Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Love - Zero = Infinity (1994) Hiseyasu Sato

It's said that after first editing this ran around ninety minutes in length, cleary a flagrant tax on audience expectations and severe breach of producer guidelines. So a third was snipped away, leaving problems for film and viewer. What point is any vision print on screen if so compromised? And how do we viewers judge or trust our judgement from such compromise. Impossible conundrum perhaps, but still more entertaining than my standard Saturday afternoons drinking tea and scratching my balls.

Actually a good half of this is very good indeed. Instead of the usual Sato ouroboros of deviance working towards apocalypse, rather moving stuff, characters kind, actually helping each other. The lead, a voyeur with a mission of care and knowing, his employer whose self interest is equalled by compassion, a killer with love and insight to impart, and junkyard freakoids with interest favorable as much as self directed. Dialogues are involved and interesting, and a meeting over coffee has a real sense of beautiful tragedy rare for the director. Unfortunately everything gets fragmented as the film goes on, its quite clear that entire scenes are missing and the plot turns to sketchy remnants. There aren't even many extraneously extended scenes or masturbation, but still a feeling of truncation. So the opportunity is lost for real exploration of AIDS paranoia and drug warping that might truly have taken this beyond a typical Sato joint, a great shame given the potential of the emotional connections.

But what's there first half to second is still full of joy enough to make the film a winner, all the usual tropes plus a plenitude of cool sunglass reflections, and added to the usual penis substitutes is a delightful syringe ejaculation. The somewhat central blood draining steroid addict is a terrifc figure, black coat and glasses, still and composed amid endless crossroads traffic, sped up in one of the rare useful and interesting occasions of that usually so empty, predictable effect (the first time I've seen it used by Sato). Also of the sex one scene has a couple getting lubed up and glistening, doing it on a plastic sheeted bed. I love the look of lubricant and I like to see a couple glisten as they f#ck so it got past my usual boredom at such vanilla scenes. And despite the lack of context the ending is heart choking stuff. So altogether this may be Satophile only stuff, but in that way still rather recommended.

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