Lausanne Underground Film Festival 2020
Suzuyuki Kaneko, Masashi Yamamoto
Akira Emoto, Seiko Ito, Kaho Minami, Miyu Ogawa, Soran Tamoto
GETA FILMS / Green Light LLC.
The debt-ridden Sasayas are moving out of their big house in the suburbs of Tokyo. Misinterpreting her father’s suggestion to “make fun memories” instead of focusing on the material move, Akane, the family’s daughter, posts an open invitation on Twitter: “Let’s have a party!” Soon, a homeless man comes to pray at the altar of the kitsch Greek statue in their driveway, and thus begins the bacchanal! Guest after guest pours into the house: movers first (of course), the family’s estranged mother second, a couple looking for a place to wed, the neighbourhood drug dealers, a confrontational aunt, and soon, with the unflinching logic of an ever-escalating matsuri gone utterly and irreversibly wild, jilted lovers, supernatural surprises, and delights of the kaiju variety…
Punk iconoclast Masashi Yamamoto (CARNIVAL IN THE NIGHT, JUNK FOOD) is back with the zany absurdist comedy WONDERFUL PARADISE. Like a demented spin on TEOREMA, and the unwanted-guest scenario in general, this riot of a film builds and builds and builds, until all notions of cinematic realism are well out the window. A family drama at heart, its increasingly eccentric set of characters allows for the family’s dirty secrets to be aired out in the margins of the mounting house-party insanity – in what amounts to one of the most genuinely surprising and entertaining comedies this side of Japanese cinema’s famed WTF sensibility. Yet, rather than offering gratuitous thrills, Yamamoto crafts a film in perfect alignment with his early punk ethos, skewering social constructs – of family, class, and Japanese decorum – with a healthy dose of mayhem! - Ariel Esteban Cayer
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