I saw Love Exposure (愛のむきだし) last night, and despite the nearly 4-hr running time — yes, the film is EPIC — it did never seem uninteresting. Yes, it actually felt like 2 or 3 films into 1, yet somehow… it didn’t bother me. It was highly entertaining… in a very dark and sick kind of way.
I mean, it can only be Japanese.
Ai no Mukidashi tells the story of Yu Tsunoda, a boy growing up in a very Christian family. Suddenly his mother dies, but before she does… he promises to introduce his Maria to his mom when he meets her. With the death of his mother, his father decides to become a priest, until he meets with a woman in church who has decided to become a Christian herself. She is baptized, and when she does her first session at the confessional, she tells Father Tsunoda that she is in love with him.
At first, Father Tsunoda refuses but in the end gives into this woman, and begins having an affair with her while still giving sermons at church. Three months later, the woman in question seems bored of him, and is tired of sneaking around as the priest doesn’t show signs of quitting priesthood, so she leaves him which turns Father Tsunoda into a pessimist who gives sermons about doom and destruction.
This also makes his relationship with his son Yu difficult, as Father Tsunoda gets a sick satisfaction from hearing his son confessing his daily sins, whom in turns has been looking for better and scandalous sins to commit in order to please his dad. His major sin-accomplishment is becoming a panties-photo-snapping-on-the-street perv.
That’s a whole movie all on itself, then there’s the part where he meets the most perfect panties, falls in love/lust, there’s a lot of killing, girl-on-girl action, girl-on-drag fantasy… etc, etc and… then there’s crazy women.
Or… I mean, crazy girl.
Psychotic women… sociopaths~~ it’s all about the crazy… and not only because they’re unstable. They are scary because they coolly kill people or get people killed, and they show no remorse.
It is so sick… but highly entertaining.
1. Sakura Ando – Koike – Love Exposure (Ai no Mukidashi)
She was the most amazing part of the film. Koike meets Yu when he street-panties-snap-shoots her while he is praying to god. She finds him amusing, and follows him throughout the film. She finally plays the central part of the story on Chapter 2 when we see her being abused by her dad, and we see what that does to him eventually. She is morbid, lucid, manipulative and kicks ass to achieve what she wants.
Koike is far from being crazy, she does what she does because that’s how her mind works. She wants to see destruction for destruction’s sake, and wants to see people losing their sanity for craziness’ sake. She plans it all and watches as her pieces move the way she wanted.
She’s the ultimate sociopath.
2. Ok-bin Kim – Tae-ju – Thirst
From the other side of the spectrum, there’s Tae-ju on Thirst, who at first seems a defenseless girl abused by her husband and her mother-in-law. By the time she is “saved” and turned into a vampire, she gives into all animalistic non-rational urges that gave Koike, above, her #1 spot.
Tae-ju wants to hunt and feed on live human-prey because that’s her vampire nature, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking that she’s completely crazy, considering how her vampire-counterpart acted. She wants to kill because she’s been physically and mentally abused all those years in silent, which created a monster before she turned into one physically.
3. Chiaki Kuriyama – Gogo Yubari – Kill Bill Vol. 1
Gogo plays the sweet high school girl who enjoys violence like an Asian person enjoys their snacks. Of course, Kill Bill is filled with over-the-top violence and blood-splattering like no other Western-Asian-influenced film there is, the film is also filled with many women with a lot of kick-ass- fighting scenes, but none [except for maybe one] got their sickly dose of thrill by killing more than Gogo did.
The other one being Daryl Hannah playing Elle Driver, but she seemed not so “Young Women” to me, and I thought that if I did a list of Psychotic Women in general, I would have to include other women like Kathy Bates on Misery, and films like Audition.
4. Kou Shibasaki – Mitsuko Souma – Battle Royale
Kou takes my last spot [because I couldn’t think of other Young Women] of Psychotic Young Women on film because Mitsuko on Battle Royale was the baddest girl in a film filled with students killing of classmates for survival. What’s psychotic about Mitsuko is that she didn’t even flinch to kill her fellow classmates. She coolly plays victim to trick people around her and hunt them down herself… so she must’ve had predisposition to killing in the first place.
She doesn’t question killing the other kids, like some of the other characters who try to not kill and find some other way to get out of the island, so you actually flinch when you see the other students running into her.
So here it is folks. Despite this being a list of psychotic women, I find these characters quite fascinating in a very morbid way. I thought it was quite interesting that all of these are Asian (mostly Japanese, one Korean) picks, and couldn’t really find any violently psychotic women in America or Europe. There were some films that I was considering adding [A l’Interieur?] but they weren’t the type of psychotic violence I was looking for.
What women do you think I’m missing?
Why do you think there’s so many Japanese roles that are violent like this?
Great list. I laughed out loud at the line, 'then there’s the part where he meets the most perfect panties'. Sounds like an interesting movie, lol.
I don't know why there are so many violent roles in Japanese cinema. One theory I've heard is that, as a very reserved and cultured society, the Japanese excel at releasing their darker impulses through entertainment and art, though I can't speak for the validity of this idea. All I know is they make some great movies! :-)
Ahh… Japanese cinema – as well as Korean – both are pretty messed up xD
For a lot of people Love Exposure is hit or miss. It's just really REALLY crazy, and it goes everywhere, but you only want to know where it's going next. You'll feel the 4hrs fly by!
There's a UK R2? DVD release ;)