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Strange Circus

3.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(Mar 06, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

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

Review

"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 disturbing...watch it!" --Janet Lee, Film Monthly

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

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

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

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Original trailer

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
    Not Rated
  • 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 (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MMLP9G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,181 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Strange Circus" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 Amazon.com. 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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
the best in japanese hallucinogenic psycho art house horror, easily. sometimes, asian movies aren't translated well or don't fit well culturally speaking; sometimes you find yourself wondering what the story is all about or what it's getting at. this is not the case with strange circus. it's extreme, has details of rampant sexual abuse, and in general is just crazy and screwed up. if the idea of incest is particularly disturbing to you, i would avoid it. lots of times, japanese movies don't entirely make sense in an american state of mind. this movie breaks that stereotype. it's pretty trippy, disturbing, and goes there. i find this movie the absolute most relatable in terms of an american mind. it's pretty twisted, and has an ending you wouldn't believe.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 Mitsuko's childhood has come to an end. The horror of her upbringing--the emotional, sexual, and physical abuse she endured--that is horror. Likewise for the wife, Sayuri. The movie still keeps an element of surrealism all the way through, so that frankly, I couldn't spoil the ending if I tried. I can't say without closer analysis what I believe the true ending was. Sion spins enough threads in the story that there despite the horrific and disturbing feelings generated, afterwards, you can look at how much he's improved (imho) since Suicide Club (a great movie, but hard to piece together and make coherent in a single watching; multiple required).

I'd like to say I want to watch this over to look for those points where I could help figure out my opinion, but the movie was physically unsettling to watch.

All that said, Sion does a wonderful job of adding "light" music to things, and weaves an intricate story that compliments the "horror" elements. I highly recommend it to any fan of psychological horror, and fans of Sion in general.
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