Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Screening time: 8:00pm Tonite (Dec. 7th).

Moving back into the 21st century, after successful screenings of 1970's classics Chinatown and Cabaret, KBT presents the Japanes expoitation/sci-fi/satire which is all but banned in Canada and The United States. Got your attention? Well, I must qualify that in all fairness it has screened at the Ontario Cinematheque and a handful of universities/film archives in the US).

The opening title has this scrawl: At the dawn of the Millenium, the nation collapsed. At 15% unemployment, 10 million were out of work, 800,000 students boycotted school. The adults lost confidence, and fearing the youth, eventually passed the 'Millenium Educational Reform Act'...AKA: The BR Act.

Thus begins a film that has a class of japanese school kids (16-17) entered in a contest against their will by the fascist government. They are forced to kill each other until there is only one student standing. This student will become some sort of celebrity (the film is never clear on this) which enforces the will of the country on the uprising youth.

In Reality TV fashion, each student gets a survival pack which has a compass, a map, and a random weapon with which to kill rival classmates. They all wear collars around their necks that can be triggered to explode if they wander out of designated safe zones (they are on an isolated island). Also, to prevent alliances, if after 3 days there is more than one student standing, all collars are set off and nobody 'wins.'

All the dramas of high-school, self-discovery, cliqism etc. are captured here, but the stakes are amped up to levels of serious ultra-violence. This was Japanese Battle-Royale.

As a special treat, I have the trailer for Stehpen Chow's Kung-Fu Hustle before the film.


Blogger grace said...

yeah, i didn't watch this movie.. i'm such a wuss...

1:15 p.m.  

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