Monday, July 17, 2017
THE EXTREMISTS' OPERA Japan Cuts 2017
Junko Emoto's first film is based on her semi autobiographical novel Kokan about writer Naoko who holds auditions for the first production of her new all-female theater company. She becomes smitten with by Haru one of the actresses. As jealousies with in the group collide with the drive to create the question is Naoko be able to stop her womanizing ways?
Experimental theater influenced feature film both eluded me and delighted me as a kind of stream of consciousness exploded across the screen. As characters come and things happen its more like watching moments of life happen rather than a solid narrative. To be honest I know the general plot, but I'm hazy on a lot of details.
To be honest after sending off a missive to a friend about the film (I was wondering what in the hell it was) I tried to run down some information on Emoto's stage work and what I could find suggested it's very much like the film with the added notion that it has a very strong fan base who loves it and how it is self referential. Because my access to information is extremely limited I can't say how true it is but based on the movie it seems right. The film seems like this was really meant for a set audience.
That said, EXTREMISTS' OPERA is definitely a living breathing work and as much as I could connect to it I think it is delightful. It is a film that is uniquely it's own thing. While the often fragmented nature of the film wore me down, the film more often than not resulted in me smiling at the screen. It is not perfect, nor is it for all audiences, some people won't be able to go with it. However if you can click with it and it's wild style I think you will come out of it feeling as though you've seen something special.