All posts tagged: black humor

Kiyamachi Daruma

Kiyamachi Daruma

Katsuura once led the organization which dominated the town of Kiyamachi in Kyoto. 5 years ago his arms and legs were amputated in a certain incident and now receives care from Sakamoto, a young underling of the organization turned nursemaid. Katsuura makes a desperate living by using cutthroat harassment to corner his debtors and exact the money they owe. Then one day he tracks down the relations of the person responsible for the loss of his limbs. Sasaki Hideo who starred in Versus, Alive, and many of Kitamura Ryuhei’s movies branched into directing in the early 2000s. In 2015, he directed the live-action adaptation of Maruno Hiroyuki’s hard-boiled novel of the same name. Working off a script written by Maruno himself, Sasaki does not shy away from the extreme depiction of its main character, a quadruple amputee debt collector who pushes debtors to the pit of despair through malicious harassment, which invited controversy when the original novel was published. This is one of those rare, unflattering portrayals of a disabled person which so goes against “type” that …



Suzuki Yohei’s Ow has been one of those movies that seemed to have slipped through the cracks, or perhaps been a bit ahead of its time. After getting made as a 9th CO2 grant movie, it was completed in 2014. Only now, three years later, will Suzuki’s efforts finally see a domestic release. This might be a good time, then, to revisit this unique entry in Japanese indie films in commeration of its July opening in Shibuya. Described as an indie “whatsit” (as opposed to a “whodunnit”), or a blackly comic episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’, Suzuki’s movie defies easy categorization. In fact, in their review of Ow, Slant Film used Spielberg and Jarmusch in the same sentence to praise Suzuki’s deft direction as possessing a “Spielbergian flair for capturing how the comforts and discomforts of cohabitation seem to nest within one another, as well as a Jarmuschian taste for mining social alienation for the occasional stray deadpan punchline.” (Chuck Bowen) Having his eyes opened to cinema by the genre movies of David Cronenberg and …