J Hurtado's Top 10 Movie Memories Of 2014
My standard admonition about my own lists is that these are, in no way AT ALL, the best movies of the year. They are the ones that gave me the biggest thrills, made me think, made me laugh, made me angry, made me smile, made me feel. As such, they are in no particular order, and since most of them have been reviewed on the site, I'm going to be using my colleagues for a wee bit of help on the films for which words aren't so easy.
Tokyo Tribe was an ecstatic experience at this year's Fantastic Fest. Sono Sion continues knocking it out of hte park with his willingness to push through the borders of what is acceptable in terms of contemporary Japanese film. I had a small idea of what I was in for from reviews and trailers, but nothing prepared me for the orgiastic onslaught of awesome. As a fan of exploitation, action, and musicals, this was made for me. Our Jaime Grijalba Gomez said it well:
Between the references to classic films like The Warriors (a tribe is based around baseball and the use of painful bats as weapons, but they don't paint their faces, that would be weird), and Sono's playful editing style, one can't help but fall completely into the intricate relations that are put forward in the first half hour of the movie.
The film is wild in its visual style, with gorgeous cinematography... neon lights, rain and outrageous colorful costumes for every character. The sets are beautifully constructed. So yes, it's without a doubt the biggest budget that Sono has ever had, and it shows in the way that he constructs a world that feels so vivid you could drop right into it.
Filled with one liners that will make you laugh, bloody violence and great acting (using real rappers, artists, DJs, tattoo designers, etc.), Tokyo Tribe is a film to see with an audience; they will sing and chant, and move their feet around. So, yes it is a very, very fun movie. It might be the most fun that Sono has ever put on screen. It's also a revelation of how musicals can be executed. Filmmakers, take note, hip hop is not dead.