Tag: Death Trance

July 28, 2006 / / Film Notes

Written by Jess Wilton

Japan, 2005. 90 min. Fever Dreams/ Media Suits Ltd. Cast: Tak Sakaguchi, Yôko Fujita, Kentaro Seagal, Takamasa Suga, Yûki Takeuchi; Music: Dir en Grey, Rui Ogawa; Cinematography: Shinichi Fujita; Action Director: Go Ohara, Tak Sakaguchi; Written by: Seiji Chiba, Shinichi Fujita, Junya Kato; Directed by: Yuji Shimomura

It seems almost counter-intuitive to try to lend depth to Death Trance. It is, as indicated in its promotional materials, a movie about “an unknown time, an unknown place, [a man] without reasons, with no future.” Whatever meaning we might glean from its ninety minutes of dizzying camera angles, extravagant choreography, and outrageous costumes, it only detracts from the film’s ultimate purpose—destruction. Which is not to say that director Yuji Shimomura and his team are after exactly the same sort of destruction as Grave, the film’s ‘hero’ (using the word loosely). Grave is after a good fight, and if that means the end of the world, he’s ok with that. Similarly, the filmmakers are largely concerned with making the coolest-looking movie they can. If, as an afterthought, they dismantle a few traditional notions of narrative and identification, well—they’re ok with that too.