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Love Exposure (Shion Sono, 2008) + Art House Rating
Wildly-entertaining four-hour epic from Sono (The Suicide Club, Noriko's Dinner Table) which I find the best of his films which I've seen. It's hard to believe that a film can cram so many different ideas and themes even at four hours, but the pace is frenetic enough that it's done easily and mostly completes the various story arcs successfully. What the movie tackles are subjects involving Christianity, true love, the concepts of sin and perversion, revenge, cult programming and deprogrmming, stalking, terrorism and even a skewed Doris Day/Rock Hudson romantic comedy involving mistaken identity, but here adding the dimension of cross-dressing. Throw in some martial arts, lots of Ravel's Bolero, Beethoven's 7th Symphony and some excellent modern rock songs, and the four hours fly by. I don't want to get into too many plot details because there are several twists and turns, but sometimes the film repeats scenes from different perspectives, so one could be reminded of Pulp Fiction, and there were a few moments I flashed back to Fight Club near the end, but for the most part, this is a highly original comedy-drama which perhaps is a little too outrageous to be taken completely seriously, but is honest enough to still create a considerable amount of power.