|Takashi Miike Makes Great Films.
||[Apr. 2nd, 2004|05:00 pm]
|[||In the Moment
|||||Adam Beyer vs. Chris Liebing - Live Timewarp April 2003||]|
How can I express sheer gratitude for Katakuri-ke no kôfuku/Happiness of the Katakuris?
First, thank you, grooverobot for the reference to the film.
Miike wowed me with Oodishon/Audition. Then, I watch this film, and I now wish that I could have the range of Miike.
Miike talks with an interviewer on the DVD, and I loved his words about his love of making films. He also mentioned some points on how his films are categorized that led me to realize my wishes with creation of stories.
This one is very hard to classify.
Also, it is a remake of a Ji-woon Kim joint, Choyonghan kajok/The Quiet Family. I would like to find a copy of this to study the similarities and differences.
Miike's version is quite light-hearted and insanely wonderful.
Masao Katakuri's family moves to the remote country to work together on a country inn he purchased. This remote location in the mountains is so far from civilization that few people tread there. The guests that stay have the nasty habit of perishing.
Instead of reporting the deaths to the police, for sake of avoiding negative publicity, the family buries the bodies.
A combination of details captured my love of this film.
The dialogue holds all of the amazing and bizarre comments that I usually enjoy in a film. Throw in sudden breaks into musicals, and the occasional morph into claymation, and the interesting characters . . .
I loved Kiyoshiro Imawano's character, Richard Sagawa. His conversations with Naomi Nishida's character, Shizue Katakuri, they are quite laughable. Shizue's smitten nature is also quite humorous, since she buys his amazing tales.
Shizue is just one of the many amazing performances. Tetsuro Tamba's character Grandpa Jinpei Katakuri brings a sensible balance to the Katakuri family. He may be old, but he's still got the gifted arm, especially with marksmanship.
Masao and Terue Katakuri love each other, and they love their family. They break into song as much as the others.
Throw in a quick homage to The Sound of Music, and this is one of the zaniest and wonderful films.
The transitions of scenes are sometimes quite abrupt, but the performances more than make up for the odd shifts in the film.
The opening and closing narration by the child, Tamaki Miyazaki's character, Yurie Katakuri, who was Shizue's daughter . . . well, it explains the wildly abrupt musicals and the strange animations. It plays very well from the viewpoint of a child. The story from the viewpoint of Yurie gives the audience more tolerance in its goofiness, in my opinion. That's a pretty smart way for Miike to make the film.
The underlying messages throughout the film . . . especially toward making one's own happiness . . . that is precious.
I really would like to own this film. It is a wild romp as wild and exotic as other films I cherish, like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Fight Club, and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, to name a few.