samedi 29 août 2009

Wu-Tang Clan et Shogun Assassin


Chronique du film Shogun Assassin ou une façon détournée de faire l'éloge du Wu-Tang Clan, le meilleur groupe de rap de tous les temps. Malgré deux albums décevants (Iron Flag, qui montre 3 ou 4 bons morceaux et 8 Diagrams, une merde incroyable) et la quasi dissolution du groupe, le Wu-Tang Clan reste une référence du rap et de la musique du vingtième siècle. Le Wu-Tang Clan reste quand même le parangon du groupe rap des années 1990 et, par extension, le groupe le plus important, avec Boogie Down Production, Public Enemy, Gangstarr, Quannum et Outkast.


Propulsé en janvier 1993 sur la scène mondiale avec le chef d'œuvre (le terme, aujourd'hui galvaudé à cause de blaireaux de journalistes en manque de sensation, prend tout son sens quand écoute l'album) Enter the Wu-Tang. Le groupe, composé de 9 poètes met les choses au point et le bordel dans le rap mondial, à une époque où règnent De La Soul , Dr Dre (The Chronic met les choses au clair et le premier album de Snoop Doggy Dogg ne va pas tarder), Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest et Arrested Development (je n'ai jamais pu aimer ce groupe). Donc, en 1993, le Wu-Tang s'impose avec un rap teigneux et des samples issus des films de Kung-Fu de la maison de production Shaw Brothers (doublés en anglais). On peut considérer le Wu-Tang Clan comme l'unique groupe influencé par la VHS et les films hong-kongais en location (à quand une étude universitaire sur l'influence des vidéo-clubs sur le rap ? Bof, étudier l'alcoolisme de Marguerite Duras, cette chouette immonde parangon de l'onanisme bourgeois gerbant, est tellement plus stimulant).

Les membres du Wu-Tang sont : RZA (architecte sonore, expression usitée par les bobos pour ne pas employer le mot "producteur", pas assez artistique et trop capitaliste), GZA (the genius, un parolier excellent, intègre et humble), Old Dirty Bastard (ODB pour les intimes, REP: 1968-2004, l'homme qui citait Jacques-Yves Cousteau dans ses textes, un fou illuminé), Method Man (un fumeur d'herbe particulièrement doué pour les allitérations), Raekwon (fasciné par les films de John Woo, surtout The Killer, 1989, les colombes, l'harmonica et les églises), Ghostface Killah (un fan de chaussures, une vraie femme), Masta Killa (ben c'est Masta Killa), Inspectah Deck (un rappeur hippie, surnommé the Rebel INS, et qui est sous-estimé, son album solo est très bon), U-God (surnommé Golden Arms, a fait des séjours en prison, porte de la fourrure et a une voix rocailleuse). Cappadonna ne fait pas partie du Wu-Tang Clan.

Le meilleur album de rap des années 1990, Enter The Wu-Tang.

L'apport du Wu-Tang Clan au rap ? Disons que, à l'époque, le Wu-Tang, en plus de révolutionner le son du rap, ne se prostituait pas au système et ne jouait pas le jeu du libéralisme sauvage. Quelqu'un dira-t-il aujourd'hui que le rap d'aujourd'hui cautionne et fait l'apologie du libéralisme sauvage ? De nos jours, des rappeurs comme Kanye West, 50 Cent ou Jay-Z font passer Alain Madelin pour un redoutable gauchiste. Horreur. quand on pense que le Wu-Tang Clan est mystagogue et prend le relais de François Villon, Saint-Amant et T.S Eliot. Ni plus ni moins. Trivialité et métaphysique.

Un album sous-estimé. Wu-Tang Forever est un album excellent.

Les nègres de Staten Island prennent la poésie à la gorge. Et qu'une chose soit dite, pour la première et la dernière fois aux kapos du PC (politiquement correct), le mot "nègre" n'est pas péjoratif mais est un signe distinctif de noblesse. Fût un temps, pas si éloigné, où les nègres ne ressemblaient pas tous à Puff Daddy (un nègre blanchi aux doigts diamantés) et considéraient le rap comme le CNN du peuple (Public Enemy). Maintenant, l'argent est roi et le rap est devenu un prétexte à montrer sa dernière chaîne en or et une bouteille de champagne français dont tout le monde se fout. La poésie achetée par des suppôts du capitalisme. Et ces rappeurs se considèrent comme des rebelles. Pathétique.

Et j'ai oublié de parler de Shogun Assassin. Peu importe.

Top 3 personnel des albums du Wu-Tang Clan:
1) Wu-Tang Clan : Enter the Wu-Tang (1993)
2) Old Dirty Bastard: Return To The 36 Chambers (1995)
3) GZA : Liquid Swords (1994)

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Début du fim Shogun Assassin.


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GZA, sur son album splendide Liquid Swords, a samplé Shogun Asassin.


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Old Dirty Bastard, "Protect ya Neck II the Zoo" featuring Brooklyn Zoo, Sunz of Man, 12 o Clock et Shorty Shit Stain.

vendredi 21 août 2009

My Bloody Valentine - To Here Know When (1991)



Single et clip de l'année 1991. Ni plus ni moins. Les vrais savent. Pour un écouter un inédit de la chanson "You made me realise" interprétée en concert à Lyon le 21 mars 1989, cliquez ici.

jeudi 20 août 2009

Interview de Sono Sion

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Ceci est une retranscription d'un entretien de Sono Sion avec le magazine 3:AM. Cet entretien daté du 3 mai 2009, très long, est pour l'instant le témoignage le plus exhaustif sur la carrière et l'art de Sono Sion. Une mine d'or pour l'amateur de Sono Sion. Le réalisateur parle de ses films passés et de son projet Lords of Chaos. On y apprend notamment que Sono Sion n'aime pas le cinéma japonais et préfère le cinéma bis, Fassbinder et Cassavetes.

Please tell us about Lords of Chaos.

Two years ago I wanted to make a new movie in Hollywood, America and I went to Los Angeles. I met many producers but it was a failure, nobody answered me, but one year later one producer brought me a project. If you are interested in this project, let’s hang out, I want to hang out with you. I read the book Lords of Chaos, I liked it & answered, “let’s do it”. But the first script was too maniac (esoteric) for normal audiences, so I rewrote the script and now I’m almost finished. Maybe this year at Cannes Film Festival our producers will present this project.


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This year ?

This month. This project Lords of Chaos will be presented to the film market section. There’s the film market section and the competition section. The producers will present this film to the film market section to try to get a bit more money.

So if someone at Cannes is interested in investing in the making of this movie you can receive more money ?

Yes. Almost all the money is prepared for this picture but we need a little more, because in this movie many churches burn. It costs, it’s tough, maybe five churches will be burned.

You’ll burn real churches ?

No. We must build them.

Oh, I see. It’s very expensive.

Five churches are very expensive so we must get more money to make this film. So we’ll go to the Cannes Film Festival film market.


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So if Cannes is interested in the movie you’ll show it at Cannes next year ? Or two years from now ? Or… ?

When ? Maybe…I don’t know. I have no idea. Maybe next year’s Berlin Film Festival or Cannes Film Festival. I don’t know. We will shoot this film in August or September. It will be complete in December. Berlin Film Festival is in February. Cannes is this month (May)… I can’t decide. Maybe Cannes or Berlin.

Usually you make films very fast. Suicide Club you made in six weeks ? A very short time, right ?

No. Three weeks or four weeks. Ah, one month. Ah, only shooting. The script (took) six months. Shooting (took) one month. Editing (took) one month. Mixing (took) almost six months.

Why do you think they chose you to direct Lords of Chaos ?

Maybe the producer watched my movies, for example: Suicide Club, Strange Circus… He loved Suicide Club. This film, this project, is similar to Suicide Club. So…


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It’s a good fit.

Yes.

How is this story similar to Suicide Club ?

Ah, … everyone’s disappointed.

You told me before about the bass player Varg Vikernes, who’s threatening to kill the people who make the Lords of Chaos movie. Are you worried about that situation ?

Ah, a little. I’m not really worried. The more dangerous a project, the more interesting it is for me.

Really ?

This film is modern, contemporary. The danger is proof of that.


So the Vikernes’ threats make you feel the movie is contemporary and important ?

Modern, up-to-date.

So the story is from the early 90’s, but still aspects of the story continue.

Actually, today’s criminal acts, it’s always – no reason why. Young people did it, this book (Lords of Chaos) for example, or Columbine - normal people couldn’t understand why they did it. So, the Lords of Chaos story is old, but still relevant. I hope that this film is not only nostalgic or historical (for black metal fans) but also sheds light on modern problems (for everyone). Wherever it happens – young people’s mysterious (extreme) actions.


So you hope the movie can have a broad meaning.

Yes

Do you like death metal or black metal ?

No. I’m studying it now. I’m listening every day. But I love Mahler, Beethoven, Mozart. Frankly, I don’t like black metal. Yes, sometimes ten minutes sounds good, but I soon get bored. Honestly. Frankly.


On the set you will have to speak English, right ? You’ll be the only Japanese crew member.

Yes, but now I’m thinking I need a Japanese cameraman.

So the cameraman is the most important person for you to communicate with ?

Yes, my system is very strange. I can’t explain exactly – I don’t need a beautiful picture, I don’t need a great view or a great shot. I need only actors acting. And I almost always use hand-held cameras, so if the cameraman cannot understand this style, I’m worried. Everything in this project is challenging for me, so for only one thing I don’t want a challenge. The actors are foreigners, almost all the staff are foreigners, the producers are foreigners – this is very challenging, so I want one Japanese cameraman.


So will you ask a cameraman you’ve worked with before ?

Yes, on Noriko’s Dinner Table, Love Exposure and Suicide Club. He knows my style, he understands. If the cameraman’s a foreigner, I’m scared. I’ve heard that in American filmmaking style everyone quits for the day in the evening. Oh my God ! This is scary. Japanese crews are very strict, or serious. If everyone is working, you don’t stop. But American crews… “Oh, 5:00, we’re finished!” - exactly on quitting time even if we’re filming. I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable. This system’s a little scary. If one scene, the voltage between the actor and actress is high but… it doesn’t matter because it’s quitting time, that’s a concern. So… that’s pretty strange. If we work another 30 minutes we can get a good scene, but… NO ! - it’s a little strange.

So maybe you will have to be a strict director.

And the Norwegian crew may move slowly. I don’t know, but it seems Norwegians are a bit laidback. Not running. Last year I went to Norway, I saw carpenters working very slowly. Oh, I thought maybe it’s tough… too slowly. So I’m afraid of this, so just a Japanese cameraman I thought I needed. He’s very speedy, maybe all the crew will be amazed when they look at him. They’ll say, “Oh my God”. Perhaps when they look at him, everyone becomes speedy too.


Was it a goal for you to make a Hollywood movie ?

Step by step, day by day, I made many Japanese films. Gradually I began to think about this, about making a Hollywood movie. Because my movies are very dangerous and weird in Japan. Strange Circus is an incest movie, movies about suicide, erotic movies, this kind of stuff, sexual and criminal stuff. So Japanese audiences …every time, always are thinking about me – he’s a weird director, he’s crazy, he’s a pervert - but Strange Circus won an audience prize in Berlin. In Berlin, regular people like my movies, they’re not especially weird. So… (because of this) Suicide Club – Japanese audiences hate this movie. Almost all Japanese people hate the movie Suicide Club. They always say – this movie is bullshit.

Bullshit ? So they think it’s not true ? Or they think maybe you are exaggerating about young Japan ?

Outrageous. Extravagant. So step by step I came to think about making a Hollywood film. Or any other country than Japan.


Europe is OK ?

European or Korean. Korean movies are very cruel. Cruel is good. Old Boy.

I’ve heard of it. Good movie ?

Yes, very very cruel. And Memories of Murder is great. Recently The Chaser is a good movie. And Korean movies are always outrageous.

Do you think that in Korea people in general like extravagant, outrageous movies ?

I don’t know, I’ve only watched Korean movies. And… Korean producers have already called me and said, “let’s make a movie together”.

Oh, really ?

Maybe this year or next year I will make a Korean movie, one or two films. I don’t like Japanese audiences. So… we hate each other.


How about other Japanese filmmakers ?

Yes. Japanese movies - almost all I don’t like. I don’t like. Because almost all Japanese movies are love drama, crying drama, and… sickness movie.

Oh, someone’s dying.

Yes, couple – both of the couple die. Crying movies – not poison. Because there’s no poison. No poison. It’s bad. Novels and films need much poison.

So your movies have poison ?

Yes. Novels, movies need poison. Japanese movies have no poison. Or (only) little poison.

Poison – for example, what ? Your definition of poison is what ?

Film ? I like Fassbinder, a German director, his films. American – John Cassavetes. I don’t like Yasujirō Ozu. In Japan I hate Yasujirō Ozu. Everyone likes him but… because Ozu’s a god of Japanese movies. The Anti-god. The Antichrist.


His movies are simple family stories.

This is basically Japanese movies. Almost all Japanese movies are about families, about couples, about getting married, about the bond of parents, sons and daughters. Ozu’s – all including Japanese films. So I don’t like this. Yes, always I’m interested in families and Noriko’s Dinner Table is about families… So… Love Exposure too. And, ah… but the contemporary family, almost all aren’t that peaceful or close – they’re broken. Every day parents kill children, children kill parents. We always hear this news. It’s not Ozu’s world. But Japanese movies are in the tradition of Ozu’s family. The peaceful family. The lovely family. They always make these movies. Peaceful family. Lovely couple. This is not real.

You think Ozu’s films are irrelevant ?

Yes.

They don’t reflect real society ?

No. So I hope to make a film like Lords of Chaos – this is real society, real young people. They were not foolish, Mayhem’s members, they had intelligence and they were thinking about many things. So… I want to show this. It can happen anywhere. Crazy people, musicians, normal people – whoever, wherever. I want to draw these people, in Japan, in America, in Norway. I want to draw universal young people.


Do you think the father in Noriko’s Dinner Table is a bad guy ?

Every film, always, broken family movie – always the father is a bad guy. For example – drinking, ignoring the son, busy, busy… but I watch the news about parents killing children, children killing parents. In these cases, the father is not a bad guy, they’re normal people, teachers. But sometimes strict, sometimes too much care, there’s… the father’s always thinking about the family as a photograph. Like in Noriko’s Dinner Table, the mother paints a picture and everyone’s smiling. So… the criminal incidents that occur within the families, preachers, teachers, strict parents and too much care. The family’s like a decoration or a display, so the children hate the decoration, the peaceful picture, the peaceful photograph. They want to run away to outside this picture. So sometimes it happens. Incidents or accidents happen. I thought of this when I wrote Noriko’s Dinner Table, I took care to make the father seem like a good guy, and the audience will like him, but the children didn’t like him. Outside looking in, it’s a peaceful family, inside it’s not peaceful. Everyone in the family are good people: good daughters, good mother, good father, good sister. But – it happened. Something happened. It’s like reality. Drunk father, mother chasing men, sister on drugs - that’s fantasy. Real broken families are normal and move step by step. It’s how they live.


When I watched that movie I felt sorry for the father. Do you want people to feel sorry for that father ?

Yes, I hope so, because I feel the same thing, but shit happens.

In Strange Circus the father is obviously very evil, but I thought in both movies (Strange Circus and Noriko’s Dinner Table) that the mother just kind of goes along with the father. So… do you think the father has more control over the family than the mother – always ?

Yes, this is a fact, my father was very strict. Very very strict. He was… he controlled everything, we were like slaves. So... in these two movies, one is an evil guy, one is a normal guy but it’s the same thing, they’re always controlling their family. That’s important, father was strict, controlled them, they’re not free.

Where the family lives in Noriko’s Dinner Table is actually your hometown, right ? Toyokawa in Aichi Prefecture. So you filmed those parts in Toyokawa ?

Not real. When I shot this film, I wanted to film in Aichi, but now Toyokawa is a very up-to-date city. The station is new, not like in the old days, so I changed the location. We filmed in Izu, it’s still an old town like Toyokawa used to be, so we filmed there.


Do you feel you are Noriko ? You too ran away to Tokyo.

Yeah. Real thing. When I was 17 years old I ran away from Toyokawa to Tokyo. It’s semi-autobiographical. Soon I came back home because I had no money. One month or two months I stayed in Tokyo. Then I came home like a poor rabbit.

Where did you stay in Tokyo ?

Actually, when I arrived at Tokyo Station, it became night. I sat in the park at midnight. One woman came to me and asked, “Do you know where the hotel is ?” A strange woman, so I said, “I don’t know”, but I found a hotel and I took her there. And she said to me, “Could you please stay with me ?” I was a cherry boy, you know, I was a virgin. I thought, “Oh my God ! - Tokyo is a very very strange world.” OK, I kept it in my mind – today I finish my virgin days. As soon as we came into the room, she pulled out big scissors. I was surprised. “Actually I want to die”, she said. I couldn’t believe what was happening. “I want to die now but I didn’t want to be alone, I was looking for someone to die with.”


Really ? She wants the two of you to die together ?

Yeah. Yeah. Oh my God ! So I said “please please don’t kill me, I’ll do anything for you if you don’t kill me.” She said, “Tomorrow we go back to my hometown, there’s my mother in the countryside. You pretend to be my husband in front of my mother.” I said, “Ah. OK,OK” and she said, “You stay with me and my mother in the countryside”. OK. OK. So… we went to the countryside and I met her mother. She introduced me, “This is my husband”. Her mother was surprised, “Looks like a boy”. I was 17.

How old was the woman ? Your wife.

In her 30s, maybe, I don’t know. Not so young.

So did the mother believe that you were her husband ?

Yes, hmm. I don’t know.


How long did you stay with them ?

Ah, I forget how long I stayed, because it was a weird, strange world, so I forget. I felt it was a very long time but this is not true, maybe two or three weeks. But one day I said, “I want to go back to Tokyo”. She understood that it was time for me to go back, she was kind, and she gave me about 30,000 (about $300 U.S. dollars). So I went back to Tokyo and I watched the movie A Clockwork Orange for the first time. I’ve never forgotten this movie.

You watched it in the theatre in Tokyo ? So… 1971 ?

This was a 1979 encore edition. I’m not that old.

Why did you like A Clockwork Orange ?

If I watched it in another situation, it might not have impacted me as much. But in this situation - it’s good, I’m lonely, I’m wondering whether or not I’m a criminal. This situation - very important movie, it was emotional, I was moved.


So at the time you thought maybe you were a criminal but when you watched the movie you felt/thought – “No, they are criminals, I’m a good guy” ? - no ? what did you think ?

Whenever - I’m prepared to be a criminal. So I was Alex, if I were Alex, I would have done the same thing. So yes, I sympathized with him.

Was the woman very beautiful ?

No, not ugly but not beautiful, normal. In the end I didn’t fuck her. I was still a cherry boy, still a virgin, still intact.

Interesting story.

And I came back to Tokyo and I came into a cult. A cult church. I came back to Tokyo and watched the movie, and I… at the station, one guy asked me – “Do you believe in God ?”, I thought if I told him I believed in God he’d give me some food. I answered, “Of course, I do”, I was hungry, so we went to church and we had lunch. So I stayed in the church. Ah, this influenced Love Exposure.

This experience ?

During lessons about God in class I began to crack. I went into the classroom and cleaned the church. Work and lessons. Every day lessons and study about God and cleaning the church.


It was Christianity ?

No. A cult. Yes. Weird uncle, disturbing older guy. He was God, priest. All gods together – he is actually God. And the believers, strange people. Always when the teacher was teaching at the blackboard – I couldn’t write it down without laughing.

How many people were in his cult ?

100.

Young people ?

Half is young people, other were middle-aged. Everyone believed in him.

Was it easy to leave the cult ?

One day, I couldn’t stand anymore, so I got out, outside. One believer found me but she was a older woman. I was scared she’d call someone, but she said, smiling “you’ll be back soon”. She believed someday I’d come back to the church –no, no, it was really goodbye. I ran away, but this cult was very very strong. I thought they’d absolutely catch me. It’s strange, one day, after I’d returned to my parents’ house, there was a letter on the table.


From the cult ? They knew your home address ? So you gave it to them ?

Why they knew my address I didn’t know. I have no idea. This cult is very famous and strong. Once you enter you can never come back to the social world. I was lucky, I got away. Next – a terrorist group, I wanted to escape from the cult and thought I could never get away from them so I made up my mind to go into a terrorist group. Terrorist group ? Antisocial group ? – I'm not sure

What did they do ?

They were against the expanding of Narita airport. Various things, they were communists, a super communist group. When I went into this group, they were against the building of a second terminal at Narita airport. So I went into this group, and yes, the cult group never came. So it was a success, but it was the second new problem. All day against the riot police, against, every day, very painful, painful. I had no policy, no beliefs, but I was hungry. I needed food. So I fought against the riot police, just to eat. Weird, huh? The only problem – I am hungry. First time – I’m a cult member, next – I’m a protester. Totally no meaning.

So you didn’t believe in religion or politics ? You only wanted to eat ?

Yes, for a living. So I ran away from this group, I had no idea what to do next, so I turned back towards my hometown. This experience was very important. Even now, when I write the next script, every time, I remember everything and this is – useful. This experience.

When you pretended to be the woman’s husband I think it’s very similar to events in Noriko’s Dinner Table.

Yes. It was a very important experience. If I stayed in normal life I wouldn’t have fought riot police, joined a cult, or been an imposter family member. So it was good.

It was an education for you.

Yes.


When you went back home what did your parents say? What did your father say to you ?

Hmm… this is strange, I’ve forgotten, maybe… always he was ticked off, easily angered. Perhaps this was a big deal so he didn’t get angry – I don’t know. He could have thought that if he got angry, soon I’d take off again. I don’t know. I forgot. So… Yes. What ? What did you ask me ?

How did your father react ?

Oh, yes. I forget.

Then you entered Hosei University, but you quit. Why did you drop out of university ?

So… this was a trick. My parents were teachers. They were relieved I entered university, but actually I wanted to make my film on 8mm camera. So… yes, when I entered university, as soon as I entered university, I started to make my film on 8mm, soon I made four films and I am Sono Sion ! won a prize at the PIA Film Festival, and the next year I won a scholarship, so I made Bicycle Sighs on 16mm camera. Bicycle Sighs is my official debut film not including the 8mm works, but there are many of those. Yes, Bicycle Sighs and The Room and now… I was tired of making independent films, because I have to get money for next film, next film, next film. This was expensive, I was tired. In 1990 I went to America… San Francisco. So I learned films again in San Francisco.


You went to school there ?

Yes. Berkeley University. I watched a lot of films. B cinema only.

Why B cinema ?

In Japan, I’d studied normal movies. I wanted to learn B movies. When I was a boy I watched many B movies, but I forgot them when I learned academic and historical movies. I wanted to forget these normal movies, so I watched B movies, C movies, D movies.

Yeah, so like what ?

Two Thousand Maniacs.

Horror ?

Almost all horror movies, porno movies, yes. I was lucky, near my apartment there was a video shop with tons of B movies and porno movies. Every day I watched around five B movies. So I learned, and I made up my mind if I go back to Japan I will make a movie just like these B movies. I hope Japanese hate me. This is a hate movie. I hope almost all people hate this movie. This title is Suicide Club. So I made it. Yes, and truly every Japanese person hates it. American people, European people, they like it.


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Especially Americans ?

I don’t know.

How long did you stay at Berkeley ?

15 months.

You didn’t study ? You only watched movies ?

Yes. Movies were my study, so I didn’t learn English.

Did you have many friends ?

Yes, all my friends were American. There were no Japanese.


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San Francisco’s a liberal place, right ?

L.A. is different, the young people are conservative and boring. They’re all watching Diehard in L.A. So yes, it was a good influence, because these American friends were hippies, so we watched B movies together. They found B movies for me and we watched them together, it was good. Still now, it’s useful.

So these were big experiences in your life, when you came to Tokyo and when you went to San Francisco.

Yes, my films changed when I got back to Japan. Before I went to America I made art house movies, but when I came back to Japan, Suicide Club… etc. - it’s not art house, it’s weird entertainment, they’re not only art house and not only entertainment. They’re black entertainment.

Did they show Suicide Club in theatres in Japan ?

Yes.

In Tokyo & Osaka, all over Japan ?

I don’t know. I didn’t know.

Some Japanese people must like your films, right ?

Yeah, some.

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I’ve never seen Love Exposure, can you tell me about the movie ?

It’s a corpus of my ten years from Suicide Club to Hair Extensions, everything mixed: about family, about eroticism, everything - it’s a nabe ryouri (Japanese stew), a mixture.

Love Exposure is the third in your pervert trilogy: Strange Circus, Hair Extensions, Love Exposure.

Yes, a trilogy, but not only perverted stuff, Love Exposure is more than that : family problems, about the cult in Japan… Yes, strict father, he controls his family, and… yes, not only pervert trilogy, also family, cult and everything, entertainment elements, car action, Hong Kong action, porno movies, yes.

The movie is four hours long. Did you plan to make it that long ?

Yeah, I convinced my producer. At last the producer understood the length issue, it’s four hours, it was tough to convince him. Sometimes he’d say, “can we make it three hours or two and a half hours ?” - many times I tried, but I couldn’t.


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The reaction at Berlin – it won awards.

I am sarcastic, every day, always. So… yes, Berlin people were glad to watch my movie. Everyone said it was good but I didn’t believe them. I thought, “this is the format”. So I came back to Japan and I heard the film won two prizes. It was the first time I believed. Someone called me on my cell phone.

You haven’t received the awards yet. Or you haven’t seen them ?

Yes, someone keeps them, still, somewhere.

Someday you will get them ?

Yes, I hope so.

La France n'aime pas Sono Sion

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L'interview la plus exhaustive et intéressante de Sono Sion , réalisée en février 2010, est disponible ici.

20 août 2009, Love Exposure de Sono Sion est disponible en DVD depuis un mois (en japonais sans sous-titres) et les chances de voir le film sur les écrans français se réduisent comme peau de chagrin. Pour être clair, Love Exposure, considéré comme le meilleur film de Sono Sion, lui-même considéré comme le meilleur réalisateur japonais de l'heure (désolé pour Takashi Miike et Kiyoshi Kurosawa), ne sera pas distribué en France. Et ce malgré 2 récompenses au Festival de Berlin en décembre 2008 et des critiques élogieuses dans les rares pays qui ont projeté le film: pour les citer (c'est court), le Québec (2 projections, un record !, prix du jury au festival Fantasia), l'Espagne et l'Allemagne (considéré par le journal Bild comme le "film de l'année").

Sono-Sion-Love-Exposure
Sono Sion, faut-il le rappeler, est le réalisateur de Suicide Club, du Testament de Noriko (un chef-d'œuvre) et de Hazard (encore un chef-d'œuvre). La seule question qu'on peut se poser, c'est que foutent ces lopettes de distributeurs français ? Et que fout la maison du Japon de France ? Parce qu'un film dure 4 heures, on ne le distribue pas ?

Sono-Sion-Love-Exposure
On ne peut qu'espérer que le prochain film de Sono Sion, Lords of Chaos, un film sur la scène de black métal norvégien des années 1990 (meurtres et incendies d'églises au programme) attire les médias sur le réalisateur japonais. D'après les dernières nouvelles, Lords of Chaos, tourné en anglais (une langue que ne maîtrise pas Sono Sion) met en scène Jackson Rathbone, acteur américain vu dans le carton commercial Twilight. Le tournage débute en septembre, on peut donc espérer la sortie du film pour le festival de Cannes ou septembre 2010.

Sono-Sion-Love-Exposure
Ci-dessous un scène de Love Exposure où le personnage principal, fils d'un prêtre catholique, rencontre une jeune fille dont il va tomber amoureux. Problème : le héros est ici travesti en Femme Scorpion (hommage au film nippon qui a influencé Kill Bill de Quentin Tarantino) et la jeune fille est une lesbienne convaincue. Quiproquo et cœur brisé en perspective.

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mercredi 19 août 2009

Kiyoshi Kurosawa - Kandagawa Pervert Wars (1983)


Comme de nombreux réalisateurs japonais, Kiyoshi Kurosawa a débuté sa carrière professionnelle par un film érotique - les fameux pinku eiga, un genre unique du cinéma. Littéralement, Kandagawa inran senso signifie les guerres obscènes de la rivière Kanda (une rivière de Tokyo). Un film qui ne laissait pas présager les futurs thrillers que sont Cure (1997) ou Kairo (2000).

Usagi Aso dans le rôle d'Akiko.

En 1983, grâce à l'intermédiaire de Banmei Takahashi (réalisateur du sulfureux Tokyo Decadence: New Love in Tokyo en 1994), Kiyoshi Kurosawa est engagé par la compagnie Million pour réaliser un "film pour adulte". Kurosawa a carte blanche pour le scénario ; le seul impératif est d'inclure cinq ou six scènes de sexe simulé. Le scénario est simple : Akiko, une jeune femme qui vit dans un immeuble de la banlieue tokyoïte de Kandagawa décide de ne plus travailler et de passer ses soirées à espionner l'immeuble d'en face. On pense évidemment à Fenêtre sur cour d'Alfred Hitchcock. Akiko partage ce passe-temps avec sa voisine de palier, Masami. Un soir, alors que Masami observe l'appartement de nouveaux arrivants, une mère et son fils, ceux-ci se mettent à faire l'amour. Masami révèle à Akiko sa découverte et les deux jeunes femmes décident d'intervenir et de délivrer le garçon de sa mère incestueuse.


Makoto Yoshino dans le rôle de Masami.

Malgré le formatage des pinku eiga, Kiyoshi Kurosawa fait ici preuve d'originalités, d'audaces et d'hommages à la Nouvelle vague française : plans séquences, utilisation de la voix off lors d'une scène de sexe particulièrement bien montée (on pense aux raccords de Godard dans A Bout de Souffle), alternance de rires et de silences, situations absurdes et exagérées, parodies de scènes de guerre et un final qui n'est pas sans rappeler Pierrot le Fou. Sans compter le générique "parlé" comme dans Le Mépris de Godard et la version française (et non anglaise, pourquoi ?) de Blue Rita de Jess Franco, qu'il ne faut pas oublier, car c'est un maître.

Flagrant délit de nudisme sur le toit d'un immeuble de banlieue.

Un dernier mot sur le mur de l'appartement du couple incestueux, tapissé de feuilles blanches remplies de noms de films : les westerns, les films d'actions des années 70 y côtoient John Ford et Jean-Luc Godard. On remarque ainsi :
Intolerance de DW Griffith,
Riot in Cell Block 11 de Don Siegel,
Big Bad Mama de Steve Carver,
The Last Run et Don is Dead de Richard Fleischer,
Woman in the Window et Hangmen also die ! de Fritz Lang,
Vertigo, Topaz et Number 17 d'Alfred Hitchcock,
Rising of the Moon, This is Korea !, Two Rode Together, Mogambo et She Wore Yellow Ribbon de John Ford,
et surtout,
une collection des premiers films de Jean-Luc Godard : Charlotte et son Jules, A Bout de Souffle, Le Petit Soldat, Une Femme est une Femme, Les Carabiniers, Bande à Part, Le Mépris, Alphaville, Masculin/Féminin et Made in USA.


Flagrant délit d'inceste devant un mur rempli de références au cinéma mondial.

Au final, Kandagawa Pervert Wars est un bon film, très attachant, grâce au jeu et à la beauté des deux actrices principales et à la mise en scène d'un jeune Kiyoshi Kurosawa déjà bien inspiré. Ci-dessous, une scène de massage à la japonaise entre Akiko et Masami. A conseiller seulement aux personnes suffisamment souples et bien entraînées.

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samedi 15 août 2009

Kenji Mizoguchi - La marche de Tokyo (1929)


Kenji Mizoguchi est un génie du cinéma à juste titre célébré comme tel dans le monde entier même si ses films sont rarement projetés sur les écrans ou diffusés à la télévision. Tant de beauté effraie le petit écran. Et tant de critique sociale. Kenji Mizoguchi est un homme en colère qui a transcendé son ire grâce à cet art qu'est le cinéma. Connu pour son art du plan séquence et sa philosophie de la prise unique (aux risques et périls des acteurs), Mizoguchi a débuté sa carrière en 1922 et a enchaîné les tournages pour se faire une place dans le monde du cinéma. Lui, issu d'une famille pauvre brisée par la crise économique et solidaire du socialisme, s'est vengé de la société à travers ses films.


Il faut savoir que la famille de Mizoguchi a vécu un temps grâce à la sœur de Kenji qui jouait l'escort girl pour un riche industriel et ramenait l'argent à la maison. Cette situation (prostitution féminine des pauvres pour le plaisir sexuel des riches) a marqué à jamais Kenji Mizoguchi et ses films. C'est le thème principal de La marche de Tokyo, un film muet de 1929 de 29 minutes restauré par la Cinémathèque française il y a quelques années. Les subventions de l'Etat servent enfin à quelque chose de primordial.


Adapté d'un livre de Kankikuchi, La marche de Tokyo raconte l'élévation sociale de la pauvre Orie, orpheline (interprétée par Shizue Natsukawa), qui devient geisha pour subvenir à ses besoins. Dans sa maison de passe, elle rencontre de riches industriels et des hommes d'affaires qui lui promettent richesse et mariage. Le tout auréolé d'inceste (père/fille et frère/soeur, autant être clair et net).


L'art de Mizoguchi tient ici de la plus haute maîtrise. 5 ans après Eric von Stroheim et 30 ans avant Jean-Luc Godard, Mizoguchi n'hésite pas à tourner en plein air. Et 10 ans avant Orson Welles, il utilise le flashback. La marche de Tokyo est un tour de force exceptionnel. En 29 minutes, Mizoguchi exploite une histoire qui pourrait durer 2 heures. Les plans sont extrêmement serrés ; le superflu est banni. On peut supposer que la pellicule à disposition de Mizoguchi n'est pas étrangère à ce montage.


Ci-dessous, le début du film. Certaines symboliques sont à noter, en particulier la scène où les riches bourgeois qui jouent au tennis dominent géographiquement la pauvre Orie, qui s'empresse de rendre service à des gens plus riches qu'elle. Et ces mêmes gens, derrière leur grillage, de prendre en photo la jeune femme, comme un aperçu du tourisme social obscène aujourd'hui en vogue. Effectivement, Kenji Mizoguchi était vraiment un homme en colère.

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vendredi 14 août 2009

Des jours dans la vie d'Osugi Sakae

Osugi-Sakae-Kiju-Yoshida
Chronologie des événements majeurs de la vie de l'anarchiste japonais Osugi Sakae, extraite et traduite de l'édition anglaise de l'autobiographie d'Osugi Sakae éditée par Byron Marshall et publiée en 1992. Toutes les illustrations proviennent d'Eros + Massacre, le film magisral de Kiju Yoshida. Pour en savoir plus, cliquez ici.

1885
Naissance à Marugame dans la préfecture de Kagawa (janvier)

1889 (4 ans)
Déménage à Shibata dans la préfecture de Niigata (hiver)

1891 (6 ans)
Entre à l'école élémentaire (printemps)

1894 (9 ans)
Son père participe à la guerre sino-japonaise (jusqu'en mars 1895)

Osugi-Sakae-Kiju-Yoshida-Eros-Massacre
1895 (10 ans)
Entre à l'école élémentaire supérieure (printemps)

1897 (12 ans)
Entre au collège de Shibata (automne)

1899 (14 ans)
Entre à l'école militaire de Nagoya (printemps)

1901 (16 ans)
Expulsion de l'école militaire (novembre)

1902 (17 ans)
Suit les cours à Tokyo Gakuin, et la nuit, l'école de cours de français (janvier)
Mort de sa mère à Niigata (juin)
Entre à l'école Junten à Tokyo (octobre)

1903 (18 ans)
Entre à l'université de langues étrangères de Tokyo, fait la découverte du journal anti-impérialiste Commoner News (Heimin Shimbun) (septembre)

Osugi-Sakae
1904 (19 ans)
Déclaration de guerre entre la Russie et le Japon (février)

1906 (21 ans)
Arrêté à Tokyo pour un accident de voiture (mars)
Épouse Hori Yasuko, belle-soeur du socialiste Sakai Toshihiko (septembre)
Inculpé pour violation du droit de la presse (novembre)

1907 (22 ans)
Arrêté pour violation du droit de la presse (mars)

1908 (23 ans)
Arrêté pour avoir prononcé un discours politique sur le toit d'un immeuble (janvier)
Arrêté et condamné à un an et demi de prison pour avoir arborer un drapeau rouge appelant l'instauration du communisme et de l'anarchisme lors de la libération du socialiste Yamaguchi Gizo (mars)

1909 (24 ans)
Passe l'année à la prison de Sugamo

1910 (25 ans)
Sortie de prison (novembre)
Annonce de la peine de mort pour Kotoku Shusui et d'autres militants socialistes et anarchistes (décembre)

1914 (29 ans)
Début de sa relation amoureuse avec Kamichiko Ichiko (1888-1981) (automne)

Osugi-Sakae-Ito-Noe-Kiju-YoshidaHori Yasuko, femme d'Osugi Sake, et Ito Noe, sa dernière maîtresse, militante féministe, qui le suivra dans la mort en 1923.

1916 (31 ans)
Début de sa relation amoureuse avec Ito Noe (1895-1923)
Poignardé non mortellement par sa maîtresse Kamichiko Ichiko (novembre)

1919 (34 ans)
Publication de ses Mémoires de prison (janvier-avril)

1921 (37 ans)
Publication de son autobiographie dans plusieurs numéros du magazine Kaizo (septembre-janvier 1922)

1922 (38 ans)
Part en Europe pour assister à des réunions anarchistes

Osugi-Sakae-Kiju-Yoshida-Eros-MassacreComme le chantait Johnny Thunders, "Get Off the Phone".

1923 (38 ans)
Arrêté à Paris et déporté au Japon (mai)
Assassiné par la police militaire (septembre)