Hausu...








Devoted reader and sender of all things good my way Jannon brought this to my attention: 1977's Hausu, from Nobuhiko Obayashi. Thanks to the art house folks at Janus, this will be making the limited theatrical rounds. Including SF in April... from what I've seen of it, it looks rather like a Japanese Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. Albeit with more human-swallowing pianos. Wowza.

3 comments:

Seb said...

What a fantastic bug-out of a movie. Just make sure you don't take it at face-value. Contrary to popular belief, the Japanese do have a sense of humour & irony.

If you want more than the usual RDA of fucked-up, check out Obayashi's "Nerawareta Gakuen"/"School In The Crosshairs" (1981). It lacks some of "House's" insouciant charm, but makes up for it by looking like an episode of "Dr. Who" commissioned by Kim Jong-Il from Liberace.

jannon said...

hee!

on seb's point--I actually think you do need to take it at 'face value' in the sense that the movie is literally packed with obvious & intentional v-effekts.

they aren't hidden beneath the surface at all.

yet, I was kinda shocked that at the packed screening I saw in los angeles, a bunch of the irony-loving, howling-with-laughter audience members came out going "but how could anyone have found that scary?"

so in a weird sense, I think a certain kind of 'ironic' appreciation of this movie is a grotesque misreading of it 'as if' it weren't already deploying itself via these techniques.

seb made the basic point already--that obayashi and the japanese obviously understand irony--but I just wanted to reiterate it.

anyway, thanks for passing on my rec!

socialism and/or barbarism said...

Seb and Jannon: thanks for the recs. Pretty much anything that involves the names "Kim Jong-Il" and "Liberace" will grab my interest. And I think you're quite right to stress that we shouldn't fall into the shitty trap of assuming that Japanese films - and here we can slot in nearly any other "non-Western" national cinema that's willing to be funny and over the top - are somehow unaware of what they do. As if anyone could make Lynch Law Classroom without a fierce side grin...