Love and Other Cults
Hosted by Actress Hanae Kan
A number scrawled in a bathroom stall, under the inscription “Call me for sex”. Could be a scam, could be trouble, or it could be the beginning of a most peculiar story… at the other end of the line? A girl named Ai (Sairi Ito) was raised by a religious freak of a mother, then sent to her sect’s commune at an early age, only to be reintegrated into society when the cult leader gets arrested seven years later. Ai soon drops out all over again, to live with a makeshift family of delinquents, low-rank gangsters, call girls and misfits – all of which while still in her teens! Then she meets Ryota (Kenta Suga), another troubled teenager, who immediately falls for her and vows to protect her in his own twisted way.
After tackling no-budget filmmaking is his biting satire LOWLIFE LOVE, Eiji Uchida (GREATFUL DEAD) continues his exploration of the seedy and unexpected corners of Japanese society, weaving, with LOVE & OTHER CULTS, a tapestry of youth cultures and realities rarely seen on screen in this way. Far from a metropolis like Tokyo, here’s a vision of regional Japan that unfolds quite surprisingly and unpredictably – at once like a trashy bildungsroman, or coming-of-age story, and as an almost stream-of-consciousness teenage comedy set in the interconnected world of cults, gangs, idols, and Z-grade criminality. Once again, the film is propelled by Uchida’s unapologetic and irreverent sense of humor, as well as his unique mastery of his ensemble cast (featuring the legendary Denden!) and LOVE & OTHER CULTS reminds, once again, that the most amusing way out of petty lawlessness and delinquency is straight through!
- Ariel Esteban Cayer