Kumakiri Kazuyoshi made a sensational international debut in 1997 while still attending the Osaka Art University. His final school project was the notorious, ultra-violent political death trip Kichiku dai Enkai (Banquet of the Non-Humans), followed by the award winning Hole in the Sky. His latest film, Antenna (which premiered in the 2003 Venice International Film Festival competition) is a sexually perverse, emotionally intense, and visually stunning adaptation of Randy Taguchi’s best-selling novel.
When Yuichiro (Ryo Kase) was a boy, his younger sister Marie vanished from her bed in the room they shared as he lay sleeping beside her. His mother escapes to superstition, religion and feng shui. His younger brother was born after Marie disappeared, and is (perhaps not surprisingly) seriously mentally ill and is gifted with an internal “antenna” that senses the presence of his absent sister.
Yuichiro is now a self-destructive graduate student who studies the philosophy of sadomasochism -- a subject that he has more than passing familiarity with. His research soon spills over into his private life when he visits a dominatrix named Naomi (Akemi Kobayashi). She is the S&M Queen of a sex club who decides to use her professional knowledge to help heal his wounded psyche.
Ryo Kase (best known for Sogo Ishi’s Gojoe and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Bright Future) solidly anchors the film, and has an undeniable chemistry with the beautiful Kobayashi, his co-star in Katsuhito Ishii’s Party 7 (2002 IndieFest). This year check out Ishii’s new movie The Taste of Tea.
- Bruce Fletcher