Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Runin: Banished るにん (2004)

Runin: Banished - was a bit maudlin, but enjoyable. I like films about people at the bottom of the barrel. Eiji Okuda impressed me with Shojo, and I knew that he would create something great with time. I love when filmmakers build upon older works, and here he expands the legacy of Shohei Imamura. It’s about that lowest tier society. The characters in question are assorted criminals who have been banished from Japan and sent to a small island to fend for themselves. Like in an Imamura film, there is a lot of sex, and all emotions in general run wild. The performances are so impassioned, similar to the older films. One truly gets a sense of the strength of humanity, as these people who have nothing use all they have to survive, sometimes destroying, sometimes saving each other. It’s not flawless by any means, but this is a special moment in world cinema. There is a certain freedom of expression here that is so often stifled in the larger market. In time, it will be valued tremendously.

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