Sion Sono’s BAD FILM Press Notes
Source: pictures dept.
Additional Material: Nippon Connection, Japan Society
Near the end of the 20th century, just before Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control, masses of people go on a rampage on Tokyo’s Chuo train line and love runs wild…
In an alternate history, 1997 Tokyo is a gangland war zone, divided between feuding factions from the Chinese Baihubang and the Japanese Kamikaze. The Kamikaze prowl the streets in a campaign bus, spewing vitriol from a loudspeaker. Their leader is a bald lunatic whose only abiding passion is for a severed pig’s head he keeps in a plastic bag. The hyperactive narrator tells us that ancient race hatred is the war’s driving force.
But when one Kamikaze girl meets a beautiful Chinese junk dealer, a lesbian Romeo & Juliet story blossoms. Soon they and the other self-described closeted queers, freaks, and cripples of the rival gangs band together to form a more perfect, omnisexual union. The day of destiny is fast approaching, and it appears that the years of old grudges and mutually assured destruction are at an end.
Nothing could be stronger than love. Except hate.
BAD FILM (悪い映画, Warui Eiga) is a legendary production that was shot in 1995 over the course of the year, but went unfinished due to funding difficulties. In 2012, over 150 hours of footage captured on the now obsolete format Hi-8 (8-millimeter high resolution video), was re-edited to create a stunning work of cinema.
The film’s premise sees Koenji being taken over by Chinese, and running battles erupting on a tremendous scale between Japanese vigilantes and foreigners on the Chuo Line, Shinjuku, and elsewhere. Most of the cast are members of Tokyo GAGAGA, a performance collective formed by director Sion Sono in 1993. A succession of awe-inspiring set pieces unfold that would normally be regarded as impossible to accomplish, such as a massive brawl shot guerilla-style inside the first Chuo Line train of the morning, and a crowd scene in front of the Shinjuku Alta building for which over 100 extras were mobilized. Let it be called a masterwork that encapsulates every element found in Sion Sono’s films to date.
Director’s Profile: Sion Sono
Director Sion Sono has attracted both domestic and international acclaim through his recent run of films: COLD FISH (冷たい熱帯魚, Tsumetai Nettaigyo, 2011) premiered at Venice 2010, GUILTY OF ROMANCE (冷たい熱帯魚, Koi no Tsumi, 2011) at Cannes 2011 and HIMIZU (ヒミズ, 2012), which won the Marcello Mastroianni Award (Best New Actor Award) for the main actors Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido. His films continue to attract large amounts of attention both domestically and internationally. THE LAND OF HOPE (希望の国, Kibou no Kuni, 2012) was awarded NETPAC Best Asian Film at Toronto International Film Festival 2012.
Film Festival Screenings
13th TOKYO FILMeX
37th Hong Kong International Film Festival
New York Asian Film Festival
Puchon International Film Festival
Fantasia International Film Festival
Format: HD (Color, Black & White)
Audio: Japanese, Chinese, English
Running Time: 161 minutes
Premiere: September 17, 2012
Written and Directed by Sion Sono
Excective Producer: Kunizane Mizue
Producer: Senoo Hiromitsu
Production: Dongyu Club / pictures dept.
© 2012 Dongyu Club / pictures dept. / Sion Sono