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COLD FISH

Director: Sion Sono Year: 2010 Country: Japan Running time: 144 mins Censor Rating: R18 - graphic violence, sexual violence Genres & Subjects: Comedy, Suspense

Producers: ChibaYoshinori, Kimura Toshiki Screenplay: Sono Sion, Takahashi Yoshiki Photography: Kimura Shinya Editor: Ito Junichi Production designer: Matsuzuka Takashi Costume designer: Araki Satoe Music: Harada Tomohide

In Japanese with English subtitles

With: Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Denden, Kurosawa Asuka, Kagurazaka Megumi, Kajiwara Hikari, Watanabe Tetsu

Festivals: Venice, Toronto, Vancouver, Pusan, London 2010

Fans of Sono Sion’s Love Exposure (NZIFF09) won’t need much of a push to see this perverse chunk of black comedy horror. Funny, exhausting, callous and ultimately devastating in its final reel, this is one blood-drenched character study that’s hard to shake. Reportedly based on a true story of a serial killer, Cold Fish sees Shamoto, an awkward milquetoast tropical-fish-store owner befriended by the obnoxious and outgoing Murata, who hides a deeply disturbing persona. Pulled into this awkward friendship are Shamoto’s snooty bride, his rebellious daughter and, finally, Murata’s sexually aggressive wife. When Shamoto witnesses some of Murata and his kooky wife’s sick behaviour, he finds himself trapped in a bloody whirlpool, where his only escape is to finally stand up for himself. — AT

“Couldn’t easily be mistaken for anything other than what it is: another fervid fantasia hatched by cult Japanese helmer Sono Sion.” — Leslie Felperin, Variety