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Strange Circus (2007)

 Issei Ishida, Rie Kuwana Masumi Miyazaki , Sion Sono  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors:  Issei Ishida, Rie Kuwana Masumi Miyazaki
  • Directors: Sion Sono
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: TLA Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MMLP9G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,263 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Strange Circus" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Original trailer

Editorial Reviews


"Circus is a madman s journey through every possible level of storytelling: symbolic, surreal, imaginary, fictional and realistic. Actress Masumi Miyazaki is fantastic!" --Film Threat

"Is first and foremost it!" --Janet Lee, Film Monthly

"Perversly beautiful film. Masumi Miyazaki is a standout!" --Ray Justavick,

"Is first and foremost it!" --Janet Lee, Film Monthly

"Perversly beautiful film. Masumi Miyazaki is a standout!" --Ray Justavick,

Product Description

Mitsuko is forced to watch her parents lovemaking by her perverted father and her domineering mother, who imprison her in a cello case employed with a peephole. When Mitsuko s mother apparently dies, her father forces the girl to be the victim of his incestuous desires, which drives her to attempt suicide with a leap from a height...yet all of this is apparently just the new novel being penned by reclusive, wheelchair-bound author Taeko (Masumi Miyazaki, who also plays the mother). Or is it?
< BR> Special Features:

  • Strange Days: Making-Of Featurette
  • Photo Gallery
  • Original Trailer
  • TLA Releasing Trailers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I really don't know where to start on this one, because it is just that amazing.

Firstly, the movie is incredibly beautiful, in a mind-blowing, visually stunning sort of way. Everything is very detailed,
Secondly, the acting is impeccable. All of the characters come to life and Masumi Miyazaki does such an insanely good job, I stand captivated long after multiple viewings...
Combined, you are sucked into the world these characters are living in, and sent into the big top of chaos.

Sion Sono, who you may, and most likely know from Suicide Club takes a whack at sexuality, and once again family. Tossing away society, we take a very intimate look at the workings of attraction, jealousy, memories, and a hurricane of other emotions that spawn from love of any sort; in this case it is a distorted love.

About this DVD:
The packaging is very nice, haha... the apparently newly trendy clear box, with nice inserts. The disk itself has the full version of Strange Circus, despite what the box says, this is, in fact the full TLA releasing of the movie, with the time as correct on Why it is incorrect on the box... I do not know. There is also a great making of featurette, with English subtitles, that runs about an hour.

Though people say that this movie is highly disturbing and uncomfortable, etc. I didn't find it to be that bad. Yes there are some more... off-putting scenes, but nothing I wouldn't feel comfortable watching with friends, and definitely nothing inappropriate given the story/goal of this film, that taken into perspective, it's actually quite tasteful, going so far as to let you in on what is happening, but not so far as to be exploiting anyone.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True to its title...3 1/2 stars. April 18, 2007
Strange Circus is from the director of Suicide Club. Both films are controversial and very uninhibited with their theme.
Very bizarre, uninhibited, disturbingly wierd to its very core, this film doesn't leave much for the imagination, it pushes the envelope in the world of the macabre and the unusual. Actually, bizarre is an understatement. Decapitated limbs, incestuous lovemaking, and blood-soaked walls squeeze deep within the story's convoluted and utterly unnerving nature. It's the type of film that you want to look away from if it wasn't so intriguing.

A film that pushes the envelope this far has to be artistically captivating in its cinematography and immersive in execution to offset its exploitative premise and bypass its dark shadowy premise. The film delivers; with such lurid visual grandeur, dark twisted philosophy and a very strong and aggressive narrative style from director Sion Sono, it manages to rise above that label, but still maintain a feeling of gritty disgust which looms in its endless pit of the unusual. Buckle your seat belts and check your airbags, because all the odd and disturbing twists and turns within Strange Circus could disturb the viewer in a way that simulates whiplash.

As much as I would like to give you details of the screenplay, I'd rather have the ones who happen to rent/buy this title be taken on a ride. Suffice it to say, the film revolves around the decline of child named Mitsuko, and her mother Sayuri/Taeko the novelist. While this is a very grotesque tale of a love triangle, the good cinematography can preoccupy the viewer of this odd tale.

Masumi Miyazaki gives a great performance. She is quite gutsy to pull this off. She manages to capture the aura of Sayuri's/Taeko's eroticism as well as her twisted presence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I am not one to shy away from any sort of film. I guess I have this twisted curiosity that drives me to see even the most disturbing movie made; so long as it is compelling. There are movies that you can say that you didn't particularly enjoy, yet you can't help but admit its brilliance and ambition. Films such as "The Girl Next Door", "A Very Short Life" and "Blood and Bones" are prime examples. Sion Sono, the acclaimed writer-director of "Suicide Club" and "Noriko's Dinner Table" once again defies genre descriptions and claims that it is grotesque but at the same time, it is visually erotic. Truer words have never been spoken.

A preteen schoolgirl named Mitsuko (played by Rie Kuwana) is pushed into a world of sex, voyeurism and abuse by her father Gozo (Hiroshi Ohguchi) who is also her school principal. In the beginning, Mitsuko was merely forced to watch her father have sex with her mother, Sayuri (Masumi Miyazaki) while hiding inside a huge cello case. But as time passes, Mitsuko and Sayuri switch places. Sayuri begins to envy Mitsuko as the other woman as Gozo forces the two to watch while the other has sex with him alternatively. This disgusting behavior, twisted relationship and forbidden sex has provoked a major collapse in psyche...

"I was sentenced to death at birth; or maybe my mother was to be executed and we switched places."

Sion Sono's "Strange Circus" is a film that defies proper descriptions. It is neither an art house film, nor is it a horror film; it is a bizarre amalgam of both that truly pushes the envelope. The movie is indeed horrific in ways that seem very real because truth be told, thing like this does happen. "Strange Circus" is the most graphic, highly disturbing film I've ever committed myself to watch....twice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Be sure to play your disc before the return policy deadline
I didn't try to play it for a few months and was surprised to find the disc was completely blank.
Published 4 months ago by B. Collins
2.0 out of 5 stars Ring after ring.
Kimyo na Sasaku (Strange Circus) (Shion Sono, 2005)

I know some folks who think Shion Sono is a demigod incarnate, and who think he's one of the best filmmakers walking... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Robert Beveridge
2.0 out of 5 stars Shion Sono strikes again but atleast this one describes the film well.
Because it is Strange!

I have seen too many Shion Sono films and have come to realize how redundant his movies are not to mention how terrible the endings always are. Read more
Published 12 months ago by maskedgamer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ewww!!!!!!!!
This film is amazing!!!! There is nothing I love more than a disturbed family of invalids that rape each other!!! I'm serious, these creepy films are the best. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Marc Marchetti
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying--but not like any other horror I've experienced
WARNING: attempting to avoid any spoiler, but mild allusions and hints present

The movie starts of quite *hard*, but with a surreal element that fades as your believe... Read more
Published 18 months ago by S. Rash
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for mainstream fans
This movie is great and plays mind games with the viewer until the end and they are very effective. I was thinking WTF is going but it all got cleared up for me in the end. Read more
Published on October 26, 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Umm...aahhhh....
What can I say? Seriously? It was surreal, confusing, and uncomfortable, all at the same time. The implied sex between father and twelve-year-old daughter was excellently done,... Read more
Published on April 11, 2010 by Tina Roosa
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow Burn with only a bit of pay off. Nah, just plain BORING!
I love Japanese films. I love a slow burn psychological movie. I love beautiful and poetic. But watching this - I was getting antsy. Read more
Published on November 25, 2009 by Donald A. Prentiss
5.0 out of 5 stars Come prepared.
Strange Circus is a great movie. It's very poetic, somewhat slow-paced, and it's beautiful to look at - at least when you're not looking away and covering your eyes. Read more
Published on March 23, 2009 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Strange Circus
Oh give me a break. I'm sick of all these gushing reviews for this movie. I watched it last night and what an overblown, overrated piece of junk. Read more
Published on September 15, 2008 by J. Layne
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Topic From this Discussion
Part of Suicide Circle...?
I don't think so; primarily because Sion has already stated that the Suicide Circle was meant to be a trilogy, and he has yet to start work on the third though he has ideas. I for one am interested in seeing how they all fit together.

That's not to say Strange Circus isn't part of that universe... Read More
Nov 14, 2013 by James N. Smith |  See all 2 posts
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