WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL?
Directed by Sion Sono
Official Selection, 2013 Venice Film Festival
People’s Choice Award, Midnight Madness, 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
Public Choice Award, 2013 Montreal Festival of New Cinema
Playing in hell is what Hirata was put on earth to do. He and his over-eager band of wannabe filmmakers, the self-proclaimed “Fuck Bombers,” will not let talent, technology, the economy, underworld rivalries, or the mortal flesh stop them from making their cinematic masterpiece. And lo and behold, their chance is about to fall into their laps, like angels flying in on a slip-and-slide coated with blood. They just need to learn to collaborate with some yakuza, a former child star, and a hapless nerd.
A tribute to cinema by the gaudy, operatic, and probably evil Sion Sono (Cold Fish, SDAFF ‘11), WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL? is utterly vapid magnificence, glorious in its stylistic excess, melodious in its synthesizer romanticism. Its punk structure lunges from character to character and across time in a concerto of cocaine, yellow jumpsuits, rainbows, castles, and toothpaste. This is Sono’s most entertaining and accessible film to date and justifiably so: it’s about falling in love with all of film’s most rambunctious and horrid ingredients. For Sono, hell is all of those tired genres – the yakuza film, the samurai epic, the odes to teen love – flame-broiled and served with the devil’s booze. By the end, we’re drunk off cinephilia and somehow have let the unflinching Sono drive us home. Let’s fly! –Brian Hu