16 January 2012

Lord of Chaos: The Cinema of Sono Sion (2011)

Lord of Chaos: The Cinema of Sono Sion

In December, the 29th Torino Film Festival (TFF, 25 November – 3 December 2011) honoured Sion Sono by featuring his oeuvre in their Rapporto confidenziale (Confidential Report) section.  This annual programme aims to take note of emerging auteurs, genres, and other trends in international cinema. 

In honouring Sono, TFF describes him as an “eccentric and mesmerizing Japanese poet, novelist and director” whose works had never before been screened in Italian cinemas.   They go on to call him a “visionary” and a “provocative and dynamic filmmaker.  .  .  [who] mixes mixes psychoanalysis and Grand Guignol, melodrama and pop culture, horror and politics, serial killers and dark ladies.” (source)

In addition to presenting almost all of Sono’s films, TFF teamed up with the Italian blog Sonatine: Appunti sul cinema giapponese contemporaneo (Sonatine: Notes on contemporary Japanese cinema) to publish a book of essays and film reviews called Il signore del chaos: Il cinema di Sono Sion (Lord of Chaos: The Cinema of Sono Sion).

The book is edited by Dario Tomasi and Franco Picollo and features the writing of not only the editors but also Claudia Bertolè, Matteo Boscarol, Luca Calderini, Giacomo Calorio, Emanuela Martini, Grazia Paganelli, and Fabio Rainelli.  The cover features a photograph of the director taken at TFF.  The book includes a complete filmography with titles in Japanese/romaji/English/ Italian

For non-Italian speakers, I recommend checking out the Sonatine website using Google Translate.  As Italian sentence structure is very similar to English it is quite readable – unlike the bizarre world of Google JP to EN!!  Check out the following reviews on Sonatine:

1984   Rabu songu (Love Song)
1985   Ore wa Sono Sion da! (I Am Sono Sion!)
1986   Ai (Love)
1986   Otoko no hanamichi (Man's Flower Road) 
1988   Kessen!Joshiryō tai danshiryō (Decisive Match! Girls Dorm Against Boys Dorm)
1990   Jitensha toiki (Bicycle Sighs) 
1992   Heya (The Room)
1997   Keiko desu kedo (I Am Keiko / It's Me Keiko)
1998   Dankon - The Man (Dankon: The Man)
2000   Utsushimi (Utsushimi)
2002   Jisatsu sākuru (Suicide Club)
2005   Yume no naka e (Into a Dream)
2005   Kimyōna sākasu (Strange Circus)
2006   Hazard (Hazard)
2006   Noriko no shokutaku (Noriko's Dinner Table)
2006   Kikyū kurabu, sono go (Balloon Club).
2007   Exte (Exte: Hair Extensions)
2009   Ai no mukidashi (Love Exposure)
2009   Chanto tsutaeru (Be Sure to Share), 2009
2010   Tsumetai nettaigyo (Cold Fish)
2011   Koi no tsumi (Guilty of Romance)
2011   Himizu (Himizu)

Catherine Munroe Hotes 2012