Vault Shorts #8 (Crying Free Sex, Cycle Cycle, Kawaguchi 4256) (T)

The eighth entry in the column deals with Japanese shorts

Crying Free Sex (2017) by Tomohiro Iwasaki (15.11 minutes)



Japan has always been the foremost movie industry in the production of curios to the point of wtf movies, and "Crying Free Sex" definitely continues this legacy.

The totally absurd script revolves around two secret agents, Naomi and Cobra, who, before embarking on their mission, decide to have sex, after the instigation of the former. However, the woman does not realize that the issue with Cobra's genitalia, that has actually given his nickname, will bring them so much trouble. Soon, they find themselves stuck (you know what I mean) and having to face scores of enemies that include agents in black suits and samurais, as they embark on a trip that brings in a number of places.

Taking the sex and shooting scene from Michael Davis's "Shoot "Em Up" as its base (parodying it actually), Tomohiko Iwasaki directs a truly preposterous film, through a combination of exploitation and manga aesthetics with some splashes of slapstick comedy. Everything in the movie, from the erotic and the action scenes, to the script, the cinematography, the SFX,  the editing and the music point towards this direction and result in a true curio, in Japanese fashion.  To conclude the nonsensical notions of the film, Allen Ai, who appeared in Kim Ki-duk's "Stop", plays Naomi.

"Crying Free Sex" evidently, is addressed solely to the fans of the Japanese extreme film, but I think that Tomohiko  Iwasaki really has what it takes to shoot a feature splatter film, in the style of Yoshihiro Nishimura.

Cycle Cycle (2017) by Junichi Kanai (18.13 minutes)



Two high school boys, Junpei and Satoshi, start a bicycle trip around Japan on a tandem. Soon they argue, because Satoshi thinks that by staying in the back sit he cannot get more followers from the posts he shares on Facebook. Since Junpei cannot sit in the back because he gets dizzy, Satoshi decides to leave him and the duo splits up. Junpei keeps going on his own trip by bicycle and picks up a hitchhiker named Mitsuru to ride with him. Mitsuru is heading to his grandfather’s house who he hasn’t seen for years. However when they reach the house, they find a dead body in the room…

Junichi Kanai directs a delightful short, filled with humor (check the ways Junpei implements to keep Mitsuru from leaving) and a number of comments regarding modern Japanese society. The role social media play, particularly in the lives of youths, friendship, the way the elderly are treated, and the concepts of family and friendship (no road is long with good company) are the central ones. Add to that the beautiful cinematography which highlights the country with some elaborate framing and the very fitting music, and you have a very nice short, which follows most "rules" of the Japanese indie film, which is the genre I would like to see Jinichi Kanai dealing in feature form, in the future.

Kawaguchi 4256 (2017) by Anshul Chauhan (30 minutes)


As Anshul Chauhan stated in an interview I had with him, "I shot a short film in December of 2016 (Kawaguchi 4256​) that featured Shuna (Iijima), Orson (Mochizuki) and Takashi (Kawaguchi). My real intention for making that film was just to test these three actors for my feature, though they were not aware of this. That short film helped me see them clearly and understand them in a better way, allowing me to write my feature with them in mind". "Kawaguchi 4256" however, is much more than just a "prequel".

After the death of their matriarch, a dysfunctional family of four (two sons and a daughter) is reluctantly reunited under one roof. The three siblings are quite different from each other, since Aki, the oldest one, is a rebellious hip hop artist, Jun a young woman on the brink of a nervous breakdown, and Tetsu, a happy-go-lucky young man, at least on the outside. Tensions clash when the father, on one of his alcoholic fits, becomes violent against Aki, and even more, when he announces that he is about to get remarried, just six months after his wife's death.

Anshul Chauhan directs a short which deals, as "Bad Poetry Tokyo", with the concepts of family and the consequences of abuse, particularly when directed from parents to their children. His take on the subjects is rather obvious, with the blame being put directly on the father, who seems to care about nothing apart for himself, his factory, and his "values", which mirror the traditional ones of the previous generation, about appearances and respect. In this awful setting, his children try to find different ways to "escape", although they do not seem able to. Through this concept, Chauhan creates a sense of claustrophobia which is further stressed by Sam King's cinematography, whose camera fills the film with close shots, with the sole exception of a scene by the sea. What remains in the end, is the fact that violence creates more violence, in a concept that is stressed repeatedly throughout the film.

The acting is quite good, with Orson Mochizuki as Aki and Motokatsu Suzuki as Father, being the ones who stand out, both as individuals and through their differences.

"Kawaguchi 4256" is a herald of all the artistry and meaningfulness that featured in "Bad Poetry Tokyo", but also a very interesting spectacle by itself.


COMMENTS

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2017,2,A Company Man,1,A Love,1,A Man Vanishes,1,A Simple Life,1,A Tale of Love,1,A Whale of a Tale,1,About Elly,1,Adam J. Symchuk,6,Adam John,1,Aditya Vikram Sengupta,1,Adriana Rosati,3,Alex Oost,1,Amir Masoud Aghababeian,1,Anand Singh,2,Andrew Thayne,1,Anime,1,Anna Bliss,3,Anshul Chauhan,2,Anurag Basu,1,Aqerat,1,Arang,1,Ariyuki Shinbo,1,Armour of God,1,Arrow,1,Article Films,1,Asghar Farhadi,1,Asha Jaoar Majhe,1,Asian Classics,9,Aya Itabe,1,Bad Poetry Tokyo,4,BAMY,1,Bangkok Nites,1,Bangladesh,1,Ben Stykuc,3,Bengal,1,Billy Joe,1,Bloody Muscle Builder in Hell,1,Bollywood,1,Branded to Kill,1,Breathless,1,Burma,1,Burning Birds,1,Camera Japan,5,Children Heaven,1,Chinese Visual Festival,1,Chu Yuan,1,Chungking Express,1,Close-Knit,1,Coffeemates,1,Colette Balmain,2,Confessions,1,Crows Zero,1,Cyrano Agency,1,Daisuke Miyazaki,2,Ddongpari,1,Deadly Outlaw: Rekka,1,Deepak Rauniyar,1,Digger,1,Ding Shen,1,Documentaries,5,Don Anelli,2,Double Life,1,Edmund Yeo,1,Eiji Uchida,1,Erotic Diary of an Office Lady,1,Exploitation,3,Fabricated City,1,Faye Wong,1,Features,7,Festivals,1,Filmdoo,3,Fireworks Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?,1,Flying Fish,1,Forgetting Vietnam,1,Good -Bye Silence,1,Haunters,1,Helsinki Cine Aasia Festival 2018,1,Hidden Gems,14,Hindi,1,Hirokazu Koreeda,1,Hong Kong,3,Horror,2,I-Lin Liu,3,ICA,3,Imran Firdaus,1,In this Corner of the World,2,Indonesia,2,Interview,1,Interviews,19,Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan,1,Inugami,1,Iran,4,Jackie Chan,2,Jagga Jasoos,1,James Mudge,1,Japan,50,Japan Cuts,8,Japan Filmfest Hamburg,1,Jithin K Mohan,1,Joe Odagiri,1,Jonathan Wilson,6,Joo Ji-hong,1,Journey of the Tortoise,1,Jun Tanaka,1,Jung Yoon-suk,1,Junichi Kajioka,1,Katsuya Tomita,1,Kengo Yagawa,1,Kenichi Ugana,1,Kim Hyun-seok,1,Kim Min-suk,1,Kingyo,1,Kiyoshi Kurosawa,1,Koji Wakamatsu,1,Kon Ichikawa,1,Konrad Aderer,1,Krzysztof Pietrzak,1,Kwak Kyung-taek,1,Kyoko Miyake,1,Kyriacos Kyriacou,2,Lady Snowblood,1,Laos,1,Like Father,1,Like Son,1,Lim Sang-yoon,1,Lists,5,Little Big Soldier,1,Love,1,Lowlife Love,1,Mahde Hasan,1,Majid Majidi,1,Malaysia,2,Maria Georgiou,8,Masanori Tominaga,1,Masaru Konume,1,Masato Harada,1,Matt Cooper,4,Mermaid,1,Midi Z,1,Midori Impuls,1,Miwa Nishikawa,1,My Dad and Mr Ito,1,Myanmar,1,Nanachan,1,Naoko Ogigami,1,Naomi Kawase,1,Nepal,1,News,1,Nicholas Poly,2,Nikola Cekic,1,Niwatsukino Norihiro,1,Nobuhiko Obayashi,1,Nobuhiro Yamashita,1,Non-fiction Diary,1,NYAFF,4,Old Boy,2,Omar Rasya Joenoes,2,On The Line Festival,2,Orson McClellan Mochizuki,1,Osaka Asian Film Festival,3,Pai Kau,1,Palatpol Mingpornpichit,1,Panos Kotzathanasis,38,Park Chan-wook,2,Park Ki- hyung,1,Park Kwang-hyun,1,Pedro Morata,3,Pieter - Jan Van Haecke,1,Psychic,1,Pumpkin and Mayonnaise,1,Rabbit and Lizard,1,Railway Sleepers,1,Randy Mckenzie,2,Reviews,30,River of Exploding Durians,1,Roger Lee,1,Ryuki,1,S. Korea,10,San Diego Asian Film Festival,3,Sanjeewa Pushpakumara,1,Sankha Ray,5,Satan's Slaves,1,Satoshi Kon,1,Sayandeep Bandyopadhyay,1,Score,1,Sea Fog,1,Seijun Suzuki,2,Shaw Brothers,1,She's the Boss,1,Shigeru Umebayashi,1,Shikhar Verma,2,Shikhar Verna,2,Shim Sung-Bo,1,Shinichi Fukazawa,1,Shinji Iwai,1,Shinji Sômai,1,Shinya Tsukamoto,2,Shôhei Imamura,1,Shoot for the Contents,1,Shorts,8,Shuna Iijima,1,Sidi Saleh,1,Sinophone,1,Sompot Chidgasompongse,2,Song of the Week,17,South Korea,6,Sri Lanka,1,Still the Water,1,StudioCanal,1,Subenja Pongkorn,1,Suffering of Ninko,1,Sunao Katabuchi,2,Susumu Hirasawa,1,Tadashi Nagayama,1,Takashi Miike,2,Takuro Nakamura,2,Tetsuo the Iron Man,1,Tetsuya Nakashima,1,Thailand,5,The Boy and the Beast,1,The elephant and the sea,2,The Inugami Family,1,The King of Pigs,1,The Road Home,1,The Road to Mandalay,1,The Salesman,1,The Snow King,1,The Sower,1,Tokyo Heaven,1,Tokyo Idols,1,Tom Waller,1,Toshiaki Toyoda,1,Train to Busan,1,Tran Ham,1,Trinh T. Minh-Ha,3,various,2,Vietnam,1,Violated Angels,1,Vital,1,West North West,2,Whispering Corridors,1,White Sun,1,Wiman Rizkidarajat,1,Woman of the Lake,1,Woo Ming Jin,1,Yamato (California),2,Yang Ik-june,1,Yeon Sang-ho,2,Yoshishige Yoshida,1,Yoshiyuki Kishi,1,Yosuke Takeuchi,1,Yu Aoi,1,Yuki Tanada,1,Zhang Yimou,1,Zuairijah Mou,1,
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Asian Film Vault: Vault Shorts #8 (Crying Free Sex, Cycle Cycle, Kawaguchi 4256) (T)
Vault Shorts #8 (Crying Free Sex, Cycle Cycle, Kawaguchi 4256) (T)
The eighth entry in the column deals with Japanese shorts
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