Sunday, September 15, 2013

TIFF 2013: Hitoshi Matsumoto's R100 - Midnight Madness World Premiere

From the wonderfully strange imagination of director Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan's comic genius, comes the outrageously funny and demented R100.

[Director & Actor Hitoshi Matsumoto at the Midnight Madness World Premiere of R100]

When a bored single father (Ichi the Killer's Nao Ohmori) joins a mysterious S&M club to spice up his life, he gets more than he bargains for. Suddenly, a league of dominatrixes, each with their own special skills, begin to terrorize him without warning throughout his normal day. Despite his bruises and cuts, he oddly gets an overwhelming euphoria from their painful interactions. But when the dominatrixes begin to threaten the lives of his family, all bets are off.

It’s hard to describe a Hitoshi Matsumoto film because they’re absolutely bizarre. But that's to be expected from Matsumoto -- there's not supposed to be any coherent direction. It's the visual sensory overload that makes the trip exciting.

R100 contains a lot of physical comedy, much at the expense of the lead actor. The film opens with a martial arts dominatrix (pictured below) completely pummelling him to submission in the streets. Additionally, there’s a hilarious scene of another femme fatale crushing each of the hero's sushi with her fist just before he consumes them.

If you think that Matsumoto is unaware of the film's craziness to general audiences, guess again. Interestingly, the gifted director breaks the action periodically so that a film panel can discuss the insanity and subsequently recommend edits palatable for a more conservative audience.

Matsumoto made a rare appearance to introduce the film to the Midnight Madness crowd and they were in a complete frenzy over him.

The film's title R100 parodies Japan's rating system. Their ratings include R15 and R18 representing the acceptable ages for viewing. R100 is Matsumoto's hint of who may be ready to see his latest opus.

Regrettably, R100 currently has no announced North American release date.

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