Jan 27, 2008

Lost Paradise

You may know the name Masami Akita or you may not. He happens to be behind Merzbow, the amazing noise project. Not many people know of this, but he actually directed a film in the "seppuku" series. Even fewer know that he did the droneful score which creepily makes the viewing experience even more tense. Lost Paradise (#3) is the best out of all of them.

The film opens up with a very stiff woman in military garb walking into a room. She formally begins to undress and begins to take off her shirt. She is sitting there, bare breasted, and begins to take a ritualistic knife and wraps it with a form of paper/ribbon around the blade and builds up the courage to drive it deep within her belly. She absorbs the fact that she is now fated and decides to venture on through her hellish decision.

She drives it through her belly until the pressure from the intestines gushes out and furthers the rip. She is sitting there moaning, her beautiful pearl white clothes are now a deep shade of red and she eventually collapses and you have the pleasure of watching the life seep from her eyes.

I don't fancy harakiri films. I love the idea, but face it, It's a dead idea to make a film on. Their is no honor in doing so and it happens too fast or looks stunningly fake. Lost Paradise does not fit in with this. To top it off, it has an ultra disturbing score which consists of various hums and feverish drones. When you add extreme realism and efficient effects, you got the mother of all harakiri films. Granted, if you don't enjoy gore or the philosophy of death, this might not appeal to you at all. While there are no subs, the only time you would need them is at the end, when there is a monologue between a man who commits suicide.

Watching this woman die was a powerful experience for me. As this once proud figure has been reduced to a gored nobody, you realize that no matter what rank you are, or what achievements you have accomplished, in death, you are nothing. One hell of a 33 minute ride. One that chugs by of course.


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