a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Figyua na Anata / フィギュアなあなた

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m-36913_figure-poster64_largeDirector Takashi Ishii’s always had a misanthropic streak, but in Figyua na anata, he lets it fly with his critique of otaku (let’s just say Japanese male) culture. In this tale, freshly fired Kentaro (Tasuku Emoto) drunkenly disses a bull dyke and her girlfriend. In his escape he stumbles upon a pair of cocaine-dealing thugs and their necromantic boss – plus a pile of mannequins that include a somewhat alive one (Kokone Sasaki) resembling a “sexy” otaku figurine. She saves him from a grisly fate. The first half rolls out with low-budget grindhouse urgency going through tons of blood, sex, rape and other unpleasantries. It’s engaging, if disquieting. Ishii is a solid filmmaker with a baroque flair. But when Kentaro bring his mannequin prize home, the Figyua na anata takes on different twist. He obsesses on her vagina. He rapes her. He goes through a series of otaku fantasies. What’s real? What’s not? Ishii keeps the viewer on tenterhooks until his last cynical image and the song Love Me Tender ends the adventure.

Originally published in EL Magazine, June 2013

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

June 4, 2013 at 12:34 am

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