Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gozu (2003)

Gozu, translated as goathead, is Takashi Miike's weirdest film in his vast filmography filled with perversities, subversiveness and quirkiness. Minami (Hideki Sone) mistakenly kills a gangster associate of his named Brother. Almost as soon as the murder takes place, the body of the deceased man is gone, prompting Minami to conduct a search. While looking he finds a mysterious isolated hotel where he decides to take a rest. Not only are the front desk clerks a bit strange, but even the ambiance feels unusual.

Gozu" is fascinating, unsettling, hypnotic, complicated, patently weird and, at times, terrifying and repulsive. This is primarily a stream of consciousness type movie, with an underlying theme of conflicted sexual identity. Stylistically, the film is quite Lynchian and is absolutely oversaturated with sexual iconography. The overall mood of the film is dark, mysterious, and dreamlike. There are 2-3 scenes most people will find highly disturbing. For people new to the work of Takashi Miike, I guess "Gozu" is a good place to start, but I would warn a bit beforehand that the going gets weird pretty quick.

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