964 Pinocchio (1991), by Shozin Fukui - BLOODY-DISGUSTING
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Old 07-22-2005, 07:46 PM   #1
lordhoban
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Default 964 Pinocchio (1991), by Shozin Fukui

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0225009/combined
(possibly spoilers below, if there can really be much spoiled)
964 Pinocchio is a film about excess. The cover art (above link is its IMDB entry, with cover art)is fantastic, with the feel of Eraserhead in its style. If only the film itself looked like that. The concept behind the film sounded intriguing to me.

About two amnesiacs, one a sex robot, the other someone who has spent some time at a mental hospital, and together, they deal with life in the hustle bustle world of Tokyo. The result is anything but what I expected in terms of story and characters, though it does manage to achieve some interestingly weird imagery. I just wish the imagery was more apart of the film rather than all the film had to offer.

The experience lasts about twenty minutes too long, obviously stretched for time since the actual plot and development of characters is minimal at best. Instead of using more weird imagery to make up for this, the director decides to have many scenes go on way too long. Like a puke scene that seems never ending, or another scene where the same dialogue is repeated over and over again, or even the loooooong 'chase' bits at the end. I'm not sure if it can be called a chase, but I didn't really know how else to classify it.

What could have been a visual feast, if nothing else, ends up becoming boring in too many places. The film needs a serious edit job before I could even consider watching it again. Which is a shame, as some of the imagery is neat and worth watching if not surrounded by the overly long parts that feel droning and wearing on my patience. If I do attempt to watch it again, there will be some fastforwarding this time.

For anyone who has seen Damon Packard's Reflections of Evil, that's what 964 Pinocchio felt like to me. Different, but along the same lines. While it's not as excessive or overly long as Reflections, it still has that tendency which strikes me as amateurish, someone so in love with their film that they have a hard time cutting it down to an appropriate length. I want to like these films and would gladly watch them again at a shorter, more manageable length. But we don't always get what we want, so unless I get the option to one day edit these films down for my own consumption, I doubt I'll revisit them unless I'm in the rare mood that indulges such out of proportion weird cinema.

Then again, I've seen better options out there. I'm waiting for Tetsuo to arrive in the mail and I liked Tetsuo 2. I just can't believe 964 Pinocchio got such a wide dvd release. And I can't help but wonder that because of the vacuum it existed in, it might have prospered far more than it deserved to way back in 1991.

On the dvd, I watched the Caterpillar short. A 30 minute short about 3-4 people who don't seem to have any real connection. There was like one line of dialogue throughout the entire thing. A stop motion 'caterpillar' running around, though it, too, seemed to have nothing to do with anything else going on. Some junk footage that ended up being the only thing remotely interesting in this whole boring washed up excuse for a film. Every once in awhile, there was a small bit of imagery I kind of liked. The rest of it, ick. No music to help stomach what was going on. Not that I remember, anyway. I did speed it up halfway through, and I couldn’t imagine sitting through it at normal speed.

The interview with the director was interesting. And it alluded to many of the problems with 964 Pinocchio, namely how unimportant the dialogue/plot was, how so much more important the 'theme' was. At least, according to him. Which is one of reasons why the film failed. If only he had taken a little time to develope the characters or the paper thin plot, and less time focusing on a 'theme'. If only.

While I see potential in his work, I doubt it will ever be realized in a good film as he seems stubborn enough not to listen to anyone but the little voice in his head when making films. Which, with some visionary directors is a good thing. But not the case here. He needs someone to point him in the right direction and help him fine tune his craft. Then he could be great. Or at the very least, good.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:59 PM   #2
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I give you serious credit if you actually managed to watch the entire run of Caterpillar. That was just too much for me, or maybe too little... Oh yeah and during the feature, I definately turned away a few times during the 'infamous' long puking scene. What a trip. But yeah, it didn't hold a candle to Tsukamoto (sp?) or even Sogo Ishii's work in my opinion. I have Rubber's Lover and I heard that one was better (plus its in glorious B&W 16mm, a super plus in my book) so I purposefully watched 964 first. I'm a big fan of the cyberpunk genre, and while I wasn't really let down or surpirsed by 964, I probably won't be watching it again anytime soon.
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Old 07-23-2005, 06:05 PM   #3
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I liked it...rather interesting and engaging cyberpunk film, although I'll be the first to admit I didn't understand the ending at all. As said above, not as good as something from the likes of Tsukamoto and Ishii, but good nonetheless. And even if you don't like it, you have to give it points for the crazy guerilla-style city scenes they were able to capture.
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Old 07-23-2005, 06:28 PM   #4
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i blind-bought it.....i can't say i like it....but i couldn't stop watching some of the scenes. this is a movie i would project onto a wall during a party for atmosphere......the aesthetic is awesome (it would make a great music video), but everthing else that makes a good film is severely lacking in this one.
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Old 07-23-2005, 06:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRonHubbard
I give you serious credit if you actually managed to watch the entire run of Caterpillar. That was just too much for me, or maybe too little... Oh yeah and during the feature, I definately turned away a few times during the 'infamous' long puking scene. What a trip. But yeah, it didn't hold a candle to Tsukamoto (sp?) or even Sogo Ishii's work in my opinion. I have Rubber's Lover and I heard that one was better (plus its in glorious B&W 16mm, a super plus in my book) so I purposefully watched 964 first. I'm a big fan of the cyberpunk genre, and while I wasn't really let down or surpirsed by 964, I probably won't be watching it again anytime soon.
How's Rubber's Love?

I think the director has a keen visual sense, if only someone would tie it down to a solid script that could take advantage of those visuals, then you might have something.
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relsh
i blind-bought it.....i can't say i like it....but i couldn't stop watching some of the scenes. this is a movie i would project onto a wall during a party for atmosphere......the aesthetic is awesome (it would make a great music video), but everthing else that makes a good film is severely lacking in this one.
That's a fucking great idea. I never thought of blasting a cyberpunk film during a party for atmosphere. I'll ahve to try that. And as Kamui said, the guerilla style was definately the most entertaining aspect of the film. Watching all the bystanders' reactions as 964 ran through the street, or the girl just wandered arond and puked everywhere.

As for Rubber's Lover, I still haven't gotten to it, I just watched 964 about a week ago, so sometime soon when I'm prepared and patient I plan to throw it in.
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:01 PM   #7
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I don't think I could sit through another film with a lack of restraint in terms of takes that go on for longer than they should. At least, not by this director. Unless I hear otherwise.

Also, one thing that puzzles me. On how this film can be considered 'Cyberpunk.' Even the director admits he doesn't understand why it was labelled like that. I think they slapped a label on it trying to appeal to a certain audience because of films like Tetsuo, with some visual similarities, but not much else.
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Hellraiser II: Hellbound (198 - Tony Randel
Army of Darkness (1993) - Sam Raimi
Dagon (2001) - Stuart Gordon
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Martin (197 - George A. Romero
Nightmare on Elmstreet 3: Dream Warriors (1987) - Chuck Russell
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:39 PM   #8
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I bought this and Rubber's Lover at the same time. I loved both, both had a very kinetic feeling to them. Thanks to Unearthed for releasing them.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:02 PM   #9
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This reminded me of those music videos done by Apex Theory. I tell you, "Pinocchio" is THE one of the most f&^*ed up films I've ever seen...and I enjoyed the experience! (except for the 5-minute vomiting scene).
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Old 08-17-2005, 08:45 AM   #10
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I think the film would have been great if it had just been twenty minutes shorter, or replaced those extra bits of scenes going on way too long with more imagery or story/character developement. As it is? Well...
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My Horror Beef (everybody's doing it);
Dawn of the Dead (1977) - George A. Romero
Re-Animator (1985) - Stuart Gordon
Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg
Hellraiser II: Hellbound (198 - Tony Randel
Army of Darkness (1993) - Sam Raimi
Dagon (2001) - Stuart Gordon
In the Mouth of Madness (1995) - John Carpenter
Martin (197 - George A. Romero
Nightmare on Elmstreet 3: Dream Warriors (1987) - Chuck Russell
Brain Damage (198 - Frank Henenlotter
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