Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?

(Aoyama Shinji, Japan, 2005)


Japanese director Aoyama Shinji made a big splash five years ago with his stunning drama Eureka (2000). However, judging from his subsequent work, he is seriously off his game.

Where Lakeside Murder Case (2004) is a relatively modest telemovie, this rambling, wide-screen effort (the title of which quotes Christ on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?") lets it all hang out.

It is a laboured exercise in apocalyptic sci-fi – or, more exactly, Tsai-fi, since its central conceit (a "suicide virus") mimics Tsai Ming-liang’s vastly superior The Hole (1998).

However, the actors are certainly glamorous, and the endless avant-garde music recordings (culminating in a frenetic exorcism) make for a curious spectacle, especially for those who track trends in Japanese pop culture.

© Adrian Martin 2005

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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