Absurdist director Hitoshi Matsumoto is back with more crazy. Always an artistic master of the weird and wild, with R100 filmmaker Hitoshi Matsumoto (Symbol, MIFF 2010; DaiNipponjin, MIFF 2008) follows a middle-aged furniture salesman through a monotone world where he escapes routine by joining an S&M club. He signs an unbreakable contract to be beaten – anywhere, anytime – by beautiful dominatrices for a year.
In a surrealistic adjunct, the salesman's fetishism forms part of another movie directed by a 100-year-old man. A censorship committee deems this film unwatchable for anyone under the age of 100, hence the rating restriction of R100.
Words fail me. I don't know how to describe this other than 'wacky'. The Distance and R100 are my two token 'crazy' MIFF films this year and what The Distance had in stark landscapes and telepathic dwarves, R100 makes up for it with a faster pace and many a Japanese dominatrix in leather beating/spitting and generally abusing the hell out of him, which he of course loves at first but then things start to get personal.
I loved Matsumoto's previous effort, Big Man Japan, but I haven't seen the Symbol [which according to my friend is a bit better than R100] this is still a nutty ride and generally had me laughing constantly at the absurdity of what I was seeing. The Saliva Queen is a particular highlight but really the whole thing was a ball. As with Big Man Japan things get especially crazy towards the end [watch for the CEO of the 'Bondage Corporation'- she's just nuts] Probably my favourite of the festival this year, but I'm always up for absurdist wackiness, and I suppose anything with a 'Gobble Queen' may be a-ok by me...
Is that an earthquake?