Suicide Club | Chicago Reader

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99 minutes
This is exploitation at its most gleefully incomprehensible and entertaining. Sion Sono's setup—54 Japanese high schoolers leap in front of an oncoming train—might bring to mind Kiyoshi Kurosawa, but the follow-through is pure Takashi Miike: the train is difficult to slow down because of all the "human grease." As a detective (Ryo Ishibashi of Audition) tries to figure out what happened, a prepubescent all-girl J-pop group sings philosophical paeans to the Internet (e.g., "Mail me!"). A brief interlude transports viewers into "The Velvet Goldmine Rocky Horror Picture Show," where a suave cult leader says, "I want to die like Joan of Arc in a Robert Bresson film." In his own warped way Sono is trying to say something about contemporary Japan; if nothing else, he succeeds at the impossibly distasteful—making suicide look like fun. In Japanese with subtitles.

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