26 August 2009

Blind Beast: No Pain Baby No Gain?

Went to National Museum for the film, "Blind Beast". It is one of the films featured in this year's Japanese Film Festival and main theme this year is horror. Based on a story by Edogawa Rampo, a renown Japanese writer of the mystery genre, the film is an excellent adaptation onto the big screen of profound inquisition of the nature of humanity, love and relationships. Yasuzo Masumura, the film director, though not known for any award-winning production held the helms behind this weird combination of erotica, psycho-thriller and crime which must have shocked, perplexed and intrigued many who had seen it back in the late 1960s when it was first shown in Japan.

The film depicts the obsession of a blind amateur sculptor who kidnapped a model who was supposed to embody the perfect female body form and in his attempts to persuade her to be his captive-model to pose for his ultimate artwork we witness the fall of the blind man into the pitfalls of manslaughter, lust and eventually S & M.

The most intriguing thing about this film is its ability to still provoke thoughts in the viewers despite the apparently gory amputations and ideas of S & M love/sex amidst today's overload of CGI-enhanced slash & cut horror/thriller flicks. Obvious not as in-your-face in terms of visual approximation of the blood and guts scenes but the film succeeded in its ability to update Marquis de Sade, "Venus In Fur" and some of the decadent literature. The primary question that popped into my head when I was watching the film was: who are we and what are we actually? Are we mere animals? Or worse, are we the aggressors-victims of our own sensual pleasures, transgressive thoughts and acts as well as psycho-erotic impulses?

The film does not answer these questions (who could actually, at the end of the day?) But it pushes us to wonder. A good film since awhile for me though.

Find out more about the film; the director here and the author of the story here.

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