Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973)

belladonna of sadness

Forty years after its original release in Asia and Europe, four decades after this initial commercial failure bankrupted its production studio, the psycho-sexual phantasmagoria, Belladonna of Sadness, finally arrives on American movie screens. The sexually explicit animated film charts one woman’s erotic journey from hamlet to Hell, as she is abused by her village’s male-dominated power structure until she finds some semblance of solace in the arms of Satan himself. Continue reading

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SIFF 2016: Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2015)

measuring suzo

Our Little Sister tracks a gentle arc, where drama develops through quotidian domesticity, gradually deepening emotion, small personal revelations. Hirokazu Kore-eda dares, in an age of superheroes, to believe audiences want to see something as simple as sisters sharing a series of meals, making family recipes, scratching a height measurement in a door-frame. He trusts these things carry emotional weight that will wrap viewers into the film’s world and hold them. In this slow accumulation of delicate specificity, tastes, and textures, is a gift: a celebration of the very fabric of being.

Our Little Sister screens for the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown on May 21 and May 22.  (Note: Full review to be published when Our Little Sister opens for its Seattle theatrical run in July.)