a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Nûdo no yoru: Ai wa oshiminaku ubau / ヌードの夜 愛は惜しみなく奪う / A Night in Nude: Salvation

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Ever clever and stylish, Takashi Ishii has created an ostensible sequel to his 1993 Nudo no yoru, casting the always game Naoto Takenaka (Shall We Dance) as the beaten and worldly everyman, Jiro Kurenai, caught once again in a web of existential intrigue, homicide and general mayhem. Nearly 20 years later, we find Jin-san looking a lot older, living alone in a perfectly minimal warehouse. Stumbling onto the particularly grisly murder that opens the film, he gets involved in convoluted plot revolving around a trio of women taking tricks and making shakedowns out of their sunaku. Their flimsy hold on life and business in this underworld ultimately spins out of control. It all ends up in a massive bloodletting in an appropriately creepy cavernous quarry. Ishii’s instincts for Grand Guignol and psychotronic hysteria make Nûdo no yoru: Ai wa oshiminaku ubau a wild, if somewhat head-scratching ride. Shinobu Otake, Harumi Inoe and Hiroko Sato are electric embodying the wronged and wrong-headed women. And Shishido Joe mumbles through a drunken, incestuous, bad guy role brilliantly.

Originally published in EL Magazine, Oct. 2010

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