Dave White
Tokyo! Review

Dave's Rating:

4.5

Three times the weirdness...

Who's In It: Denis Lavant

The Basics: A loosely connected trilogy from three of the world's oddest directors. The Host's Bong Joon-ho's "Shaking Tokyo" is about a hoarder hermit looking for love; Michel Gondry's "Interior Design" is about a sweet, film-obsessed couple whose lives take on characteristics of the movies they watch and make; "Merde," from Leos Carax (who made the mind-wreckingly awesome Pola X) is about a nasty mutant man-creature who lives in the Tokyo sewer, eats money to stay alive and occasionally emerges to street level to terrorize the population.

What's The Deal: Hey, did you like Paris Je T'aime? Remember how much it made you want to go visit Paris and have a Nutella crepe? Well, this three-headed weirdness sandwich isn't going to win any awards from the Japanese tourism council. Or maybe it will, who knows. Japan is a country where you can buy panties in vending machines and book a coffin-sized sleep chamber for a night instead of a hotel, so what do I know? It's never boring watching these three directors wander down their own strange little paths, but you might leave scratching your head about what you just witnessed.

For Fans Of: Disturbing prosthetic eyeballs, Michel Gondry's now-commonplace use of low-tech visuals, shocking racist characters, pizza boxes as architecture, obsessive personalities, misanthropy for its own sake, feces, overt cuteness and people giving birth to rabbits. And it would help if you were a fan of all of those things and not just cherry-picking from the list. Otherwise you might lose patience.

Where You've Seen Denis Lavant Before, If At All: In French art films like Lovers Under the Bridge and Beau Travail. He was also the Charlie Chaplin impersonator in Harmony Korine's Mister Lonely. He may be the single most odd-looking (and often intentionally repellent) character actor of this era and once you've seen him in a movie you'll never forget that you did. So why not start your fandom by enjoying him as he plays a walking turd monster?

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