Co-presented by Shudder and Worldwide FM!
Double feature programmed and introduced by Flying Lotus!
Happiness of the Katakuris
After a Jan Svankmajer-style opening involving a cupid-like homunculus, an evil teddy bear, and a hungry crow, we meet four generations of the Katakuris: husband and wife, their criminal son and divorcée daughter, her little girl, and the wife’s father. In response to Japan’s economic decline, the Katakuris have reinvented themselves as innkeepers at an out-of-the-way hotel. Sadly, their guests have a tendency to die from suicide and fatal accident, and the family has to bury the bodies to avoid the bad press. Meanwhile, the daughter of the family is being wooed by a con artist who claims to be either the offspring of royalty or a foreign spy. To make matters worse, an escaped murderer is on the loose, and the nearby volcano is rumbling ominously. Miike’s whatzit is the best family-musical-comedy-with-zombies- and-claymation-sequences ever made.
Dir. Takashi Miike, 2001, 35mm, 113 min.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
With all the heavy clanks and insane visual thrumming of a Metropolis updated for the frenetic William Gibson age – crossed with the blazing sex-and-blood factor of a vintage Cronenberg nightmare – director Shinya Tsukamoto’s career-defining, blenderized vision finds a downtrodden salaryman mutating beyond belief into a half-man, half-machine freakazoid hellbent on destroying the metals worshipper who cursed him into a life of copper wires and motor oil mimosas. Whereas Godzilla is a response to the proliferation of nuclear power (and its impact on the planet), Tetsuo is a direct satirization of what’s perhaps the more insidious scourge of Japan’s rapid industrialization, proliferation of waste, and dehumanization of its populace. Any cybernaut worth their salt would be crazy to miss it!
Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989, digital presentation, 67 min.