Sion Sono and the 400 page script for Love Exposure.
I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of praise for Sion Sono’s (Suicide Club, Cold Fish) epically weird and wonderful Love Exposure.
Three minutes short of four hours long, Sono’s metaphysical black comedy is never boring and completely unlike any film you’re likely to see now or in the near future. Imagine a diabolically funny mix of John Waters, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Hughes and David Lynch and you might get a sense of what Sono is up to in Love Exposure. Gory, romantic, spiritual and completely bonkers, this is a trip definitely worth taking. Somehow Sono (a poet turned film maker) performs the magic act of juggling what seems like a dozen film genres in the air with supernatural grace.
I dig film critic Simon Abrams’ take on the movie:
Love Exposure is, in a sense, Sono’s equivalent of the Great Russian novel. In it, his substantial disaffection for societal conventions is matched only by his monumental love for his spectacularly messed-up protagonists. These characters become deranged because they have to create their own belief system. There’s no God except for the ones that Yôko, Aya Koike (Sakura Andô), and Yû Honda (Takahiro Nishijima) make for themselves. God is represented by mundane authority figures, people who simultaneously project their own fear of loving someone else and lustful need to be loved. In other words, father/Father figures are all rotten to the core in Love Exposure, though they’re all rotten in unique ways.
Made in 2008, Love Exposure is finally receiving a limited American theatrical run two years after I first encountered it at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.