Love & Peace (2015)
At The Japan Society they are celebrating their 10th anniversary of Japan Cuts, their yearly festival of Japanese cinema. Here is where they introduce many of the Japanese films that have come out in the past couple years, and throw in a few classics for the hell of it. In 2007 I got to see my first Sion Sono film at this festival, and this year they showed a documentary on the director, plus two of his recent films. I have reviewed all of them, and I was not disappointed.
Both of his films that I saw were written by him 20+ years ago, and amazingly he has finally been able to produce them and have them released. Love & Peace is the more commercial of the two, though that does not mean it is not odd and wacky and surprising. The story revolves around a failed musician turned meek office clerk who still dreams of being a rock star. He ends up getting himself a tiny turtle and he feels a renewed interest in his dreams. I refuse to give any more plot details as the journey is the enjoyment in this movie, and spoiling any of that would be a shame.
Be warned, this is somewhat a kids movie, but since it is Japanese, you should not show this to most kids unless they are not easily frightened or emotional, as there are some scenes that might really upset some kids. Meanwhile, regardless of its appeal to kids, this movie is 100% enjoyable to adults as well. It is funny, heartwarming, sad, silly, insane, cute, and all around a fun time. The acting is a bit over the top, but it works for this sort of movie. The effects are, well, cheap, but again, you forgive any of the silly flaws that may exist in a movie this wonderful. Even the songs are fun!
Sion Sono has slowly become one of my favorite directors, and so far he does not have any duds, just movies that I didn't love, but liked in one way or another. Now that I have seen about 12 of his features, I am hungry for more. Hopefully he continues making movies for a long time.
8 out of 10 stars. (This rating may go higher if I get to see this film again)
Location : The Japan Society, in NYC
Date and time : Saturday July 16th, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Format : DCP
Audience : Sold out, audience loved it!