Yu attends high school and lives with his father. After the mother's early death, Yu's father decided to become a Catholic priest. He is very popular, and father and son live quiet, happy lives. One day, a woman named Kaori falls in love with Yu's father. Yu is against the connection, he does not like the eccentric manner with which Kaori pushes into peaceful coexistence. But because Yu's father Kaori is not allowed to marry, she suddenly leaves him again.
The father is completely desperate and takes out his anger on Yu, whom he asks to confess every day from now on. Yu is such a good boy that he soon has to come up with sins. This is the only way he can maintain communication with the father, which will soon be limited to conversations in the confessional. At some point he realizes that sins related to sex particularly annoy his father. He secretly starts taking " upskirt " pictures of young girls without them noticing. On one of his photo tours he gets to know Yoko and immediately falls in love with her.
Kaori returns a little later and wants to re-establish the relationship with Yu's father. It gets worse: Yoko is Kaori's stepdaughter. Yu and the love of his life, Yoko, now have to live like a brother and sister under one roof. Koike, who is a member of the religious Zero sect, watched everything during these strange events. She keeps an eye on Yu and knows about his feelings for Yoko. So Koike decides to kidnap and brainwash Yoko, Kaori and Yu's father. She hopes Yu will follow his family and join the sect as well. But he doesn't fall for this trick, but rather is ready to do anything to free the love of his life from the claws of the Zero sect.
"Love is an erection"
How did this film come about?
In fact, I once had a weird friend whose hobby was secretly taking upskirt photos of young girls. One day he showed me his “work”: there were only photos of schoolchildren waiting at a bus stop. When asked what I would think of the photos, I didn't know what to say. I just thought, "What a freak!"
At the same time, a professional upskirt photographer was interested in my friend's pictures. He eventually became a charismatic figure in this special photo scene. His pictures caused a sensation, and his videos were sold with incredible success. He later told me that his younger sister had been brainwashed and was now a cult, and that he would have great difficulty getting her back. After unbelievable efforts, he proudly told me that he had managed to bring her back to this world. I thought then that his world was pretty crazy too, and I never forgot this strange story.
Did you find the story suitable at that time as a material for a film?
No, absolutely not. Working on the screenplay for LOVE EXPOSURE - AI NO MUKIDASHI took two and a half years. At the very beginning there were too many oddities in it, and I was afraid that nobody would look at it. So I put a lot of other elements in the script, and it took on the shape it has now. Upskirt photography of young girls became the central content, which I provided with various additional conflict issues: ecclesiastical and secular, sex and abstinence, Christianityand religious sects. I wanted to become a freak myself, but I didn't succeed. In some moments these people look so happy - and although I did the same things as them, it didn't work for me. In a way, I envied her for her feelings of happiness.
Are there other aspects of the film that are based on real events?
When I came to Tokyo, I had no apartment or anything to eat, and I was desperate. I was approached by members of a sect near a train station. My answer to my question whether I would get something to eat if I believed in God was yes. Then they dragged me into a car and took me to a church where people read and cleaned - just like I show it in the film. I felt very out of place and left immediately. This situation also occurs in my film.
Among other things, it deals with the Christian religion and religious sects. How important is religion to you?
I am more interested in Jesus Christ than in the Christian religion itself. I have always wanted to make a film about Jesus, so I considered converting to Christianity - to become a member of a kind of Jesus Christ fan club, so to speak. In my film, however, the Christian faith occurs in connection with cult cult - my views on this belief are quite ambiguous. Not everything about it corresponds to my ideas; for example, I don’t think we’ll be redeemed just because we’ve accepted the Christian faith.
You made this four-hour film in three weeks.
Basically, we spin every scene from start to finish without a break. That's how I always go about shooting. I shoot 30 scenes a day. Before filming AI NO MUKIDASHI we rented a gym. There we read the script over and over and started rehearsals. In the course of this process, I developed an idea of what the scenes should look like later. At some point I was so sure that we could start filming.
I don't care so much about the light. When you start thinking about lighting, you limit yourself in terms of the possibilities of camera positioning. For me, the cameras are not in a given location, but follow the movements of the actors. If you do not restrict the actors' game, they will get used to the roles within a few days. Then everything goes much faster, and the individual scenes get by with just a few instructions.
Instead of thinking about every single cut, we take many different shots and shoot the same scene from several, sometimes up to 20 different perspectives. This creates very long sequences, but I never think: "This long scene looks so great that it should best be left uncut!" The atmosphere during filming is always very relaxed. At times like this, my teammates obviously think I'm not serious. You get the impression that you have to take responsibility yourself; the positive result is that they develop a fighting spirit.
What is the proportion of improvisation in the dialogues?
To tell you the truth, we almost never improvise. I have often heard that many things seem improvised. This is because we repeat the individual scenes so many times until the dialogues finally appear completely natural. When filming, we act as if we were filming a play; the close-ups are also from a long sequence, which is why it looks natural.
The film contains a clear statement. What do you want to convey to viewers in general with your films?
I once had a review of a book by Dostoevskyread that I remember. There it was said that Dostoevsky's novels say little about the meaning, purpose or topics of life, but rather encourage the reader to love life as such. I have a topic or goal in mind when working on a film, but apart from that, I want the viewer to like the film. That is the most important thing for me. I am against sacrificing the happiness or humor of a particular scene to make a statement clearer. During filming, we don't let the film's topic restrict us, but develop the scenes as they seem most interesting to us at the moment. Even if this changes the direction of the film, one must not despair, but must continue. That is my approach.
In Japan, people say: "Children grow up by looking at their father's back." You don't learn from lectures. However, if you see how the father behaves and in this way can understand parts of his philosophy of life, this communicates itself better than words could express it. In my opinion it is the same with films. When I develop something that is interesting and fun at the same time, I have achieved my goal. I am not interested in creating a certain world with my films. I have no particular vision. It is important that the viewer likes the film. AI NO MUKIDASHI ends happily, but this was not certain from the start. The decision for a happy ending arose out of the consideration of which type of ending would suit the film or which end the film would require.
It was important to me that the viewer didn't have to cry more than absolutely necessary. I also noted in the script that an overly emotional portrayal should definitely be avoided.
Many young stars are involved in AI NO MUKIDASHI . How did that happen?
I find it exciting to watch how young actors develop and develop. Takahiro has a good appearance. You forgive him for dressing up or taking photos in secret. Hikari has already appeared on one of my television shows. I think it has an interesting character. Young actors change a lot during the shooting. Atsuro Watabe impressed me the most in this context. His game was completely natural.
Finally, would you like to say something about your film?
LOVE EXPOSURE - AI NO MUKIDASHI is often misunderstood: it is neither a freaky film nor a film about freaks. The film centers on a boy who is mistaken for a freak and a girl who mistakenly assumes that all men are freaks. The film is a pure love story. It is a film for all those who see other people as freaks or who are considered to be themselves. Love is not shown here ("exposed love"), but only shown ("love exposure"). If the title had been "Exposed Love", the feelings that love is about would be the focus of the film. "Love Exposure", on the other hand, denotes an object, the object love. Love is an erection, a look under the skirt, a secretly taken photo, a chase, a struggle - love is constantly changing its form in this film. Seen in this way, the film is also about entertainment, the outer shell of which he breaks through and the core of which he tries to uncover. The film lasts almost four hours, but they pass in an instant.
Quelle: Phantom Film
Sono Sions jüngster Film ist ein ungewöhnliches Meisterwerk, das innerhalb seiner Rahmenhandlung, einer epischen Liebesgeschichte, verschiedene Aspekte des heutigen Japans zu einem wilden Potpourri verarbeitet. Seine Fähigkeit, Chaos als Chaos darzustellen und gleichzeitig atemlose Unterhaltung zu bieten, ist bewundernswert.
In: Tokyo FilmEx Katalog, 2008
Das sich nahezu über vier Stunden erstreckende, bildgewaltige Epos AI NO MUKIDASHI erzählt auf provokative Art und Weise die Geschichte eines Heranwachsenden, dessen Leben sich nach dem Tod seiner Mutter radikal verändert. Sein Vater, der sich nach dem Tod seiner Frau verzweifelt in den katholischen Glauben gestürzt hat, übt dadurch auf seinen Sohn Yu enormen Druck aus. Als Yu nicht mehr weiß, welche Sünden er seinem Vater noch beichten kann, damit sich dieser zufrieden gibt, beginnt er nach Sünden zu suchen: Auf diese Weise landet er in einer Gruppe, die heimlich die Unterhosen ihrer ahnungslosen Besitzerinnen fotografiert. So begegnet er schließlich auch seiner angebeteten Maria, die sich allerdings als Männer hassende Unruhestifterin entpuppt...
Sono Sions Film STRANGE CIRCUS was also shown in the Berlinale Forum section in 2006.
MitwirkendeTakahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Ando, Onoue Hiroyuki, Yutaka Shimizu, Tasuku Nagaoka, Sou Hirosawa, Yuko Genkaku, Mami Nakamura, Makiko Watanabe, Atsuro Watabe
ProduktionsfirmaOmega Project Ltd
Bilder aus dem Film
Sono Sion wurde 1961 im japanischen Toyokawa, Präfektur Aichi, geboren. Mit 17 veröffentlichte er erste Gedichte. Bereits während seines Studiums an der Hosei Universität begann er 8mm-Filme zu dre- hen. 1985 drehte er seinen ersten abendfüllenden Film I am Sion Sono.
1985 I am Sion Sono | 1985 Otako no hanamichi | 1990 Kessen! Joshiryo tai Danshiryo | 1990 Jitensha took/Bicycle Sighs | 1993 Heya | 1998 Keiko desu kedo | 1998 Kaze | 1998 Dankon: The Man | 2000 Utsushimi | 2002 Jisatsu saakuru/Suicide Club | 2005 Yume no naka e/ Into a Dream | 2005 Noriko no shokutaku/ Norikos' Dinner Table | 2005 Kimyo na sakes/Strange Circus | 2005 Hazard | 2006 Kikyu kurabu, sonogo | 2007 Ekusute/Hair Extensions