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LABYRINTH OF DREAMS

Japan, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Regional)

Director: Ishii Sogo

Sogo Ishii's Labyrinth Of Dreams is radically removed from Angel Dust, his last film seen in Australia (MIFF 1995). However their polar differ­ences indicate the breadth and scope of Ishii's creativity. Both films have at their core the unspoken and unforgiving temperament of the serial killer, and his power over others.

Romance is intensified in Labyrinth Of Dreams: the Asiatic Gothic figure of Mr Nitaka casts a sexual shadow across the diminutive Tomiko. He is the bus driver; she is his guide and ticket collector. He may have killed other guides: she is suspicious yet mesmerised by his stoic pres­ence. Before long, the question of his circum­spect past is enveloped by the disturbingly distant way in which each attaches to the other. Sexual psychosis and emotional instability even­tually drive their relationship - as blindly as their bus weaves across the unguarded train tracks in the forested hills.

As much as Angel Dust cut the skin of your eye and penetrated the ear drum with its incisive soundtrack, Labyrinth just as potently massages, steels, haunts and tantalises. With gorgeous (but never gratuitous) cinematography by Ishii's long­standing DOP, Norimichi Kasamatsu, and a lus­cious ambient score by Onagawa Hiroyuki, Labyrinth Of Dreams is the sign of a measured control and artistic diversity.

See also...

DEAD END RUN

Japan, 2004
Dead End RunJapanAfter a blistering retrospective in 2001, Japanese iconoclast Ishii Sogo is back on the big screen delivering another hyperkinetic blast of sonic intensity and visual dynamism. For t… More »

THE CRAZY FAMILY

Japan, 1984
An absurdist comedy from the new wave of Japanese cinema by a young director, Sogo Ishii, who has acquired a national reputation in his own country for rock 'n roll and motorcycle movies. Here, he te… More »

The Master of Shiatsu

Japan, 1989
An elderly shiatsu master gives a young woman a massage. A massage so effective it seems to take over the city. ... A new short film from the director of The Crazy Family (MFF '85). ... More »

ELECTRIC DRAGON 80,000 VOLTS

Japan, 2000
Playing by a high-voltage power pylon as a child, Dragon Eye Morrison receives a massive electric shock. Rather than terminate his young life, the charge ignites a long dormant, prehistoric predispos… More »

GOJOE

Japan, 2000
In this spectacular adventure, Ishii Sogo has married the kinetic energy of Akira Kurosawa's great samurai pictures with a uniquely deranged brand of Buddhist spirituality. Gojoe liberally employs th… More »

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