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Noriko's Dinner Table

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(May 27, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Brimming with a hip sensibility and a touch of ultra-violence, this provocative Japanese film by young director Sion Sono stunned audiences during its initial theatrical run.
Teenager Noriko Shimabara escapes her tiny provincial town and moves to the big city to find an Internet cult group called Haikyo.com. There she meets the site s web-master, a young woman named Kumiko, and loses herself in the cult practices of this strange group, which include a unique approach to prostitution and mass suicide. Back home, Noriko s little sister grows increasingly concerned about her sibling and toys with the idea of coming to the city herself.
Told in a fractured style, the film is an extension of Sono s runaway success Suicide Club. Too horrific to be mere drama, and to melodramatic to be horror, Noriko s Dinner Table takes a harsh look at alienated youth in a modern society.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ken Mitsuishi, Shiro Namiki, Tsugumi, Kazue Fukiishi, Yuriko Yoshitaka
  • Directors: Sion Sono
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Tidepoint Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001570H5K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,604 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Noriko's Dinner Table" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Woopak VINE VOICE on June 2, 2008
Format: DVD
Sion Sono is a poetic director; his works often mystify, puzzle and bewilder his audiences. One thing no one can deny about this director is that his films are engaging with their uninhibited and visceral themes whether you like them or not. NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE is the long awaited sequel to Suicide Club (aka. Suicide Circle). I know, most folks are probably dreading a sequel to the cult hit, but Sion Sono delivers, well, not exactly in the way you may expect. "Noriko's Dinner Table" is more a companion film to the first film than a solid sequel. Too visceral to be a melodrama, and at the same time too mild to be horror; just what is Sono's intentions with this film. Maybe to deepen its underlying enigma?

A 17-yr. old teenager named Noriko Shimabara (Kazue Fikiishi) leaves her tiny provincial town and moves to Tokyo to find an internet cult group called Haikyo.com There she meets up with the site's webmaster; a young pretty woman named Kumiko (Tsugumi) and loses herself in the unusual ways this cult group practices, which includes a very unique approach to prostitution and mass suicide. As Noriko grows closer to her new friends, her sister Yuka (Yuriko Yoshitaka) decides to follow her suit. Now, both sisters must decide if abandoning their old life is worth dying for...

Now, to cut to the chase; is "Noriko's Dinner Table" a better film than "Suicide Club"? Yes and no. Yes, The film is structured in a way as a melodrama would, slowly uncovering its mystery. The film is slow-paced and quite frankly the film really takes its time. Its sense of purpose may equally alienate some viewers as with its predecessor. The events of the film does bring the idea of an organization on a very personal level and it puzzles more than it entertains.
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This is the sequel to suicide club:
A girl named Noriko runs away from her home and goes to Tokyo to meet a girl she was chatting with
online. She gets involved in the cult group thats involved with a very unique form of prositution called "family renting" and mass suicides. Noriko's sister also gets sucked into the group and their father trys to find them. It's a very interesting film about family and finding who you are. It's gets better each time you watch it, though it's long so i always enjoy the first 3 chapters of the film. When it gets to the father in the last chapter, it drage but it's still good. Also, this is not a horror film, it's a drama.
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Format: DVD
Noriko no Shokutaku (Noriko's Dinner Table) (Shion Sono, 2005)

Shion Sono casts another jaundiced eye over moe culture (for those unfamiliar, think “highly-specialized teen subculture, specifically appealing to girls, that emphasizes cuteness/adorableness) in this loose prequel to Suicide Club, but in Noriko's Dinner Table, rather than looking at an entire subculture, Sono gets uncomfortably personal with his tale of the annihilation of identity.

Plot: Noriko (One Missed Call's Kazue Fukiishi), a disenchanted high school student, becomes obsessed with the Internet message board that the suicide club used in the original film, and befriends Ueno Station 54 (Screwed's Tsugumi), its mysterious operator. Soon, she runs away from home, meeting Ueno Staion 54—whose real name is (or is not) Kumiko—in the flesh. Kumiko believes that identity is fluid—that you can be, in essence, anyone you want to be—and she re-christens Noriko as Mitsuko. The two of them go off on a series of absurd adventures, portraying others at will, and life is fine until Noriko's younger sister Yuka (Snakes and Earrings' Yukito Yoshitaka in her screen debut) follows her, falls under Kumiko's influence, and is similarly rechristened Yoko. Their father Tetsuzo (Audition's Ken Mitsuishi), a disgraced journalist, goes looking for the girls, and discovers Kumiko and the business she operates with Mitsuko and Yoko, and decides to try and get them back, no matter what the cost.
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WARNING: avoiding direct spoilers, but as always, it's hard to review without some mentions that might allude to some parts of the story.

First, I stumbled on to this on netflix one day while bored. I read it was a "sequel/prequel" to Suicide Club (Circle, makes more sense if you can understand the japanese; i'm close). I thought, "great!". I was in the mood for more of the "psychologically disturbing" type of horror from his first movie, but found this was more of just a well-woven tale that gave a back-drop for Suicide Club/Circle, and imho, let Sion also clear up some loose ends in that movie (after much debate with friends on its "meaning", both literally and metaphorical levels).

Overall, there are only a couple "violent" or "bloody" scenes. There is a bit of weirdness at the emotional level--you could say emotional "horror" in a way, and it's gripping to watch in my opinion.

The movie is also a bit longer than his others that I've seen (Suicide Club/Circle and Strange Circus), but for me it still ended too soon. In this way, I mean he created compelling characters that i believed and was genuinely interested in seeing how they'd grow, change and end up at the end. It even leaves some of this open at the end, which I love (leaves me unsettled, wondering).

I highly recommend this whether you've seen Suicide Club or not; if you have, it'll clarify some of the confusing elements in that first one (which still is great on its own). If you haven't, it's still a wonderful movie. The musical score is brilliant, and makes the movie seem even lighter than it is. There is a hardness to some characters, and to what happens, an emotional one.

Again, it's well worth the money and time to watch this if you are at all into Asian, or Japanese movies in particular (horror or otherwise).
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