Saturday, June 28, 2008

This World of Ours (Oretachi no Sekai/俺たちの世界-2007)

Taniguchi Yoshihiko
Hata Arisa
Okutsu Satoshi
Murakami Ren
Akaho Shinmon

Ryo Nakajima’s debut feature was penned after emerging from a post-high school ‘shut-in’ period (apparently common in Japan), and his malaise translated into a powerful film about apathy, self-loathing and self-destruction – and yet its very existence is a hopeful gesture. A handful of characters with peripheral connections weave in and out of each others’ storylines with mutual disregard: a high school girl who hides her crippling insecurity behind manipulative power-games; a sociopath and his sexist goon-squad, the hallway bully who becomes a shell of himself when his favourite victim turns the tables. Through the experiences of their everyday lives – which include social terrorism, attempted murder, self-cutting, suicide, gang-rape and revenge - all find that the world has no place for them. Their only options seem to be self-effacing compromise, or dying young and making a loud noise on their way out. Explosion or implosion is inevitable.

The film violently accelerates and slows down at will; sentimentality is revealed only to be mutilated moments later by callousness. Other films are referenced (most notably A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, whose influence is felt not only visually but also in the warped classical soundtrack), and indeed a certain universality lends to the film’s appeal – but THIS WORLD OF OURS is a unique statement of youthful anguish that stands apart from others of its ilk. ~(Kier-La Janisse)

Wow! This is NOT a movie for everyone. I will admit I asked myself why I stuck with this movie a few times. It is very strange. The cinematography is done with hand held cameras, has odd angles, cut-offs, and even shows frontal nudity of the male and female variety. I was sooooo totally shocked with that revelation. The beginning of the movie was a modge-podge of abstract visuals and script. It took me a while to actually figure out what the director was trying to say.

I loved it!

This movie, the director (who at this time was born in 1984), won me over. The situations and violent nature that kids go through today are nothing to the sunshine and roses of "yesterday". Violence, depression, anger, low self-esteem are on the rise. What has gone wrong? Has the world's concience been hit over the head so many times that we the people of this world have learned to take in the hard knocks of life and are numb to the pain?

The actors are obscure and so was this I have no movie posters or pictures to share. But google this movie and try to listen to what this director is trying to say. He has a definite future ahead of him.......................

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