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Love Exposure

August 30, 2013

What was that? It has been weeks since I watched Shion Sono’s Love Exposure, and I would not exactly say that it is the kind of movie that sticks in the mind, at least compared to kind of movie it is to watch. For one thing too much happens. It is four hours long and not at all slow. It is the outrageous piling-on of actions that make it exhilarating. It’s a great drunken night of a movie. What are you left with afterwards? What is there to write about? Maybe not much except this exists, and it is amazing.

I gave myself an intermission midway through it, and while I rested my disbelieving eyes I thought of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet (first 12 chapters), possibly the greatest work of art of the 21st Century. Love Exposure reaches a similar level of the sublime, someplace far beyond reason or taste, and it too reveals something unexpected there: a genuine human heart. Over-the-top ends up being just right.

It is about a teenage boy — the son of a widower who becomes a priest and then falls for a wayward woman — who pursues upskirt photography as an art-form and becomes entangled with two teenage girls, one very intimidating, the other terrifying. There is a cult, cross-dressing, and a lot of geysering blood. It is about sex and religion and being a pervert. But most of all it is about love. Somehow, really, despite itself.

After watching it I thought it was one of the greatest movies I had ever seen. Now I think… that after watching it I thought it was one of the greatest movies I had ever seen. Which is more than I can say for most. It is an experience, maybe an experience you want to have.

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