Dec 25, 2008


Apologies to mind, Tsukamoto is a man of feverish homoerotic film making tendencies. He has crafted visual art pieces tracing the darkness of homosexuality with such fervor as classic Kenneth Anger and Marian Dora's Cannibal. Be as it may, Tsukamoto will always create an admirable film, no matter how left-field it is from his previous works. From Tetsuo: The Iron Man to A Snake of June, A Snake of June to Nightmare Detective, Tsukamoto has proved his worth while creating cinéma vérité mixed with subversive images that unsettles most everyone.

Somewhere between Tsukamoto's affinity for Western films, Haze is born rather crudely. Seeming more like Cube than anything else, we discover our focus being on a wounded man trapped in a concrete crawlspace. With only a short time to live before he bleeds out, he begins to slowly navigating this claustrophobic labyrinth and discovers a woman. For those who remember the infamous scenes of material & teeth in Tetsuo: The Iron Man, be aware that you will see our hero's teeth grind against pavement for a good couple of minutes which leads to nerves twitching.

If you recall Lynch's transfer to digital video (Inland Empire) and how pretentious it was, Tsukamoto's digital endeavor encompasses the very raw fear that should be filmed with digital. For those who revel in large, open spaces best avoid Haze. I'm not very terrified of small spaces but Haze had me short of breath and unsure if I wanted to continue. What The Descent did with claustrophobic terror, Haze magnifies the similar fear into uncharted levels of contingency.

The near problem with Haze is its conclusion. Being of the surrealist taste, the ending settles with a coup d’état on the senses, leaving various theories that always erupt into polemic ramblings. I like to think of these skirmishes in experimental art as a Rorschach of moving images. Haze dumbfounds me still. The afterthoughts infect like a plague. Tsukamoto has created yet another classic with only 50 minutes of your time and manages to force you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The result is dizzyingly masochistic, uncomfortable beyond any stretch of the imagination, emasculating, and as hyper-horrifying as the homosexual hell depicted within the labyrinth.


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