Favorite New Bootlegs: Symbol

posted by The Joe

Hitoshi Matsumoto’s follow-up to Big Man Japan spends most of its time with a man in polka-dot pajamas who is trapped in an empty, white room. From the walls emerge tiny penises belonging to creepy, CG cherubs which, when touched, produce certain material goods like a toothbrush. The room has no exit. The man must escape. This goes on for about an hour.

Then things get strange.

Japan’s trademark ‘cinema of the bizarre’ has been more focused lately on pandering, post-Tokyo Gore Police shock value, and while it’s not surprising that a generation growing up on Takashi Miike went this direction, I’ve missed the more inspired insanity that hasn’t been around much since Survive Style 5+. But lo and behold, now we have Symbol, a movie filled to the brim with wacky slapstick, audacious ideas, and mind-boggling imagery. With this and Toshiaki Toyoda’s Blood of Rebirth, Japanese craziness once again reigns supreme.

Symbol has no U.S. release in sight, but it’s made a few festival appearances around the world, so maybe one of the fifty Twin Cities fests will pick this up in the next year so we can all witness this glory on the big screen.

Symbol – Japanese Extended Trailer

Monday, August 2nd, 2010 at 5:25 pm