Thursday, 21 April 2011

Visitor Q

Hi everyone! It's been a while since my last post. Apologies as I have been unwell a couple of times in the past few weeks....... my luck haha!

Thanks to everyone who has read, commented or joined the page. I'm really thankful that you have taken the time to check it out. As you can see I'm still short of followers, if you enjoy the blog please feel free to join or even just comment or pass on the page to friends!

"Visitor Q" is a 2001 film by controversial filmmaker Takashi Miike, whose other films I probably don't need to mention. It is the 6th volume in a series of straight-to-video movies called Love Cinema, made by the Japanese company CineRocket. The films did have a brief theatrical run in a small cinema called Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. The films were exercises in using Digital Video to explore the benefits and mobility of the medium.

The film begins with the rather ominous question, "Have you ever done it with your Dad?". Hopefully the answer to that question is no, and if this was a different director it would be slightly jarring but with Takashi Miike it comes as no surprise! It then shows a shot of a young prostitute being filmed through a camcorder. She is making a deal at a hotel room with a man who, after very little persuation, sleeps with her. When this has happened, you find out that the man in question is her dad thus setting the tone for most of the film.

In the next scene we are asked, "Have you ever been hit on the head?". The father is sitting at a station. Behind him is a window in which a man turns up and hits the father over the head with a brick for apparently no reason.

The next scene begins "Have you ever hit your mom?" . The mother is shown in the house, she walks with a limp and is covered in marks where she has been beaten. Her son comes in from school throwing things around the house, then beats his mother with a stick for buying the wrong toothbrush. The father comes home with the stranger who stays for the next few days.

It's very difficult to explain the plot without giving too much away. I'll give brief accounts of the characters while trying not to give too much away.

The mother is a prostitute with an addiction to heroin.

The father is making a documentary with his camcorder about Japanese youth. Later while looking at his old tapes he is shown being raped by a gang of teenagers. He also films his son being bullied for his documentary.

The son is being bullied and fireworks are being fired at his room window by the bullies. When he comes home he beats his mother and seems to have a lot of issues.

Not much is mentioned of the daughter, apart from that she has run away from home and is making money as a prostitute. She does appear at the end of the film though.

The stranger is the central character who eventually brings the family closer together in very unothodox ways.

Basically this film is Takashi Miike's warped view on the typical dysfunctional family. It's supposed to be about the family eventually coming together. The visitor is the central character who comes in and shakes the family up. It seems they are so used to their way of life it has become the norm to them and it takes a stranger to get them to see life in a different perspective.The visitor may make things go incredibly maniacal: necrophilia, multiple murder, hacking up bodies etc, but in the end it is strangely touching and serves it's purpose.

In my opinion, i'm not the greatest fan of Takashi Miike. He makes roughly four films a year but he isn't consistently good. For every good film he makes a few I don't like. What I do have is an admiration for him and his "couldn't give a damn" attitude. He's one of the few directors doing what he want's to do and not caring who he offends along the way. This film breaks taboos and definitely is one of a kind. You don't see many films like this one!

If you have the stomach for some of the themes I have talked about and want to see something truly original, this is the film for you. For everyone else, don't say I didn't warn you!

Thanks again to everyone reading, it really means a lot and i'm glad i'm not talking to myself! Please leave your comments below and if you haven't already, please join up. I have a twitter page you can join on the right of the page where you can talk about films you have seen or anything in general. I've had fun as always, the post is a bit shorter than usual but I don't want to give too much away!

                                                      Michael :)