Love Exposure // Stuart Buck


I am not an experimental writer


I’m trying to write an experimental movie piece on a movie which is probably my favorite ever (if pressed, its this or Mulholland Drive). The problem is, I don’t really classify myself as an experimental writer, and as such I’m struggling with the concept.

What’s an experimental piece of writing, and more specifically how do you write about a 4 hour movie in an experimental way? I shouldn’t have looked on the fucking website. Because I saw Gary Shipley on the website and I love Gary Shipley. His book Terminal Park is one of my favorite books ever. He reduces humanity to a kind of slop. I didn’t read his piece because I knew it would be like walking naked in the rain. It would make me so small. The movie is called Love Exposure and it is directed by sex-pest extraordinaire Sion Sono.


54 dead schoolgirls


The scene that made me watch Love Exposure was not from the movie Love Exposure. Rather it was the opening shot of Sono’s 2001 masterpiece Suicide Club. In it, 54 teenage girls hold hands, chatting excitedly, by the side of a train track on the Tokyo subway. As the train approaches, they begin to count down, swinging their arms. The train moves closer. You never – not once – assume it will go down this way.

Then they jump.

The entire station is bathed in red. Sono doesn’t hold back. It’s one of the best opening scenes in cinema history. He did this again in Tag. I won’t describe Tag’s opening scene. Go watch it on YouTube. Once I saw Suicide Club and Sono’s ability to produce cinema that made me doubt my sanity, I realized Love Exposure was for me.

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