THE STOCKHAUSEN SYNDROME : Aoyama Shinji’s ‘Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?’ [7+/10]

60s-style stark white opening titles: "live performance by Tadanobu Asano and Nakahara Masaya" in Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? The penultimate words of Christ on the cross. We see: gasmasked beachwalkers … jazzy score … windblown Ballardian post-apoc feel (Whoops Japocalypse?). First thing that "happens" : milk gets spilt

gasmasks off : tireless icon Asano!                                                 
(older icon : Okada (keeps it grounded))
sound recordists? : musicians!
making / remaking music … maybe from zero: Tubalcain for the 21st cent.
contraption of motor, umbrella and vacuum-cleaner tubes?

15th October 2015 : "flu epidemic" – heard via radio : report of "Lemming Syndrome" – 3m Japanese dead : 38% unemployment : dystopian near-future : most convincing visions-of-the-future films are the ones that do least

Nancy Sinatra 'The End' … music + visuals = epiphanous moments of pure kino joy … rich and strange … gliding widescreen… style is all : tone is jaunty, floaty, comic : Antonioni ennui

pair are "world famous musicians"… oldster asks "who knows why they like that noise?"   electronica/rock duo (avant-noise) : their band is named Stepin Fetchit : Mizui (T.Asano) and Asuhara (Nakahara Masaya) … cure for the Syndrome (or remission)    (Vic Reeves LP "I Will Cure You")
                All Tomorrow's Parties
fewer people around (Tenebrae) … to complain about the noise
New sounds : cacophonic … too-cool-for-school/too hip for own good?

Japanese : avantgarde instincts never far from surface                                              Miike Gozu
their restless creativity : new adventures in hi-fi – all is grist to their sonic mill
Last Days … soundscape as important as landscape (rugged coastline, resembling Cornwall or Calif)

challenging and demanding of the audience – but gives so much – absurdity must be embraced!                          Decibel noise : the virus is perhaps deafened?
                All About Lily Chou Chou
Not so much "Last night a DJ saved my life" as "Yesterday a pair of avant-noise musicians delayed my death"

Mood is all … fragments     plot less impressive (oligarch "Mr President" out to save granddaughter – sole remaining family member) – Asano flashes back to tragic girlfriend
————-kicks into gear—1/2 way : traumatic suicide —————
sound of funeral pyre … nowt goes to waste … even the charred bonefragments are used … all raw material is fair game
"How do you distinguish viral suicide from real suicide?"
Slow /pretentious?               enigmatically intriguing

set piece / climax : "performance" by longhaired Asano on seaside field – fest perf for one listener
hippydippy wigginess (sixties-style)serioso Japanese tone at odds with hippy daftness
she collapses : Stendhal Syndrome? more like Stockhausen!
Spectacular, endless wigout performance … millennial silliness (beauty of the waves)

virus acts on optic nerve – pic works on optic and aural nerves
(many will find grates on nerves, general) 
not for all  Audiences allergic to Long wordless sequences / Japanese weirdness should keep distance … as with Tarkovsky, Gentle delicate epiphanies keep it interesting … LONG FINAL SHOT is a terrific (frame within frame… waving goodbye)

Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? The penultimate words of Christ on the cross. The actual last? Consummatum est.


Neil Young

ELI, ELI, LEMA SABACHTHANI? : [7+/10] : aka Eri Eri rema sabakuthani : Japan 2005 : AOYAMA Shinji : 103 mins (timed)
seen on DVD at home in Sunderland (UK), 28th November 2005 – with thanks to Esther Devos, Emmanuelle Devos, Emmanuel 'Manny' Shinwell, Wilf Mannion, Wilf Lunn, Frederick Lunt, Frederic March, The Earl of March, The Duke of Earl, Bill Duke, Bill Gates, Gareth Gates, Gareth Hunt, James Hunt, the King James bible, Billie Jean King, Jean Kent, Clark Kent, Alan Clark, Alan a'Dale, Jim Dale, Jim Crow, all at Crowtree Leisure Centre, all at the Leisure Hive, Buster Hyvonen, Buster Crabbe, Tim Krabbe, Tim Rich, Rich Cline, Patsy Cline, Patsy Rowlands, Roland Rat, Antonio Rattin, Tonio Van Vugt, Van Morrison, Herbert Morrison, Herbert Wilcox, Paula Wilcox, Paula Jones, Tom Jones, Tom Paine, Cynthia Payne, Cynthia Lennon, Sean Lennon (not John), Sean Pertwee, Bill Pertwee (no relation), Bill Clinton, George Clinton, Bobby George, Bobby Brown, Gordon Brown MP, Gordon Jackson, Tito Jackson and Josip Broz.