It’s Keiko / I Am Keiko (Keiko desu kedo,圭子ですけど)
【Moon and Thunder/月と雷 】

Exte: Hair Extensions(Exte,エクステ)

Director E Subject. :. Sono Sion
Screenplay: Sono Sion, Masaki Adachi, Sanada Makoto
Photography :. Yanagida Hiro’o
Music by Tomoki Hasegawa, Sono Sion
Editing: Ito Jun’ichi
・Chiaki Kuriyama
・Miku Sato
・Sato Megumi
・Otsugi Ren
Production: Central Arts, Exte Film Partners, Toei.
Running Time: 108 mins
Release Date: February 17, 2007

Score: ★★★☆☆

[Official Site]

Along with the melodrama Chanto tsutaeru (Be Sure to Share, 2009), Exte is virtually the only openly movie genre Sono Sion, although the eclectic director does not give up even on this occasion to enter a series of distinctive elements of his way to narrate. Within the conventions of the genre emerge traits author subversive: the smaliziato tone, the grimace that follows the fright, the grotesque complacency, the incongruous juxtaposition. Taking up a stereotype of kaidan eiga (the traditional Japanese ghost film) before, and J-horror , then, they offer hair (female) his personal vision, linking it to the aesthetic worship and postmodern consumerism, whose extensions are not obvious that an emblem. The extensions of They represent a foray into genre cinema, almost a divertissement, which rework classic content and the main topics of some fantastic works: the spirit revenge, violence and abuses suffered unjustly, representing them through a view strictly personal of making films, connected to a discourse on culture and contemporary human interrelation.
Parallel to the discovery of a mysterious corpse from which escape hair, the film continues by introducing the Yuko everyday (Kuriyama Chiaki, and the western public has come to know in Tarantino ‘s Kill Bill Vol. 1 , 2003, but also in Battle Royale Fukasaku Kinji, 2000), twenty-year old apprentice hair stylist , dynamic and determined, eager to achieve its aspirations, working hard in the beauty salon Gilles de Rais.Recovering and dinamicizzando the long sequence plan dedicated to the protagonist of (It’s Keiko, 1997), it represents the cheerfulness and liveliness of Yuko while zipping through the city streets to the edge of his bicycle, describing, at the same time, the surrounding environment . A mise-en-scène in contrast to the toni cupi of the introductory segment, the discovery of the corpse, which opens – in a typical trait of the director – the will to break the uniformity of the film, using different genres: mystery, the comedy, horror and, later, the melodrama. The latter is introduced through the figure of Mami and abuses that suffers little from her mother, yet an example of that violent dysfunctional family and the applicant in the director’s cinema, Kimyōna sākasu (Strange Circus, 2005) to Ai no mukidashi (Love Exposure, 2008) up to (Himizu, 2011). It is put to sieve the intimacy of the home, his constant precariousness (maternal harassment and the shadow of a previous abortion) which needs to be able to exist, a comparison and a continuous reassertion Under multiple levels, (proof of rising bond between the young aunt and niece). A relational difficulties inherent in the family unit, which only in the end be able to find a renaissance inspiration in a new ricreatasi complicity between Yuko and Mami. Alongside the three female characters, there to Gunji (played by Ren Osugi, already known to viewers of the film Kitano Takeshi, Miike Takashi and Kurosawa Kiyoshi). Hair Fetishes, perverted and sexually borderline, the character of Gunji, while Yuko heroin antagonist and villain of the story, is in no way reducible to the stereotypes of the genre.They seem to pour into it his passion for street artists, as evidenced by the eccentricity, the long musical number which becomes the protagonist, the obsession with cosmetic for hair, in the street shot by the camera, the subversive attitude , ways of juggler and magician who bewitch the audience, the extravagant clothing (overalls, sweater stars and stripes, pinned brooches on the chest, the jute hat, white gloves and, of course, the wig with long black locks ) that in some ways anticipates that of Yu in disguise Love Exposure .
You Gunji who, without knowing it, spreads the curse. Those who carelessly wear its extensions will eventually revive the tragic agony of the woman from whom the hair came from, victim of a grisly murder due to the trafficking of human organs. Their views follow one another in a series of gruesome torture images, through a montage of quick shots which almost overlap in the details, and expressionistic play of colors that the fans so that violence lies not only in what we see, but also in the way the film makes us see and feel (think the use of counterpoint Carol accompanying the images, a symptom of a discussion related to the religious component in Exte located hint but not depth). A syntax that, in some respects, closely resembles that of Tsukamoto Shin’ya in his famous Tetsuo (1989), where the rich and dense component of profilmic, organic body and iron in one case and accumulation of hair are, you express both through a tight fitting, close and individual frames details in continuity to the stop-motion limit.
In Exte hair become an entity in itself, relentless and deadly, whose murderous rampage is set in motion by the tinkling of a bell. Blacks, long and thick protruding from everywhere fax machines, air conditioners, windows and cracks in the walls. In the scene where the little Mami, after the death of his mother and her lover, if in turn has to do with the murders hair, these appear as a mass in his embrace everything that surrounds it, ironically refer to The Blob (especially to Chuck Russell 1988 remake). Although compared to other work is the work by the corrosive lesser extent, the inventiveness, the eccentricity and the reworking of styles and influences (from b-movies to J-Horror contemporary, without forgetting the usual intimate and dramatic background) make Exte a pleasant change the heterogeneous film credits are.

[Katsuyuki Nakanishi]

Katsuyuki Nakanishi
Born on 1984 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Graduated in Vantan Film and Movie Institute major in film director. The fourth graduate of JSC Cinematographers assistant upbringing cramming school. While he was studying in Tokyo, he was also working with Director Shinya Tsukamoto's movie at the same time. After that, he became part of the lighting department of Toei Studios Kyoto, studied under Kiyoto Ando and Takashi Sugimoto. In these movies, he worked as an assistant lighting director with Takashi Sugimoto in "Chacha - Tengai no Onna"(2007) and Kiyoto Ando in "The Fallen Angel"(2010). He work as a freelancer since 2011 and became part of these latest movies as a lighting director of Director Yang Ik-June's ”Shibata and Nagao"(2012), Director Keisuke Yoshida’s ”Himeanile”(2016), Director Kohki Yoshida’s ”ThreeLights"(2017), Director Hiroshi Ando’s ”Moon and Thunder" (2017) and Director Shinya Tsukamoto’s ”Killing” (2018).

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