a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Mada, Ningen / まだ、人間

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Junpei Matsumoto ’s debut feature displays what’s worst in contemporary Japanese filmmaking. Stylishly shot, in an 80s sort of way, Mada, Ningen crosses the line with its overblown displays of unearned emotionality, its petty understanding of relationships and worst of all, its view of homosexuality as a pathology. The pretentious and endlessly plot-twisty story examines a relationship between a pretty boy salaryman who’s been doin’ some underhanded deals, a young queer Christian student and as an afterthought, a woman with a dead man in her past. Between untold emotional outbursts, masturbation, blowjobs and a stabbing or two, no trope or cliché of the triangle drama is left unused, though only as Pavlovian markers – not with any thought. Ultimately Mada, Ningen, though posing as an open and honest look at a love triangle that has a queer element to it, brings the same old same old to issues that have been resolved by most of us decades ago. Though having a sympathetic homo character, the director exposes his own retrograde attitudes in every frame.

Originally published in EL Magazine, June 2012

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

June 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm

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