equal or greater a masterpiece; conceiving an entire oeuvre in a single film which also started out as a flawless closed system (not ironically, or highly ironically, about intricate internet networks and social systems). The four hour running time of LOVE EXPOSURE is not unlike a distended hyper illustrated exposure of a lifetime of film footage. it is really every film Sono has made and will make, and it is as brilliant as it is obvious.
Just as Sono's films and fractured storyline so often are served to us in shattered bits and pieces, so are my thoughts on Sion Sono.
Signing off with the intention of more to come.
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