“I’m a pervert but not a phony. I am a pervert with dignity!” So says Yu Tsunoda (Takahiro Nishijima), a Japanese Catholic youth suffering from a serious mix-up in lifestyle priorities. The death of Yu’s mother prompts his father to become a priest, which in turn prompts Yu’s desperate attempts to invent sins that he can bring to Dad for confession. In search of new taboos, Yu becomes a master of ninja-style “upskirt” photography. This leads to his “love exposure” with the fetching but feisty Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima), and thus to further shenanigans involving cult brainwashing, terrorist action, and a loony bin. Director Sion Sono (Suicide Club) gleefully mashes genre sensibilities into an absurd pulp product that is also, at critical narrative moments, oddly moving. Clocking in at 237 minutes, Sino’s film possesses a rambling, free-associative structure. That’s a particularly apt way of expressing the mutating interior states of its characters, and the time- intensive processes necessary for reversing and/or deprogramming their various mental conditions. In other words: it’s a serious head trip!
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