T his installment, I am following up on the family themes in Takashi Miike’s movies. The last issue dealt with the father and son relationship, while the films listed here encompass the entire family unit. In both cases, the resolve is to bring the family closer together. This is Miike’s genius.
No matter how far he reaches, it is this sentiment that carries him through. Just as the Godfather was more about the family than organized crime, the same is true here.
Visitor Q (2001) is one of Miike’s smartest films. The social commentary is weaved within its satire of reality TV. It also stretches all boundaries of taboo, felony, and the absurd. The Visitor Q character visits a family in crisis and is finally able to knock some sense into the father, while helping the mother to regain her sense of worth, her family’s respect, and her symbolic nurturing in a really big way. Visitor Q is extremely graphic and deals with very controversial topics in very controversial ways.
I’ll say it, Visitor Q is probably not for date night. It is definitely not for children or anyone who might otherwise be offended. That said, it is truly fantastic and has an ending you will never forget.
Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) is a Japanese musical that is sure to make you feel happy. It’s a kind of heart-warming and chaotic family horror show. The family is able to work on their problems as tragedies unfold around them. They have opened up an inn in the country, but the few guests that they have do not fare well.
The songs are mostly catchy upbeat numbers, for a toe tapping good time. Although still bearing Miike’s signature of the outlandish, Happiness of the Katakuris is much more palatable for a semi-general audience.
Until next time, I hope you have a great viewing experience. Comments are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.