Sunday, March 24, 2013


Bunraku is a movie I probably would never have picked up if Mike Patton weren't the voice of the narrator.
I cannot thank him enough for taking that job.
Holy shit, I'm baffled that I haven't heard anything on the internet at all about Bunraku. This movie seems like it would have a huge cult following.
Not necessarily for the story which, admittedly, I sort of had a hard time following. Most of the dialogue was pretty quiet. But the important core of the plot I did get, Woody Harrelson's character sums it up nicely: "A cowboy in a world without guns and a samurai without a sword join forces to defeat a common evil."
That's all you really need to know. This movie could have the flimsiest plot in the history of filmdom and it wouldn't change a damn thing about my opinion because the visuals. Oh my god, the visuals. The sets, the art direction, the fight choreography, the scene transitions are gorgeous, colorful and unlike what I've seen in most movies.
I'm certain they're not completely unique (one scene transition tells a very short story with comic book panels, much like Repo! The Genetic Opera does, but it still felt different to me. Bunraku put its own spin on it) but they were fresh enough, different enough to keep me enthralled. The sets are beautiful (the casino in particular made me want to leap into the TV and wander around that soundstage) and the lighting is all done in very drastic reds, blues and yellows.
Now here's the thing that's interesting to me about my falling all over myself over the artistic direction: I normally don't really notice that kind of thing in a movie. I'm sure I do to some extent (my dad's directed plays my whole life so I grew up around set building and lighting schemes) but usually I'm too involved in the plot to pay attention to how the shot was lit or what the set looks like. Bunraku is different because, even when I stopped being confused and was really into the plot, I never stopped paying attention to how beautiful the movie looks.
It occurred to me during the fight on the trapeze net that the filmmakers were simply taking full advantage of what film is. They were making the most of their medium. And I guess I just appreciate that.
Also, just based on how stylish and stylized the movie is, I'd bet money (not a lot of money, but money all the same) that Bunraku was based on a comic book.
I don't care what it's based on, to be honest. I just want people to watch it. It's up there with Crazy Lips in the list of "Movies I'm Surprised The Internet Hasn't Latched Onto With Its Insane, Irritating Fandom Force."

End of line.

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