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  #11  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by _____V_____ View Post
Notice a prominent similarity to Battle Royale (not plotwise, but in the theme?). The youth of Japan feels neglected, outcast, their parents or their country don't give two shits about them. Noriko's Dinner Table explains some finer points a bit better (if you haven't seen that yet, make sure to do it now AFTER watching Suicide Club) but the overall message is this - if all the Japanese youth were non-existent tomorrow through some/any sort of bizarre happening, would it matter? They are there for themselves and for each other - connected through electronic or internet means - but nobody else notices them around.

Basically that is also the explanation for the "connecting to yourself" part. Do you, as a youth, value yourself as much as you value everything else around you? Because no one else cares or values you (not even the parents, according to the teens). These films basically provide that vision of Japanese society, as seen from an angsty alienated teenager's point of view. The youth feels detached from the mainstream Japanese culture, and they wonder if anyone including their own parents will ever understand them.
Ok - Wow - I somehow completely missed that, which makes me feel like an idiot... I'm currently reflecting on that right now, which I think is incredibly sad, interesting, and poignant.

I think that I might have "missed" it in the film because parents/adults aren't particularly present... But that's the point!! (light bulb moment!). Roshiq points out later how Kuroda virtually ignores his daughter, who is covered in blood, until it's too late... I wasn't really sure how to "read" that scene when I first watched the movie - Was she an apparition? No - This film is grounded in "reality" (stark surreal/reality)... So the fact that he ignores her shows that disconnect/disregard between parents and children.

I'm starting to understand the concept of being "connected" in the film - the clear and sad disconnect between a person and their family.


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Originally Posted by roshiq View Post

Sono painted here a enigmatic & symbolic representation of his key theme: a dis-connected reality of communication between young people and adults that is being fueled by online social networking and by the distortion provided by media via the power of pop culture. The ultimate truth here for the young generation – the kids – feel that adults have become too smug and contented, that they have lost the bond that makes them compassionate to those around, and have become removed from their own children. The authorities and the educators have almost lost the upper hand. In a society where most people are too busy with themselves to the extent that they have lost touch with others, thereby losing touch with themselves as well, suicide is one rational way out of it. It is its finality that helps (for a brief moment) the participants to feel human, to be really together by joining in death. Even for people who kill themselves in isolation, there is the sense of belonging to a wider suicide circle. Characteristically, none of them make any attempt to communicate with the outside world, none of them really make an effort to let someone save them because they reject what this salvation would imply: a return to the anonymity of a world overloaded by communications.

The songs of the Dessart also hold some key info. Dessart sings about finding a place to fit in this world. There's a place for all of us, they say. But in fact this is the irony: the way to fit is only through reconnecting with oneself. For people, who are social animals, this should mean reconnecting with others. But they don't and they are therefore doomed. When the boy on the phone asks Kuroda whether he is connected with himself, his voice is then replaced by a girl who asks why Kuroda could not feel the others' pain as he would feel his own. That is the essence of reconnecting with one's own self: re-establishing proper links with others. But he was detached even from his own family; he did not really feel even their agony. When his daughter shows up drenched in blood behind him, he does not detect the problem until he sees it with his eyes, by which time it is too late. Or the family where the mother slices herself is cooking in the kitchen while the rest are sitting in the living room.
And yes, Mitsuko says that she IS connected with herself, that’s why didn’t eventually go for the suicide but then why she let her skin being lathed off? She supports the whole cause, has belief in this concept but she eventually finds a meaning to live & value her life again...as Dessart’s last song in the movie…”As We go…we’ll forget the pain…we’ll find life again.”
That observation is incredibly chilling and sad. What a fantastic remark on the familial structure in Japan.

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Originally Posted by _____V_____ View Post

Teens have stopped expecting from their parents to understand them or their choices, their needs, their thinking. And that's what Suicide Club defines in its own bizarre way - teens as friends are ready and willing to share their death with you, while your parents and peers don't give a shit about your life. There's the sense of belonging for an outcast, hence he/she's willing to die with his/her fellow teen friend. My friend is with me through death and after, while my own family doesn't know my existence in my life.

It's a dark and bizarre representation of a teenager's mindset today which Sono has brought to the screen. And he's not wrong, for the most part.
GOD that's horrifying and so incredibly well-put!!

V and Roshiq, thank you so much for your eloquent replies... I think that this is the type of movie that really opens up for you on repeat viewings... I can definitely see why I "missed" the themes of disassociation (I think partially it's also being ignorant of the culture as well - which I know that suicide is prevalent in Japan, I was not aware of the familial angst... though I suppose it DOES make sense... Japan is still a traditionally conservative society - The scene of the mother slicing off her fingers while making dinner is starting to ring as absolutely terrifying - A woman, mother, wife, feeling disconnected from her family - strikes out while in the midst of performing her "expected" role - homemaker.

V - Thank you for that article as well. I really liked this statement in particular:

Quote:
The real perpetrators of the 'suicide cult' hide in complete safety, in a world that the adults (not to mention the police in the story) will never understand: the chat rooms, the BBS's, the pop songs, the target-marketing of the advertising houses, things which the pre-teens have been born and brought up with and are indelibly imprinted on their young and highly impressionable minds.
That observation is incredibly horrifying and astute - Not only is the "suicide cult" hiding in plain sight, but we're essentially seeing a group of kids who are taking back their identity. These are kids who are MAD AS HELL AND AREN'T TAKING IT ANYMORE. That definitely ties in the ending, which I was confused at at first... Now I am starting to understand why our "suicide cult" are all children (including DESSART - though I honestly do not see the point or reason why the group's name changed spelling throughout the film... Any ideas?)

It's interesting - It's like the children have become the proverbial Pied Piper... But they are still lulling other disaffected individuals over the hills and far away.

WOW fantastic discussion - Really opened up the movie for me. Thank you V and Roshiq for taking the time to reply.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2010, 05:46 AM
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Great stuff here. It has been a spell since i have seen Suicide Club, but from what i can remember, my take on it was that there was a youthful awakening of the masses of the actualities of a culture gone astray, where things and doings have overtaken the notion of living and being truthful with humanity. Suicide was almost a choice that was driven by the notion of regaining one's life through a choice not made by one's culture or civilization. The social nature of man was given to joining those of the same philosophies, those that chose a grotesque truth over an inculcated contentedness, and in doing so they spoke with their actions instead of mere words. Late.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2010, 06:32 AM
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Great stuff here. It has been a spell since i have seen Suicide Club, but from what i can remember, my take on it was that there was a youthful awakening of the masses of the actualities of a culture gone astray, where things and doings have overtaken the notion of living and being truthful with humanity. Suicide was almost a choice that was driven by the notion of regaining one's life through a choice not made by one's culture or civilization. The social nature of man was given to joining those of the same philosophies, those that chose a grotesque truth over an inculcated contentedness, and in doing so they spoke with their actions instead of mere words. Late.
g
That's really really interesting. So, here's my issue - I really like the concept of regaining one's life through personal choice (which is obviously ironic because they are regaining life through killing themselves)... But here's my problem: I'm not sure how much of this discontent that we actually see in the film... I guess it's more implied by the actions than it is overtly displayed to the audience... But with a first viewing I just didn't "see" it.

Of course, that doesn't mean that it isn't there - It just means that this movie isn't immediately accessible... Which isn't really a bad thing.

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I've no doubt that those interpretations were correct, but even after the explanation my final verdict on the film is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxrGSul1GhU
bahaha - I need to keep that Youtube link.

So, do you think the interpretations are rubbish, or that the movie is rubbish?

I think that it might be a little unfair to shrug off the film in its entirety as "rubbish" - Though I can completely understand not enjoying it.

The fact of the matter is, after the film, I wasn't sure whether or not the journey to the end was "worth" it... Or even if the END was "worth" it.


Honestly, it's in this discussion thread that I'm really starting to "get" and appreciate this film more and more. I also think that more of this will manifest through repeat viewings... I just don't think that I'm "ready" to watch it over just yet.

Noroko's Dinner Table however, is pretty much next on my movie watch list. Really excited to view it and to add to the discussion.
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2010, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ChronoGrl View Post

bahaha - I need to keep that Youtube link.

So, do you think the interpretations are rubbish, or that the movie is rubbish?

I think that it might be a little unfair to shrug off the film in its entirety as "rubbish" - Though I can completely understand not enjoying it.

The fact of the matter is, after the film, I wasn't sure whether or not the journey to the end was "worth" it... Or even if the END was "worth" it.


Honestly, it's in this discussion thread that I'm really starting to "get" and appreciate this film more and more. I also think that more of this will manifest through repeat viewings... I just don't think that I'm "ready" to watch it over just yet.

Noroko's Dinner Table however, is pretty much next on my movie watch list. Really excited to view it and to add to the discussion.
I was calling the film rubbish, not the interpretations.

I didn't really detest the film, but felt that even after having the full meaning of the film explained and viewing it a third time that it still ultimately didn't work.

I always enjoy it when a filmmaker tries to do something different, but I won't automatically love it just because it's different. As I said, there were some striking scenes in the film and I really tried to like it, but just couldn't.

P.S. My daughter LOVES that movie. Genesis is definitely her type.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:46 AM
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I was calling the film rubbish, not the interpretations.

I didn't really detest the film, but felt that even after having the full meaning of the film explained and viewing it a third time that it still ultimately didn't work.

I always enjoy it when a filmmaker tries to do something different, but I won't automatically love it just because it's different. As I said, there were some striking scenes in the film and I really tried to like it, but just couldn't.

P.S. My daughter LOVES that movie. Genesis is definitely her type.
Totally understand... Have you seen Noroko's Dinner Table? Really looking forward to that one.

Oh GOD Genesis was such a great villain - All of the scenes in his "pleasure den" were so horrifying.

So I learned after watching the movie that he's played by a pretty popular Japanese Pop Star... I kinda wonder, in terms of American Pop Stars, who would be his equivalent?

Like, is he a Bieber-esque pop star, or a Timberlake-esque pop star? Or is he creepy, like a David Bowie?

I'm sure that whatever his image is like in Japan adds a whole other meaning to his scenes that I just can't appreciate... I'll have to ask my friend Mike who's been living in Japan for a few years what Rolly's image is like.

I'm kinda interesting actually purposefully casting a pop star in that role... Whey we have kids who are the actual perpetrators, where is this pop star that is trying so hard to get that attention. Interesting tie-in to how Japanese youth "connect" to pop stars, casting him has this vile villain.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:58 AM
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I've never seen Noroko's Dinner Table, should probably do that sometime.

As for Genesis, somewhere between Robert Plant and Dr. Frank N. Furter?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7TZHfmS7DYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap-yZ...eature=related
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2010, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by psycho d View Post
Great stuff here. It has been a spell since i have seen Suicide Club, but from what i can remember, my take on it was that there was a youthful awakening of the masses of the actualities of a culture gone astray, where things and doings have overtaken the notion of living and being truthful with humanity. Suicide was almost a choice that was driven by the notion of regaining one's life through a choice not made by one's culture or civilization. The social nature of man was given to joining those of the same philosophies, those that chose a grotesque truth over an inculcated contentedness, and in doing so they spoke with their actions instead of mere words. Late.
g
Indeed. According to Sono, suicide is the strongest statement the teens can make in their society today, to mark their presence in some subverted macabre way.

As regards the pop star point, I d say Rolly's image is closest to Kurt Cobain, both on-screen and in real life.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:43 AM
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Hmmm - So maybe his role isn't necessarily ironic in terms of tone (because he seems to be a "harder" Pop Star than, say, the American boy band equivalent)... But the role is a testament of how media connects to youth and/or disconnected individuals... And since Rolly, himself, is a media icon, he is a great foil to the fabricated icons of DESSART.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:58 PM
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Hey, sorry! I just signed in and saw the invite.
Actually, I'd really need to see this again to have an involved discussion about it anyway.
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2010, 01:04 AM
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I actually found this movie through a girlfriend a few years back, and I was rather impressed with it. Typically I am into gore flicks more than anything else, but I found this film quite intriguing. There was a certain...eeriness to it that I can't really point out. Mass suicide isn't generally explored too much in film (at least not that I know of). This film however delved pretty deep into the subject. Really though, it's one of those movies that you only want to see one time, at least for the sheer shock value.

A very good flick.
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