Carnival In the Night
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Take a walk on the wild side with edgy indie director Masashi Yamamota (Junk Food; Robinson s Garden), who captures the punk scene of 1980s Japan in this prickly early film. Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, Yamamota gets the most out of a cast of young toughs who more or less play themselves, while shooting on 16mm in a gritty, grainy style.
Punk rocker Kumi Ota leaves her son with her ex-husband and then begins an unusual odyssey along the fringes of Tokyo s night life. Each person she meets is stranger than the last with each encounter more disturbing.
Top customer reviews
In a move that is part "Lost Weekend", the mother sends her son off with his father for the weekend. The rest of the movie is what transpires over the weekend. She hangs out at bars getting drunk and picking fights, she steals for money, she has crazy friends that give her guns to play with, etc. One of the most disturbing scenes is after a quick rape scene she is laying on top of a heap of trash and playing with her gun as she bleeds from her vagina. There is some tension if you are not sure if she will commit suicide or not.
In a good circular movie, she ends the wild weekend by meeting her ex-husband to pick up her husband from him. She is now all cleaned up and ready to start another week.
The film was shot in black and white and has some interesting music in it. The overall story paints a picture of a bleak, nihilistic existence during the 1970's. The polite, clean, stereotypes of Japanese are challenged as we take a visual tour of the underbelly of Japanese society at the time. This film won some awards including Cannes Film Festival. Any fan of Japanese New Wave cinema should see this at least once. Fans of Riot Grrrl or groups like Bikini Kill and Pussy Riot should find this interesting in that we have a tough female lead that is not afraid to take on the world on her own terms. This might be especially tough when considering that the protagonist is a female from the Asian culture.