Monday, May 2, 2016
Guilty of Romance
Once or twice a year I indulge myself in watching a Japanese movie that has been regarded by critics as a controversial artistic creation. I do not do this more often because, just as with Japanese literature, Japanese movies are something from a different planet, the type of movie that ends up haunting you and you find yourself every other day asking about the different meanings behind certain dramatic or kinky scenes.
My first viewing this year was "Guilty of Romance" (2011) directed by Sion Sono. It is a mixture of sex and death and pseudo-relationships between mother and daughter or husband and wife. The dark human psyche of a bored wife leads her from non-existent physical love to sexual deprivation and something even more repulsive than that. Izumi yearns for passion and attention and she gets it at first from a hot blooded prostitute by night and a professor by day, then from men who pay for her sexual services, and finally from her husband, to close the circle. The mixture of madness, danger and sexual gratification is almost palpable and the ending leaves you nauseated.
"Guilty of Romance" is the final part of the "Hate" trilogy, with "Love Exposure" (2008) and "Cold Fish" (2010) being the other two and I am sure I will gather the strength to watch them sometime later this year. The films are not connected with each other but the themes are similar: sex, religion and family. A self confessed "hater", Sono declared in an interview that the hate inside him was so strong that "Guilty of Romance" was his "concession speech towards love, because I was exhausted from hating."