not able, nor do I intend to, explain away Japanese auteur Shion Sono’s
suspenseful, horror-tinged existentialist question to his compatriots.
Why do 54 girls plunge in front of an express train from platform 8? Why
is there a roll of human skin (from various people) found at the (crime)scene
and subsequent others?
depiction of technology generally, and the internet, TV and mobiles
especially, as sinister and intrusive is nothing new, but done here with
a specific purpose. Tech gizmos are seen as merely extensions of our
freewill and choice. The seemingly sporadic suicides only spread,
leaving a group of detectives baffled but on the trail. There are the
mysterious red (female) and white (male) spots on a website, which seem
to appear in anticipation of deaths. There’s also a psychotropic girl
group (aged around 12) whose J-pop lyrics are there to be deciphered.
Watch out also for the most androgynous, hilarious yet morbidly rabid
emo-punk ego-tripper ever! His sparkles will give him away!
exists on the WWW about the “meaning” of select, deliberately symbolist
scenes. I will leave it to those more expert on the religions and
beliefs of Japan to impute the implications of suicide and
DVD includes only a trailer as bonus material, but I recommend you watch
it. I found it thoroughly misleading. It seems to show Suicide Club
as homage to the much-loved 1970s supernatural thriller. On the
contrary, Sono’s film remains chillingly contemporary (beware the school
roof scene, which is eerier than anything I have seen in daylight!). But
there is plenty of flickering-fluorescent and noises-in-the-dark stuff
to keep everyone happy.
personal level, I enjoyed seeing shots of trains and busy neon streets
as I did when visiting Tokyo. While asking many questions of the
Japanese and their way of viewing the world, I think there are enough of
these which can be applied to non-Japanese viewers. It’s clear I need to
watch it again and I am looking forward to it and you should give it a
spin, but probably with a clear and open mind.