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Venice Review: Sono Sion's Bonkers Midnight Movie 'Why Don't You Play In Hell?'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 30, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
"Crowd-pleasing" is not an adjective typically associated with Japanese director Sono Sion. For a decade or so, he's been celebrated among cinephiles for his abrasive, challenging films like the four-hour long "Love Exposure" and the post-2011-tsunami "Himizu," which was something of a favourite here in Venice two years ago. But his latest, " Why Don't You Play In Hell?," is something of a departure — an ambivalently loving tribute to both the action movie and filmmaking in general, not so much blood-splattered as blood-drenched. It seems destined to be a midnight movie cult hit, but still feels very much a Sono film.

Venice '11 Review: Sono Sion's 'Himizu' Is Close To Unwatchable, And Yet Vitally Important

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 6, 2011 7:50 AM
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  • 8 Comments
If you're after a quick response to recent events, particularly in the case of a cataclysmic disaster, cinema is not your medium. It takes years to write and develop even a bad script, let alone the financing, casting, shooting and pre-production of a film. And that's even without taking into account a reticence to address what has the potential to be traumatic material; there's a reason that it took half-a-decade for the events of 9/11 to reach the screen, and even then many believed that it was too soon for what some dismiss as mere entertainment to address such epoch-changing events.

Review: 'Love Exposure' Is Four Hours Of Madhouse Kink

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 31, 2011 2:24 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Sion Sono‘s “Love Exposure” is a film that, upon its conclusion, feels as if you’ve spanned the globe to tell its narrative. So broad is its scope -- addressing topics like religion, incest and murder -- that the film never once seems like its staying in one place, so hyperactive and eager to stimulate. Sion, who grows with each new picture, has begun to resemble a more mature sibling to fellow countryman Takashi Miike, not ignoring narrative so much as sliding it to the side, creating a believable marriage between absurd form and weighty content.

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