Author Topic: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)  (Read 2145 times)

Small Man Big Horse

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Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« on: March 18, 2017, 04:52:02 PM »
You could kind of lazily describe this as a four hour Japanese romantic comedy drama about a seventeen year old kid who becomes the master of upskirt photography, and his quest to find love, but there's so much more to this. Yet revealing the various plot twists / themes explored would ruin the fun, and it's a film I'm really glad I didn't know much about before viewing. The running time would normally put me off, the rubbish man that I am when it comes to such things, but it's a constantly energetic film and the time flies by. The plot moves all over the place, it's beautifully shot, makes superb use of many well known pieces of classical music along with more modern stuff, and is just a delight overall, one of the best films I've seen in years.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has seen it / fancies discussing it further, or have watched any of director Sion Sono's other films, looking at his imdb page it seems he's made a whole bunch of movies but the ratings for them vary greatly.

Benevolent Despot

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 05:20:49 PM »
Uh-huh yeah it's a good one. It's my second-favourite film of recent years. I'm another to recommend it. I've tried a few other of Sono's films after Love Exposure, but there's nothing like it. Tokyo Tribe was the most enjoyable of them, it is just pure music and style though - not much drama like LE.

Van Dammage

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 05:23:17 PM »
If you're looking for something extremely grim try watching Cold Fish. I've not seen much else from Sono though.

Straight Faced Customer

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 05:53:38 PM »
Probably my favourite film of all time. Glad you enjoyed it.

I've sat through a lot of good stuff and bad stuff by Sono, and can say the film of his that comes closest to this one through sheer exuberance is Why Don't You Play In Hell? It even repeats a few of the guitar motifs on the soundtrack, from what I remember.

Other good ones by him - Suicide Club, Love & Peace, and Bad Film (this last one is hard to find. Managed to catch it at a film festival once, and had to pick my jaw off the floor a few times during its 3 hour run-time).

I'm not a fan of his serial killer stuff e.g. Cold Fish, or his post-Fukushima examinations like Land of Hope, but they do seem to have their fans



Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 06:11:07 PM »
Uh-huh yeah it's a good one. It's my second-favourite film of recent years. I'm another to recommend it. I've tried a few other of Sono's films after Love Exposure, but there's nothing like it. Tokyo Tribe was the most enjoyable of them, it is just pure music and style though - not much drama like LE.

What's your first favourite film, out of interest? And that's a shame about Sono's other films, but I was starting to get that feeling. I am going to watch a few though, as they seem at least more intriguing than most other mainstream films.

If you're looking for something extremely grim try watching Cold Fish. I've not seen much else from Sono though.

I read about that elsewhere but have decided against it for the time being, my brain just isn't in the right place to watch grim stuff, as I briefly rambled on about recently in the Non-2017 thread. Maybe one day though, when I'm more stable!

Probably my favourite film of all time. Glad you enjoyed it.

I've sat through a lot of good stuff and bad stuff by Sono, and can say the film of his that comes closest to this one through sheer exuberance is Why Don't You Play In Hell? It even repeats a few of the guitar motifs on the soundtrack, from what I remember.

Other good ones by him - Suicide Club, Love & Peace, and Bad Film (this last one is hard to find. Managed to catch it at a film festival once, and had to pick my jaw off the floor a few times during its 3 hour run-time).

I'm not a fan of his serial killer stuff e.g. Cold Fish, or his post-Fukushima examinations like Land of Hope, but they do seem to have their fans

Thanks for all of those suggestions, funnily enough I only obtained Why Don't You Play In Hell last week without realising it was by Sono, and I'm now in the process of getting the rest. Though I've yet to find Bad Film as you predicted, but hopefully it'll turn up somewhere. I've also got Themis, as it has a 7.2 imdb rating, and was well seeded...

Edit: Just found Bad Film. Yay, etc!

Straight Faced Customer

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 07:39:51 PM »
Oh, nice. You have to post your feedback for Bad Film - don't know anyone else who's seen that, and have always wanted to compare notes! It's ultra lo-fi, and it took twenty years after it was made for Sono to edit and finally get released. Nice little time capsule of early 90s Japan.

If after watching Love Exposure you wondered, like I had done, whether you're missing out any other unique Japanese films from the late 00s and early 2010s, then may I recommend Hitoshi Matsumoto? Check out either Symbol (2009) or Scabbard Samurai (2010) by him. If anyone else reading this thread has seen those, I'm sure they'd recommend them also.

P.S. If you're avoiding grim stuff at the mo, then you may want to give Suicide Club a miss...

« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 08:00:45 PM by Straight Faced Customer »

Benevolent Despot

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2017, 07:45:17 PM »
What's your first favourite film, out of interest? And that's a shame about Sono's other films, but I was starting to get that feeling. I am going to watch a few though, as they seem at least more intriguing than most other mainstream films.

My number one shares being Japanese and being a romantic drama with Love Exposure, but little else, it's My Rainy Days (2009). I'd say it had an even more dramatic effect on me (tears) than Love Exposure, with the characters being extremely believable to the point of forgetting you are watching a film. It's also the most rewatchable film I've ever seen (I lost count), whereas I've maybe only watched Love Exposure 3 times. It's quite girly though. I would recommend it if that is a barrier you can hurdle.

I hadn't heard of Bad Film before, I might check it out. I also haven't seen any of his 2015/16 films so maybe I will check out Love & Peace too. Ditto others who avoid the grim stuff. I did Cold Fish and Guilty of Romance and did not like at all.

Moribunderast

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 11:17:47 PM »
I'm a big fan of Sono's work, with LOVE EXPOSURE probably being the highlight. I've still got several of his films to get through but each I've seen has been memorable, even if they aren't all great. COLD FISH is indeed very grim but quite great, only a notch below the Park Chan-Wook revenge films for mine. He's made some really interesting horror films too: NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE, SUICIDE CLUB and, most notably, STRANGE CIRCUS, which is fucking bananas.

My biggest recommendation if you've seen LOVE EXPOSURE and want to move on to something else (that isn't grim) would be WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? It's fairly recent (2014, I think) and is a bonkers ride from start-to-finish with a hilarious, layered premise that all leads to a ridiculous and glorious finale, a little like LE. (And now I read the thread properly I see WDYPIH has already been recommended and obtained... whoops!)

This thread has made me want to watch more Sion Sono. Maybe today is the day I finally watch EXTE, his horror film about evil hair extensions.

EDIT: And if we're open to just mentioning other good Japanese films, then I'll take this chance to recommend FISH STORY, because it should always be recommended.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 02:26:34 AM »
Love Exposure is definitely his pinnacle. There are not many films with a similar runtime that seem to blaze right by. I think if I was to have a top 5 it would be rounded out by:

Noriko's Dinner Table
Strange Circus
Cold Fish
Guilty of Romance

I'm not exactly enamoured by his most recent stuff (post-Why Don't You Play in Hell?). By the looks of things he seems to be trying to usurp Takashi Miike by making every film that's offered to him (especially if it's based on a manga). That's not to say I haven't been entertained by them though.

On a side note, there seems to be shenanigans at play with the rating of Shinjuku Swan on imdb. It has a disproportionate amount of 1 ratings. I don't know if this is a common thing on the site but I have noticed it before on Kitano's most recent film.


Straight Faced Customer

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 01:52:16 PM »
This thread has made me want to watch more Sion Sono. Maybe today is the day I finally watch EXTE, his horror film about evil hair extensions.

I've always wanted to watch EXTE, but can't find it anywhere. Will probably have to buy the damn thing on DVD.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 05:59:25 PM »
Oh, nice. You have to post your feedback for Bad Film - don't know anyone else who's seen that, and have always wanted to compare notes! It's ultra lo-fi, and it took twenty years after it was made for Sono to edit and finally get released. Nice little time capsule of early 90s Japan.

If after watching Love Exposure you wondered, like I had done, whether you're missing out any other unique Japanese films from the late 00s and early 2010s, then may I recommend Hitoshi Matsumoto? Check out either Symbol (2009) or Scabbard Samurai (2010) by him. If anyone else reading this thread has seen those, I'm sure they'd recommend them also.

P.S. If you're avoiding grim stuff at the mo, then you may want to give Suicide Club a miss...

I'm definitely up for other Asian cinema recommendations, I have been watching a lot lately thanks to this old thread: http://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=42793.0 - and I found Van Dammage's massive post to be especially full of superb suggestions. My Sassy Day especially, which is all kinds of lovely.

My number one shares being Japanese and being a romantic drama with Love Exposure, but little else, it's My Rainy Days (2009). I'd say it had an even more dramatic effect on me (tears) than Love Exposure, with the characters being extremely believable to the point of forgetting you are watching a film. It's also the most rewatchable film I've ever seen (I lost count), whereas I've maybe only watched Love Exposure 3 times. It's quite girly though. I would recommend it if that is a barrier you can hurdle.

I hadn't heard of Bad Film before, I might check it out. I also haven't seen any of his 2015/16 films so maybe I will check out Love & Peace too. Ditto others who avoid the grim stuff. I did Cold Fish and Guilty of Romance and did not like at all.

Cool, thank you for that, have obtained My Rainy Days and can't wait to watch it. As for Bad Film, the only place I could find it was on a private tracker, Cinemageddon, which alas I don't have invites for but I am happy to send you a copy on dvd if you're not a member.

I'm a big fan of Sono's work, with LOVE EXPOSURE probably being the highlight. I've still got several of his films to get through but each I've seen has been memorable, even if they aren't all great. COLD FISH is indeed very grim but quite great, only a notch below the Park Chan-Wook revenge films for mine. He's made some really interesting horror films too: NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE, SUICIDE CLUB and, most notably, STRANGE CIRCUS, which is fucking bananas.

My biggest recommendation if you've seen LOVE EXPOSURE and want to move on to something else (that isn't grim) would be WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? It's fairly recent (2014, I think) and is a bonkers ride from start-to-finish with a hilarious, layered premise that all leads to a ridiculous and glorious finale, a little like LE. (And now I read the thread properly I see WDYPIH has already been recommended and obtained... whoops!)

This thread has made me want to watch more Sion Sono. Maybe today is the day I finally watch EXTE, his horror film about evil hair extensions.

EDIT: And if we're open to just mentioning other good Japanese films, then I'll take this chance to recommend FISH STORY, because it should always be recommended.

Thanks for all of that, definitely think Why Don't You Play In Hell? will be the next one I watch. And funnily enough I only watched Fish Story about a week ago, but you are indeed right as to how lovely a film it is.

Love Exposure is definitely his pinnacle. There are not many films with a similar runtime that seem to blaze right by. I think if I was to have a top 5 it would be rounded out by:

Noriko's Dinner Table
Strange Circus
Cold Fish
Guilty of Romance

I'm not exactly enamoured by his most recent stuff (post-Why Don't You Play in Hell?). By the looks of things he seems to be trying to usurp Takashi Miike by making every film that's offered to him (especially if it's based on a manga). That's not to say I haven't been entertained by them though.

On a side note, there seems to be shenanigans at play with the rating of Shinjuku Swan on imdb. It has a disproportionate amount of 1 ratings. I don't know if this is a common thing on the site but I have noticed it before on Kitano's most recent film.

Thank you for your recommendations as well, I'm definitely going to check them out. I had ignored Shinjuku Swan as well due to that imdb rating, but will give it a chance now.

I've always wanted to watch EXTE, but can't find it anywhere. Will probably have to buy the damn thing on DVD.

It's on the pirate bay and seems to be well seeded, I do have it on an old hard drive somewhere as well as someone (I think Nags, but I could be wrong) recommended it a while back so if you're not a fan of torrenting I'd be happy to send it to you on dvd.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2017, 04:48:00 AM »
It's not much use saying this right now, as I think registration is closed at the moment, but avistaz.to is a great place to get Asian cinema. Most of Shion Sono's films are on there, all the way back to 8mm stuff he did in the 80s.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 01:53:52 PM »
His work I find akin to being in the back of a soapbox cart with a manic driver hurtling down a hill towards a main road. Sometimes everything lines up and you make it across to the field on the other side and think wow. More often there are some terrific moments on the way but ultimately it ends up in a tangled mess.

Love Exposure got those elements right, helped by having both an outrageous concept and what is quite a sweet love story while also being driven by a moral anger fuelled by his own experience of cults. Love and Peace I also really like, although I can understand why those drawn to the more extreme cinema style of many of his films would dismiss it. Tag I also thought was more interesting than most of the reviews suggest, though the ending is rather weak and unfulfilling.

More problematic I think is his attitude to female sexuality - it's like he wants to think of himself as an enlightened male writing good female parts but is then always betrayed by his real chauvinistic, prurient and quite often puerile sensibility. In Love Exposure he gets away with it because of the fantastical nature of the concept, but on more than one other occasion he crosses a line in some scenes that I'm not comfortable with, not helped by a rather muddled viewpoint.

Straight Faced Customer

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2017, 07:56:28 PM »
It's on the pirate bay and seems to be well seeded, I do have it on an old hard drive somewhere as well as someone (I think Nags, but I could be wrong) recommended it a while back so if you're not a fan of torrenting I'd be happy to send it to you on dvd.

Cheers, I'll have another snoop for Exte then.

Has the Whispering Star popped up on there yet, anybody know? That's Sono's sci-fi film from last year.

Van Dammage

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2017, 08:04:48 PM »
Cheers, I'll have another snoop for Exte then.

Has the Whispering Star popped up on there yet, anybody know? That's Sono's sci-fi film from last year.

I don't know if it popped up there but I just searched 'The Whispering Star torrent' and there seemed to be a few results on random sites. I didn't click into any though so they might be shite links.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2017, 08:09:20 PM »
The Whispering Star is out there, unfortunately there are no English subtitles though.

Straight Faced Customer

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2017, 07:04:37 PM »
Thanks both. I've heard it's a mainly silent film, so may be able to get away without subs.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2017, 06:26:50 PM »
It's not much use saying this right now, as I think registration is closed at the moment, but avistaz.to is a great place to get Asian cinema. Most of Shion Sono's films are on there, all the way back to 8mm stuff he did in the 80s.

Registration is open until the end of March if anyone is interested.

Van Dammage

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2017, 08:13:38 PM »
Registration is open until the end of March if anyone is interested.

Is it possible to get banned for not seeding anything on there or is it just frowned upon?

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2017, 01:48:17 PM »
Not sure how strictly they are enforced but here are the rules.

Quote
Downloading
  • This is a sharing community. As you download, you are required to share back your part.
  • Never share the .torrent file you download from this site, it is a personal .torrent file!
  • You must maintain a general overall ratio of 1.0 or better. In other words, we expect you to seed back just as much as you have downloaded!
  • To the extent possible, maintain a minimum ratio of 0.5 for each torrent you download.
  • If your current history shows frequent leecher status, hit-and-run downloading, or a low ratio, there may be severe consequences, including disabled downloads and even permanent banning from the site.
  • Check for other seeders before stopping to seed. Running from low-seeded torrents will not be treated lightly.
    You are only allowed to have 1 connection/client on the same torrent.

Van Dammage

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2017, 02:58:29 PM »
Ah that's annoying. No one else is leeching anything I even try to seed.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2018, 12:39:29 AM »
This thread has made me want to watch more Sion Sono. Maybe today is the day I finally watch EXTE, his horror film about evil hair extensions.

Despite having it on my hard drive for years on end I only got round to watching this tonight. Compared to Love Exposure it's a minor work, but it's still a great film with some really memorable imagery and fucked up moments. The ending's a little too cartoonish but it didn't effect my enjoyment of the film and this is an enormous amount of fun. 8/10

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2018, 11:46:03 PM »
Last year on CaB:

From the Japanese Film Festival: Antiporno by Sion Sono, someone whose films I'd never seen but would definitely like to. This was made as a result of a Japanese film studio (Nikkatsu) giving some directors some money to do some "reboots" of their "roman porno" series of yore. Sono took this and created a fiercly radical commentary on porn filming and female sexuality using meta narratives and some super abstract set pieces. Surreal and quite confronting at times, I really liked this.

I really liked it too, it's a visually stunning piece with vibrant colours but also pretty disturbing at times, a brutal but also pretty stunning work of art.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2018, 05:15:19 AM »
I really need to rewatch Love Exposure. I watched back in January 2016 and I really liked it but I remember it mainly for learning 10 minutes after I started the film that my uncle died.

I loved what I read about Bad Film, the idea of this big weird epic film shot guerrilla style on the streets of Tokyo, confusing passerby, but I watched part of it around a year ago and I found it a real slog. I'll probably return to it at some point.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2018, 07:45:26 PM »
I like that at times it genuinely manages to feel, by turns - epic/ revelatory/ transcendent - in spite... or probably because of... being really bloody daft!

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2018, 12:58:38 AM »
Suicide Club - Well, I was warned it was grim and you folks weren't wrong! Starting off with the joint suicide of 54 school girls it only continues to get stranger after that. Despite that I wasn't prepared for what happens an hour in, where we meet Genesis and co, and after that it all becomes even more perverse. The only downside is the oddly rubbish incidental music which sounds like it comes from a Hallmark tv movie, but otherwise it's a great film. 8.0/10

Moribunderast

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2018, 02:46:29 AM »
Suicide Club is great. I'll certainly never forget that opening sequence.

I've got to get back into some Sono films. I generally do 2 or 3 in a couple days and then need to take a lengthy break because he's such a whackadoo. I've got his recent TV series, Tokyo Vampire Hotel, sitting around waiting to be watched - maybe that's my next port of call. I think the last one I watched of his was EXTE which I thought was absolutely tremendous.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2018, 01:45:33 PM »
Tokyo Vampire Hotel isn't great. There are some good set pieces but it's a movie-length plot strung out over multiple episodes and it feels like it was done more for Amazon's cash than because he was especially into it. There is a movie version too but the reviews of that suggest it's instead rather confusing because of what it leaves out...

Sono's apparent enjoyment in the way he puts Ami Tomite through the wringer in every film doesn't seem entirely healthy either.

Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2018, 01:59:22 PM »
Nicky Cage is doing something with him next year isn't he? guess that will be a sizeble profile boost in the west.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2018, 04:08:45 PM »
Suicide Club is great. I'll certainly never forget that opening sequence.

It's pretty amazing isn't it, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that before. And the same applies to the ending too.

Quote
I've got to get back into some Sono films. I generally do 2 or 3 in a couple days and then need to take a lengthy break because he's such a whackadoo. I've got his recent TV series, Tokyo Vampire Hotel, sitting around waiting to be watched - maybe that's my next port of call. I think the last one I watched of his was EXTE which I thought was absolutely tremendous.

I'm mostly the same, I watch a couple, adore them, but don't want to overdo it so then take a break. Planning on watching Noriki's Dinner Table in the next day or so though as it's a prequel to Suicide Club and apparently also really great.

I'm not sure why but I didn't post a mini-review of Why Don't You Play In Hell?, but I loved that a great deal as well, Sono's definitely one of my favourite directors now and I'm obtaining Tag as we speak as I've heard good things about it.