Agoraphobic romance, a girl who turns into a chair and… Mr Shit. Cine-stylists Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind), Bong Joon-ho (The Host) and Leos Carax (Pola X) link up for a diverting triptych about Japan’s neon megalopolis.
Loneliness and disconnection are the quiet heartbeats of Gondry’s wispy, bittersweet Interior Designs, in which a young couple (one of them a filmmaker, natch) drift apart in the city. Bong’s Shaking Tokyo is also a delicate love story – albeit one shuddered by earthquakes – that locks us into the OCD jitters of a nerdy recluse who must venture out of his flat to pursue a shy pizza delivery girl.
So far, personal trumps post-apocalyptic. Nothing, then, prepares you for Merde. Exploding unmissably from this bizarre bunch, Carax’s deranged black satire sees French veteran Denis Lavant unleash an extraordinary performance as the bearded, feral degenerate (eats flowers, throws grenades) who clambers from the sewers to wreak havoc and become an icon of hatred/worship.
Godzilla, Jesus and Nosferatu have nothing on this bottomless cipher. His name? Merde. His feelings about the Japanese? “Disgusting. They live too long and their eyes are shaped like a woman’s sex.”
Each film carries a 30-minute behind-the-scenes Making Of doc, with Gondry explaining how he adapted a comic-book by Gabrielle Bell, Bong pulling the strings behind the camera and Carax coaxing out Lavant’s genius lunacy.
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