Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bullet Ballet (1998)

I grudgingly respect Shinya Tsuskamoto for following his muse, for attempting to create "pure" cinema and tell stories through images and montage rather than dialogue. At this point, though, I have to wonder what separates his mechanical constructs from those of, say, Michael Bay. This film, I think, follows a guy whose girlfriend has shot herself and who has become obsessed with owning a gun and keeps running afoul of some punked-out street gang. Beyond that, I don't know much, because Tsukamoto can't find a way to make his images mean anything. Maybe this is a deeply personal film for Tsukamoto (I've read, somewhere, a defense of the film claiming that it's a visualization of extreme depression amid an alienating landscape), but more likely it's just empty posturing. By now, I know how punk you can be. I know how quickly you can edit a film. I know how heavily you can stylize an image, occasionally to great effect. I know you're fascinated by the idea that modern life robs one's soul. But to get that point across, Shinya, it helps if you make films that have souls, rather than the incoherent noisemakers you seem to keep churning out. Maybe one day Tsukamoto will figure out what it is he wants to say and just come out and fucking say it. Wake me when that happens.

Grade: D+


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home