Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lesson Of The Evil (2012)

WHO: Takashi Miike wrote and directed this.

WHAT: Another one I haven't been able to to see yet. A number of observers have called Lesson of the Evil  a "return to form" for Miike, and/or compared and contrasted it against other items in his filmography such as Audition and 13 Assassins. Rob Hunter invokes a perhaps even more unlikely comparison point, Miike's first and best-known musical:
While a tonal 180 it’s easily his best film since 2001′s Happiness of the Katakuris and serves to remind us that the guy knows how to make visually impressive and affecting cinema. There’s a sharp and fluidly arresting style throughout accompanied by a blackly comic sense of humor, but when the final bloodletting begins we’re slammed into a wall of non-stop brutality.
WHERE/WHEN: Tonight at 7:00 at New People, as part of the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco.

WHY: With less than a week left in the inaugural JFFSF, there are still second and third chances to see most of the selections in the program, such as Wolf Children and Rurouni Kenshin, or those you may have missed at other festivals held earlier this year, like Rent-A-Family Inc. or Himizu

But Lesson Of The Evil is the title in the festival with the biggest director-name recognition. Miike is prolific enough that many fans have given up hope of seeing every feature and television work he's released (close to a hundred in less than a quarter-century!) but unless they've given up on him completely they should be eager to investigate a work that has been singled out as exceptional.

Especially when it's playing in a space like New People, criminally under-used since the end of its stint as a year-round venue for the San Francisco Film Society nearly a year ago. Chances to see any movie in this comfortable and modern single-screen cinema aren't that frequent- the JFFSF ends a nearly two-month dry spell at the space, although there won't be as long of one after the festival ends August 4th, as a Turkish Film Festival utilizes the space on the 13th through 15th of the month.

HOW: Digital projection.


  1. Brian: I made a point of going to this, to support this new festival and to catch up on more Miike.It was a riveting,enjoyable screening with a full, enthusiastic audience.Only complaint: the lone lady staffing downstairs was too busy to sell tickets
    for awhile because she was also supposed to be attending the door. Nice video projection of a work shot on video.

  2. I ended up missing it, but I'm very glad to hear the crowds were healthy!