Best Films of 2010 #18 – ‘Cold Fish’

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Cold Fish

Directed by Sion Sono

Unflinching and unconscionable, Cold Fish is a black comedy with an obsidian pitch, a queer balancing act of outrageous humor and fathomless gore. Sly religious icons clutter the screen and the fetishistic fascination of Sono’s previous work is apparent, all wrapped up in an atypical analysis of madness and neurosis that he excels at. Although it doesn’t equal the numbing run time of Sono’s previous film – Love Exposure ran for a grueling four hours, while Cold Fish clocks in at two and a half – the film does not feel labored or lurched as it brusquely moves toward its shocking termination. Denden is ostentatiously the film’s hero, driving the meek Shamoto to fulfill his masculine obligations that are enforced by society, to conform to the status quo and control his distant wife and rebellious daughter. In its last half hour, the film descends into a Charnel house carnival with a typhoon of sloppy, gelatine intestines bursting across the screen, a crimson detritus that will provoke gasps and laughs in equal measure. Controversial yet controlled, Cold Fish is a fine example of challenging world cinema, and with a planned adaption of the book Lords Of Chaos in the works, Sono is proving to be an exceptional talent to watch… (read the full review)

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