A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", ...
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The erotic novelist Taeko is writing a morbid story of a family destroyed by incest, murder and abuse. Her assistant, Yuji, sets on a mission to uncover the reality of this story, but the reality might be too much to bear.
A grisly murder occurs in Maruyama-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo - a love hotel district - a woman was found dead in a derelict apartment. Kazuko (Miki Mizuno) is a police officer called to ... See full summary »
When Syamoto's teenage daughter is caught stealing, a generous middle-aged man helps resolve the situation. The man and his wife offer to have Syamoto's troublesome daughter work at their ... See full summary »
In an alternate Japan, territorial street gangs form opposing factions collectively known as the Tokyo Tribes. Merra, leader of the Wu-Ronz tribe of Bukuro crosses the line to conquer all of Tokyo. The war begins.
An earth-quake causes a nuclear crisis in a fictive Japanese prefecture. In wake of the disaster, the members of the Ono family who reside just outside the border of the mandatory ... See full summary »
A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", which grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls. Written by
The poster in the girls' room is of the band Dessert. This was the fictional girl pop band that was a big part of the first film. The poster advertises the song "Write Once", which was the song that Dessert performed in the ending credits of Jisatsu sâkuru (2001). See more »
Circle member (in cafe) to Noriko's Father:
The only way to figure out what we can be... is to lie openly and pursue emptiness.
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A film where the characters endlessly yap their mouths, but are somehow able to say absolutely nothing at the same time.
I'm a pretty big fan of Sion Sono, with "Love Exposure" (2008), "Strange Circus" (2005), and "Hair Extensions" (2007) being amongst my personal favorites from his portfolio. Even his more recent exploitation-style films like "Cold Fish" (2010) and "Guilty of Romance" (2011) have enough to hold interest, despite their skittish foundations. "Noriko's Dinner Table" (2005) is a dramatic spin off to the gruesome "Suicide Club" (2002). I read up on the film before seeking it out, so I knew what I was in for in terms of style: a slow-paced, character driven art-house flick that was very different from its predecessor. What I got was a boring movie that outstayed its welcome within the opening hour, then dragged mercilessly for another hour-and-a-half.
The plot is bland, the acting is spotty, and the primary psychological elements are unfocused and sloppy. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this film abuses narration to such an extreme that massive amounts of superfluous verbiage are used when only a few mere images would suffice. What results is an unbearable series of events that seem to exist for no other reason than to show something during the unending narration. The dialogue is drawn out yet somehow empty virtually nothing of interest is said. Even after 159 minutes of characters constantly yapping (they literally cannot keep their mouths shut for more than 10 seconds at a time), the viewer inexplicably comes away from this movie with almost no additional understanding of the primary themes behind "Suicide Club", a film that also suffered from meaningless psychobabble but overpowered its flaws with horrific imagery.
Subsequent to my initial disappointment, I attempted to rewatch "Noriko's Dinner Table" on two separate occasions, but simply could not make it past the opening hour. I'm frankly amazed that I made it the whole way through the first time around.
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