The joys of homoerotic prison movies with no plot (46-okunen no koi reviewed)


46-okunen no koi (Japan, 2006)

Seen: Saturday, 6th June 2009 (DVD, repeat viewing)
Runtime: 85′
Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Ryuhei Matsuda, Masanobu Ando
Production House: Eisei Gekijo, Excellent Film, Maki Production, Shochiku Company, Shochiku Kinema Kenkyû-jo
Plot: (from imdb)

An unknown future. A boy confesses to the murder of another in an all-boy juvenile detention facility. More an exercise in style than storytelling, the story follows two detectives trying to uncover the case. Homosexual tension and explosive violence drives the story which delivers some weird and fascinating visuals.

Big Bang Love, Juvenile A Trailer

Impressions In Short
Very artsy and very homoerotic *grin*

More About the Film
This is an extremely artsy piece where the mood is much more important than the story. It’s the kind of thing that most people would probably find insanely boring. Takeshi Miike actually said the following in the ‘making of’ featurette:

Recently I’ve realized that movies that put me to sleep are good movies. Ones that bore me and put me to sleep. They give you tranquillity. There are things in the world that make you angry and sleepless. So movies that help you sleep are great. So if someone buys the DVD, absent-mindedly watches it, and eventually falls asleep… and between dozing and consciousness, the movie is still going, still flowing… as they enter the world of dreams; I think it’s a piece that could be watched like that.

That rather sums it up, doesn’t it? ;)
Despite the lack of plot and the dreamy atmosphere, the film has some very defined characters and very strong performances from the (all-male) cast. I think the cast in this is very impressive, as they have hardly any dialogue or plot to use. Mostly they have to convey the whole characterization just by “being”. My personal favourite is naturally Matsuda Ryuhei *grin* Though I think I’m not as obsessed with his face as I used to be ;) I still think his porcelain doll looks are great to look at though.
I’ve watched the film for the third or fourth time now and I still don’t entirely get the symbolism. Though, for the first time, I have some sort of theory about the CGI butterfly that randomly appears during the film. I think it appears when Jun is feeling somehow threatened, though I’m still not sure… Maybe I’ll get it the next time I watch it ;)

Yes, if (like me) you think watching an artsy film with no plot can be an enjoyable experience. Otherwise you should probably stay away ;)

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