[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
[ Cast ]
• SOMETANI Shota DAIKOKU Samao
• MIZUNO Elina NANMU Ami
• SHIBUKAWA Kiyohiko EBISU Daikichi
• MURAKAMI Jun INOGAMI Rakuhiko
• AYANO Go SENJYU Kan
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: INAGAKI Kiyotaka
• Cinematography: MATSUMOTO Yoshiyuki
• Editor: TAKEDA Takahiko
• Editor: ISHII Gakuryu
• Music: bloodthirsty butchers
[ Production Company ]
soredake film partners
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Live Viewing Japan
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: May 27, 2015
Running Time: 110 min
Genre: Drama, Feature
Screening Format: DCP
Screening Format with Subtitles
・English (DCP, Blu-ray)
[ Story ]
Coming of age drama with bruising rock music and action about a guy floundering in the margins of society as he tries to improve his lot. The project started out as a music-based film proposed by Yoshimura Hideki, the leader of the band called the bloodthirsty butchers who died unexpectedly in 2013. Director Ishii Gakuryu fulfilled Yoshimura’s wishes by bringing the film to completion with a new story.
Daikoku (Sometani Shota), who has lost his family registry, seizes the wallet of a shadowy con artist in a bid to escape his dismal life. Then, he happens to find a hard disk loaded with personal information from the underworld.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2015 Montreal World Film Festival, Focus On World Cinema
• 2015 Indie Fest
• 2015 Raindance Film Festival, Competition
• 2015 CAMERA JAPAN Festival
• 2015 LA Eiga Fest
• 2015 Hong Kong Asian Film Festival
• 2015 Hawaii International Film Festival
• 2015 Singapore International Film Festival, Asian Vision
Samao is a young outcast, one day he steals a hard drive from Inogami, a criminal who holds the names and data of the people to be eliminated inside the drive. People at the lowest point of the social ladder, prostitutes, homeless people, vagabonds who, according to the organization to which they belong, must be eliminated. At the head of this group is Senjū Kan who ends up capturing Samao and Ami, a prostitute in love with the boy.
The start is crackling, one of the best of the Japanese film season. A couple of minutes before the title appeared, a wall of sound hits us as we see Samao steal the drive and run away chased by a stranger guy. The power of music, the kinetic force emanating from images, from the installation and from very close subjective shots towards the face, like those made when we put a video camera on the head to make the idea, are a pure adrenaline rush and when it arrives the title in red brush strokes on the screen is really a triumph.
Unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably because it is not a music video, the film continues on these rhythms for 30 or 40 minutes and then give up a bit, not just rhythm, when Ishii leaves the black and white (or in any case the color of the sepia) and turns to color. Not only because of this color change, even if the aesthetic was more frankly impacting in this first part, but because the film sits a bit. The story is trivialized and in general becomes a bit’ too verbose, the plot almost flows into the parody, the protagonists themselves let themselves go in a more ostentatious recitation, perhaps at the behest of Ishii himself, and with some slightly comical nuances. But this is pure Ishii, take or leave. The tense scenes, violent, some violent, and super kinetic of the first part, with the incredible music shot at almost illegal volumes in the room where I saw the film are lost a bit, as mentioned in a plot that although interesting the renegades, the non-persons as ghosts in search of revenge/ rebirth.
Such a choice is not necessarily a flaw, but for those who write this is the true limit of Ishii, when his admirers appreciate it for his very original way of making films. Moreover, during the final ride Ishii is inspired by a manga/comic that the protagonist reads, “Destroyer”, to perform his revenge. Even the actors as a result, although all very good, fall into this general atmosphere of acting a little ‘affected and over the top. The characterization of the two protagonists, however, Samao and Ami is very powerful, with a Sometani more energetic and fascinating than ever, as is very good performance of the beautiful Mizuno Elina, which in some cases is even better than the companion who steals the scene.
As we said, from the purely technical point of view of photography, the film is a party: unusual angles, sudden acceleration of the camera by hand, out of focus, spots of color, colored filters, lights and impressionist designs that invade the whole screen in the final part of the work. A proof that Ishii finally seems to have (re) found the style in tune with the digital age.
As for the music, the sounds of the Bloodthirsty Butchers, the punk band that actually inspired the work so much that Soredake/That’s it is defined and presented as a rock movie Bloodthirsty Butchers + Ishii Gakuryu, are a more fundamental element than ever of work. Music that continues almost uninterruptedly throughout the film, small sounds, scratches of electric guitar that suddenly become rumbles and attack the viewer and then fade back into the room in silence. A technique that is added to the visual violence of which Ishii is a teacher creates a union that is more unique than rare. That’s it also marks the return of Ishii to the metropolis, to the places of rust and abandonment of the city, roofs of palaces, forgotten corners, ravines between palace and palace, an urbanscape that resonates perfectly with the lives of forgotten, the last and the outcasts of the two protagonists who it should be noted, almost always dress in white, a sort of lactose habit that probably means their state of purity. Ishii, then, often places in the shots, sometimes more clearly, the objects of what is his “religious” imaginary, especially small statues of dragon and Ganesha, the Indian divinity of wisdom and beginnings. Being the dragon also a symbol of transformation and thaumaturgy it is quite clear how these two deities/ creatures bind with the path of the two protagonists within the narration, free themselves from the state of outcasts and unwanted on this earth in order to be reborn . These passages, these rebirths are fundamental in the film. More than once the protagonist Samao is almost dead and is reborn abruptly rising and brandishing two guns and, as mentioned above, one of these steps, which coincides with the moment when Samao decides to be with Ami and their relationship is cemented, emphasized by the transition to color.
One can certainly say that with That’s it Ishii Gakuryū, after some decidedly opaque trials, he has returned to the best form by finding or adapting his own language to the third millennium.