I am able to do this for two reasons. Firstly, I almost always watch films alone, so I do not have to worry that my viewing choices may offend another’s sensibilities. And secondly, I am very open-minded when it comes to the arts; almost anything goes. The only things I abhor are poor scripts and bad acting.
Most cinema-goers do have taste boundaries. This means they have to read up on a film before they watch it. Some viewers don’t like violence; others stay away from sex; others are offended by blasphemy; etc. Then there are different degrees to what people can stomach. Some people can watch violence but not when it is extremely graphic; some can watch sex scenes, as long as they are not unsimulated – which tend to be hardcore – even if the scene only makes up a tiny proportion of the film; others cannot handle animal cruelty, even fully aware it is simulated.
We all have our limits which, when pushed too far, have us reaching for the stop button on the remote control.
This brings me to Cold Fish; a brilliantly written, acted and directed Japanese film which took me through a roller coaster ride of emotions. This film is severely over the top in places – but in a good way, if you like that sort of thing. If you believe you are as open-minded as I am, stop reading right here. Go and get the film, watch it, then come back and let us know what you thought. Of course, you are already at a disadvantage: because now you will probably expect too much!
Let’s just wait for them to close the door behind them…
So I have to warn the rest of you that Cold Fish is a very black comedy which, on occasion, is extremely gruesome. There is a lot of blood and gore. It is not on screen for a long time but it is there long enough to prick your imagination into believing you have seen a lot more of it than you actually have. If you don’t mind that, then watch this film. It is an absolute gem.
The following trailer is very badly made. What a shame. I am sure it puts many people off watching this glorious film. As always, I recommend you don’t ruin any surprises by reading spoilers or watching trailers. But I know a lot of you can’t resist! So here it is:
Title: Tsumetai nettaigyo a.k.a. 冷たい熱帯魚
Direction: Sion Sono a.k.a. Sono Shion a.k.a. 園 子温
Screenplay: Sion Sono, Yoshiki Takahashi
Cinematography: Shinya Kimura
Editing: Junichi Ito
Score: Tomohide Harada
Stars: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Denden, Asuka Kurosawa