Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Suicide Club (aka Suicide Circle)

So…I watched Shion Sono's Suicide Club on Sunday morning. Now, it's perhaps not the most obvious choice for a lazy Sunday morning movie, but I had just been reading about it and was a bit curious. Well, what can I say? There was quite a lot to take in and I'm still not sure what to make of it. From the infamous opening sequence where 50 smiling Japanese schoolgirls jump in front of a speeding subway train to the surreal bowling alley sequence where kidnapped humans and animals are kept inside white duvet covers, whilst their captors perform weird songs about death, the whole thing is quite a mind-boggling mess. And let's not forget the "wheel of flesh" that occasionally makes an appearance. Yes, that's right. It's a wheel made out of strips of human flesh, taken from soon-to-be suicide victims and stitched together to form a giant wheel.

As you'd expect from the subject matter, it's a very dark film. It shows a bleak world where the only people who look happy are the ones who have made the decision to end their lives. And who's to blame? The internet? Vacuous pop music? Our obsession with fame? Are there supernatural powers at work here? The film doesn't provide us with any answers and throws in more than a fair share of surreal elements to confuse the audience...the above mentioned wheel of flesh being one. But maybe that's the whole idea, to make us question why some things are considered weird and some aren't. Why do we accept that 50 young school girls would collectively kill themselves, but get confused about a wheel of flesh?

Anyway, I really have no idea what to make of it and I'm not going to pretend that I do. Extremely tasteless and troublesome, but still quite a fascinating watch.

Suicide Club on imdb

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