Communication breakdown is Pulse's primary preoccupation, an infectious ailment that spreads throughout Tokyo like a plague - or, more aptly, like a computer virus, as a program on botanical nursery worker Taguchi's (Kenji Mizuhashi) floppy disk seems to spark a chain of catastrophic web-based events involving forlorn ghosts. When Taguchi goes missing from work, colleague Michi (Kumiko Aso) visits his apartment, where a disheveled Taguchi - when his guest's back is turned - uses a rope for fatal purposes. Examining the disk her friend had been working on, Michi and friend Junco (Kurume Arisaka) discover a haunting image of Taguchi's flat in which a computer screen projects the identical scene they're looking at, as well as a shadowy spectre staring into another monitor. Not long afterwards, Michi's television goes haywire (while a newsman discusses a long-lost communiqué) while her other co-worker Yabe (Masatoshi Matsuo), after receiving anonymous phone calls from someone pleading "Help me," unlocks a mysterious room whose doors are sealed with red duct tape. And in a concurrent storyline, technophobic economics student Kawashima (Haruhiko Kato) teams up with a computer lab worker named Harue (Koyuki) after stumbling upon a strange website called The Forbidden Room which depicts fuzzy people somnolently moving about their tiny abodes.
Continue reading: Pulse (2001) Review
Continue reading: The Happiness Of The Katakuris Review
New Yorker Films is hyping the similarity between Senses and Oshima's latest work, Taboo, saying the new film, "like... Senses, deals with the anti-authoritarian sway of sexuality, a nearly taboo subject in Japan."
Continue reading: Taboo Review
The recruiting of a skilled but effeminate young warrior creates a cancer of impulsive desires, rumors and jealousy that eats away at an esteemed 19th Century samurai militia in Nagisa Oshima's new psychosexual drama, "Taboo."
The men of this tight-knit unit all come to either admire the young enlistee for his talent with a sword or, unexpectedly, lust for his soft features and coy social demeanor -- or more frequently both. The eventual result is upheaval in the camp, as the boy (Ryuhei Matsuda) becomes the object of lust, scorn and gossip while taking various lovers, fending off others and at the same time trying to adhere to his duty as a samurai.
The film's characters are largely fascinating and enigmatic, especially the boy -- who absentmindedly toys with the affections and fury of his admirers -- and a lieutenant who seems to be the only person in the camp keeping his perspective. (The lieutenant is played by "Beat" Takeshi Kitano, the actor-writer-director whose poetically violent gangster films have made him a Japanese cinema icon.)
Continue reading: Taboo Review
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