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Suicide Club of Life. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Suicide Club of Life. [Mar. 25th, 2004|09:00 pm]
[In the Moment |jubilantjubilant]
[Special Music |Sensual Armed Forces - The Epic of Gilgamesh]

Jisatsu Circle, aka Suicide Club in the United States, features a strange amalgam of social commentary, mixed with campy horror, mixed with a large helping of unrelenting mystery, centered around a series of bizarre suicides by Japanese youths.

The opening moments at the train station are those that you won't easily forget over time.

One of the key points to understand from outside of Japanese culture is the country's suicide rate.

Apparently, for some time now, Japan's suicide rate, especially in youth, is higher than any other industrialized country.

With that in mind, you begin to understand the points made from Shion Sono's rather odd and wonderous film.

Kuroda's surprise.

Are you connected with yourself?

The points made by the coughing child over the phone to inspectors seems to confuse us, but it shouldn't.

Japan's culture, being very competitive and conformist, can leave little time for self-expression and acceptance of the individual.

Basically, the childrens' utterings of adults as criminals and understanding the connections of each other, yet asking if one is connected to oneself . . .

Well, let me put it this way.

Suicide Club shows a different style of film-making from traditional Western films. Instead of meanings given to the audience, or meanings hidden so close to the surface, this Japanese effort demonstrates the open-ended style of film-making . . .

The questions left by the film are intended to be left, given to the audience to find meaning. You can see this style in David Lynch films, and to a certain similarity, Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine takes this approach.

The film doesn't attempt to package all of its symbolism for the audience. At multiple times in Club, we're left up to our subconscious and conscious mind to slowly piece the events together for better understanding.

This style is far from the poor-storytelling featured in some films. There are no real attempts to resolve Suicide Club by extraordinary and unbelieveable means. Few, if any, holes ruin the atmosphere of Club.

The story isn't the finest-crafted of Japanese films . . . Kuroda, one of the agents focused upon quite a bit, does not receive the focus all the way through the film. It isn't much of a circular plot, either.

Many of the scenes, taken by themselves, make little sense, much like David Lynch's work. However, one set of scenes in particular I noticed folks had difficulty . . . toward the end, the student finds the secret group . . . she talks with the children . . . we then see her submit to flesh sacrifice . . .

To me, it is a symbolic gesture, seemingly an affirmation that one is connected to one's self, not only that way, but truly connected to others, in tangible form to show the full connection.

The message of the children is that people should live their own lives how they see fit.

Themes of reincarnation, the innocence and place and connection in the world that children experience . . . the losing of such connection as one grows older . . . these are important themes to understand.

Questions I look forward to have answers for . . . apparently, Suicide Club will have more movies planned for it, like Ringu has . . .

1. What's the deal with the child, the one who coughed after every sentence he uttered over the phone . . . in particular, the symbolism, if any, of the coughing?

2. What is the Japanese word and the meaning surrounding the three spellings of the pre-teen pop sensation group?

Someone by the id of dballred on IMDB mentioned the Japanese name for the band, Dezaato, was consistent through the film.

Here's a thread about the ever-changing name of the Club's pre-teen phenom group:


3. Will the "Charles Manson of the Information Age" return?

4. What's with the two featured websites?

Well, there's actually three, I think. I fail to completely comprehend the websites because they are in Japanese, and I'm a lowly English-speaker.

*www.maru.ne.jp (this one was featured in the film by The Bat, and it was also listed as the name of one of the DVD chapters)

This is the website which features the main page and only page, the one with the cryptic red and white dots, which appear before suicides are reported.

I went to this one, and it didn't look like the website with the dots for the suicides, that's for sure. I was surprised they didn't seemingly have something connected for Suicide Club at these websites.

*www.jikennews.com (mentioned by The Bat as a place to find her online)

*www.ruins.com (mentioned by Kuroda's son as a website with a message to stop the suicides . . . had the flash circular animation)

Again, I didn't check on this one . . . not understanding Japanese makes for great limitations. :D

Some may find the dark humor more funny than I. In this case, the dark humor of the suicides were so over the top, and it was mixed with so much mystery . . . I could not laugh at most of the strange deaths.

However, one in particular, the stand-up comedian . . . in the montage of deaths, that one I took humor from, considering that many a stand-up comic has probably wished that upon themselves after a bad performance. :D

I would advise a 2nd viewing of the film not long after you've watched it once. Like Lynch films, you pick up on more of the film's points after you watch it another time.

Watch for falling bodies.

I had an interesting interaction with the Blockbuster clerk when I brought this one up for rental.

The dude behind the Blockbuster counter, head-dress of mohawk, held the movie case at arm's length, limply. He shivered as he dropped it into a bag, and he said, "I can't believe I touched that movie. Uuuooouu-uu-uuh!"

"Why? Is it that bad?"

"No," he said. "It's just that, dude, it is the creepiest film I've ever seen. Good though."


"Just keep telling yourself, 'the songs aren't real, nothing about this is real, nothing in it's real, not real' . . . . and you'll be fine."

It wasn't the creepiest film I've watched . . . but it was worth watching.

note: Sensual Armed Forces, a talented group from the Wesside of Michigan, can be found at: http://www.snse.net/

Kudos to you fine folks for the theme music for this post.

[User Picture]From: musicsdaughter
2004-03-25 10:13 pm (UTC)
so what is the creepiest film you've ever watched?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-25 10:27 pm (UTC)
Over the course of my life, I've been creeped out by films that suddenly become 'the creepiest film I've ever watched.'

When I was younger, my dad, not long after my parents separated, let me watch horror films. I was given great pause by the grisly nature of Friday the 13th: Part 4, The Final Chapter.


As I grew older, those films grew campy. I searched for something different. I found the real-death videos, those which claimed to show actual footage of death in action.

Faces of Death series, Death Faces . . . I'm sure there are more of them. They all creeped me out sufficiently at some point or another until I heard of the possibility that some of the footage had been faked . . . and I don't trust those much today.

With exception . . . there are two instances that I know to be quite real. I witnessed the film capture of Vic Morrow's death by helicopter accident on one of the death videos.


That accident, which also claimed the lives of two children, almost cost Landis some serious jail time.

The other is the Bud Dwyer suicide, inspiration for Filter's "Hey Man, Nice Shot."


The incident was broadcast on live local television, I believe.

As an older person, films creep me out less than when I first started watching films.

In particular, I can remember The Devil's Advocate doing a pretty good number on me with regards to creepiness.

The Exorcist is one of the best films with regards to creepiness, if you believe in good and evil.

I think tales with morality and ethics and essential good and evil at play take hold over me more so than the grisly depictions at this point.

Other shockeroos, with honorable mention:

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer


Night of the Living Dead


There are probably more I can recall . . .
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: renazle_dazzle
2004-03-26 03:28 pm (UTC)
Oh my Henry:Portrait of a serial killer! Me and a friend used to quote that movie.
liquor store guy: "How 'bout them Bears?"
Henry: FUCK da Bears (pronounced Beyars)>"
And the worst line of all-
Henry: "Stop it Otis. She's your sister."

That movie bothered me the first time I saw it (Tht necro scene was horrible)
But I have seen so many fucked up movies now that it takes a lot to bother me.

The french film "Irreversable" shocked me (The fire extinguisher scene is pretty relentless). I think the 11 minute anal rape scene actually made me feel ill. It looked and sounded very real. But I of course recommend it because of the fire extinguisher scene.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-26 03:30 pm (UTC)
You have watched a lot of disturbing material!

I think the material, collectively, honed me into a person with a better appreciation for the reality of chaos.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-26 04:16 pm (UTC)
I forgot to mention Silence of the Lambs.

Demme knocked that suspense out of the park.

He had the right mix of everything at the right time.

The Criterion Collection version features some nifty material.

Sadly, it's out of print.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: pernod
2004-03-25 10:19 pm (UTC)
This is bizarre, I was looking at the 'Ask Yahoo' question for today:


(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-25 10:29 pm (UTC)

Secret societies creep me out more than any film.

Thanks for the reminder! :D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: renazle_dazzle
2004-03-25 11:53 pm (UTC)

I will go and rent this movie.....

I am going to rent this because of the following reasons:
1- It is considered to be creepy. I probably won't feel creeped out though. Unless it has images as fucked up as Audition. Some of that movie was just weird and creepy.
2.It has to do with Suicide. And I am morbid...the more death in a movie the better.
3. It has japanese boys/girls- And that is eye candy for me.
4. Because you have good taste in movies.

By the way if you haven't seen "Audition" you should see it. It is kind of creepy here and there. Some of it feels as though it is dragging. But all in all it is enjoyable.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-26 12:55 am (UTC)

Re: I will go and rent this movie.....

There's plenty o' Japanese boys and girls in it.

It most definitely deals with suicide.

People are creeped out by it, but really, it got me the first time I watched it, but slowly, like everything else, just drops off the creepy radar for more creepy things in real life.

It does the trick, however. I wanted to find out what was going to happen next . . . it made me care enough to keep watching.

Audition, eh? I'll give it a look-see on IMDB.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-26 01:53 am (UTC)

Re: I will go and rent this movie.....

Have you seen Battle Royale yet?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: renazle_dazzle
2004-03-26 03:19 pm (UTC)

Re: I will go and rent this movie.....

no I haven't seen that one yet. I have heard the title, but my mind is blank as to who stars in it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: grooverobot
2004-03-26 05:54 am (UTC)
I've been meaning to see this movie for a while actually. Happiness of the Katakuris, too.

Also, good choice of music, haha.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-26 02:12 pm (UTC)
I haven't heard of Happiness of the Katakuris.

However, that's going on the ever-bulging list of movies I need to see.

Blood. Blood everywhere . . . Sono just goes for the buckets of Karo syrup.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-28 09:23 pm (UTC)
Just looked further into Happiness of the Katakuris on IMDB.

Mmmmm . . . delicious.

That one's on the radar for me. That's a good reference, thanks for the tip.
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