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UK: Third Window Films
Cast: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Ando, Makiko Watanabe, Atsuro Watabe
Director: Sion Sono
Language: Japansese (English subtitles)
UK: 237 mins
UK Certificate: NC
UK Release Date: 30 October 2009 (Limited Release)
Running almost four hours, the new film from cult Japanese director Sion Sono is a riot of extremes, an exhilarating tour through any number of genres, styles, plot turns, perversions and emotional states.
The odyssey begins after the untimely death of Yu Tsunoda's (Takahiro Nishijima) mother when he is still a young child. Subsequently raised by his father, Tetsu (Atsuro Watabe), who has dealt with his grief by becoming a Catholic priest, Tetsu is seduced and has a love affair with an emotionally unstable parishioner. Tetsu transfers his guilt onto Yu, whom he forces to attend confession as often as possible. Eager to satisfy his father's demands, but quickly running out of false transgressions to own up to, Yu begins to find new and genuine sins to confess, the most effective of which proves to be taking covert up-skirt panty photographs of young women on the city's streets.
Eventually, Yu's misdemeanours attract the attention of teenage girl Aya Koike (Sakura Ando) - a con artist, coke dealer, the regional leader of a bizarre religious cult and a victim of paternal abuse - who decides she can use the wayward "king of perverts" for her own means. Shortly after their auspicious meeting, a cross-dressing incident resulting from a lost bet also brings Yu into contact with Kurt Cobain-loving, but otherwise totally man-hating, schoolgirl Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima), with whom he falls instantly in love. The fates of this trio become hopelessly connected and sealed when Yu's father decides to give up the cloth to marry his lover and Yu discovers that Yoko is about to become his stepsister!
Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize and the Caligari Film Award at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, the latest film from acclaimed Japanese writer-director Sion Sono (Exte: Hair Extensions), LOVE EXPOSURE is a monumental work of cinema that manages to combine comedy, action, romance and drama into its compelling, satirical and frequently violent commentary on religion, morality, sexual perversion and, of course, love, both requited and unrequited.