TIFF 2013: R100 Review


Midnight Madness

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto

Japan has absolutely no shortage of absurd, off-the-wall directors, who take already gaga plots and then execute them in even more surreal ways. Matsumoto, with the head-turning Big Man Japan under his belt, has already managed to help establish himself amongst the bewilderbeast heard. R100, his new film about the absurd dangers of kink, doesn’t have giant monsters, but dozens of devils dressed in black.


Takafumi has had it rough lately. But he’d like a little rougher. A father, with his wife in a coma, has recently enlisted into a very peculiar, elite men’s S&M club. Upon signing up, a legion of dominatrixes are assigned to jump clients throughout their day. Each with a stranger and stranger special specialty, Takafumi usually encounters women while on commutes and walks.

When the leather ladies become more invasive, appearing at the work place and stopping by his house, he tries to contest the establishment that already expects him to be the victim. The result a one-man war against man-eating (sometimes literally) women.

Something of a John Waters story in a colour washed world, R100’s bondage plot certainly knows how to playfully go at poor taste, but never breaches beyond its own gratifying absurdity. For a bit, there seems to be an internal conflict for Takafumi, trying to separate the pains of his life and the pains for pleasure, but the film instead decides to push onwards into weirdness. At first a tale of the disconnect between the private lives, the public lives, and the VERY private lives, b-lines into a an even stranger turf that’ll fits like a tight glove for screwball Japanophiles, but not many others. (Zack Kotzer)


Friday, September 13th, Scotiabank 9, 11:30am


Saturday, September 14th, Scotiabank 10, 9:00pm

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