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My God My God Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? (Eli Eli Lema エリ・エリ・レマ・サバクタニ)

Started by Greg Torso, July 03, 2022, 12:56:14 PM

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Greg Torso

Originally titled "Eli Eli Lema Sabachthani?", or "Eri Eri Rema Sabajutani", depending on which part of the internet you look at, this 2005 Japanese film is a treatise on the healing power of noise music, and I'd been meaning to watch it for aaaaaages.

The slight plot is a vague whisp of eh, a plague that makes people kill themselves or something. It doesn't matter because the film is slow, languid, drawn out; doesn't need much of a plot, it's not why I'm here.

Set against the melancholic bucolic jet tone of rural Japan, the film follows two noise musicians (one of them Nakahara Masaya aka Violent Onsen Geisha and Hair Stylistics - he's got 240 albums listed on Discogs, what have YOU been doing with your life??? playing Talking Tom Jetski 2 in your 10 week review, no doubt that's why they added another 3 months of probation on) as they putter around in golf carts scavenging anything that might make a pleasing hum or a drone in their isolated studio.
Plenty (but could have been more) shots of Hair Stylistics runing his ancient mac crank programs as bits of radiator hose fixed on electric fans whirr away under a boom mike.

It's the kind of film sleep deprivation was built for, kind of thing you see half cut between channels and wonder what it ever was.

So I'm not bothered about plot, or character, and I wanted more shots of my main guys looting for recordable debris, bowing and scraping amplified planks of wood through mad sums of effects pedals. I wanted the loneliness wider. Everything as slow as possible.
Gas mask junior flipping his cards into the wind while blood dries on his sneakers. Depression signifiers. Subtitles become self-aware at one point and apologise for their own bad language.

There is a kind of story with an old rich guy, his bodyguard and his granddaughter but I didn't really click on that.

I looked for signifiers of depression, alienation, hazy pandemic. There may be more to pick up on later. There was a man taking a bath with his hat still on. A woman realising she has perfected making soup and has nowhere to go from there. A teenager in sulk bed unimpressed with rainbow refractions over paper couplets on the wall.

The finale is great, a quadrant of marshall law stacks in a field, with dreamboat heart drubber Tadanobu Asano whipping his locks and his machines around the flailing tentacles of a prepared car radiator system, primo screed from gasmask senior. Sound design is lush inner ear, despite picture quality of oatmeal in a shot glass.

Track it down and see it, it can found, if you like noise and the bleak washed out palette of deserted countryside. There's a lot of suicide in it though, so maybe not to be watched in frail states.

(These are just my rough notes. I may come back and flesh them out as I will probably rewatch this again soon.)

Herbert Ashe

Also features a bar playing Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet IIRC, which amused me.

Nothing else to add, great film, also recommended, suspect this is right up the street of a bunch of people here.

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