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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Love Exposure' may border on the insane, but at its heart is a love story
Yu (Takahiro Nishijima), Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima) and Koike (Sakura Ando) are 3 teenagers who meet through some inexplicable events and circumstances, forming a complex and unusual relationship.

At the epicentre of `Love Exposure' is a story of love, sex and religion, and literally everything else inbetween. We follow Yu, who's deeply religious mother died when...
Published on 13 Sept. 2012 by dipesh parmar

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I just don't get the stellar reviews...Not bad, just overrated.
I must admit I came to this film with some expectations, considering all the good reviews -- I am no stranger to Japanese cinema and I deeply respect the works of Shohei Imamura or Nagisa Oshima, just to pick two examples.

In short, I came out of it rather disappointed: the plot felt over-laboured, the photography is average, the music poor. It might be the...
Published 16 months ago by superfrog


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Love Exposure' may border on the insane, but at its heart is a love story, 13 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Yu (Takahiro Nishijima), Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima) and Koike (Sakura Ando) are 3 teenagers who meet through some inexplicable events and circumstances, forming a complex and unusual relationship.

At the epicentre of `Love Exposure' is a story of love, sex and religion, and literally everything else inbetween. We follow Yu, who's deeply religious mother died when he was young. His mother gave him a statuette of the Virgin Mary, to present to his ideal woman when he grows up. Yu's father Tetsu (Atsuro Watabe) becomes a priest. Tetsu tries to get Yu to confess to his sins, but Yu has none, and becomes increasingly frustrated at his fathers obsession. Tetsu faces even bigger challenges from the unwanted advances of the promiscuous Kaori (Makiko Watanabe) who won't take no for an answer.

Yu faces no choice but to commit sins to please his father. He joins a group of delinquents who introduce Yu to a bizarre pornographer who instructs him to raise himself to a new level of consciousness by perfoming various martial arts whilst taking photographs of young girls' panties! Yu's only getting warmed up, as he first falls in love with Yoko, a young girl who hates men! Worse still, she becomes his stepsister. Throw in the evil Koike who works for a cult called the `Zero Church', this parakeet-loving vixen enjoys nothing more than coercing Catholic families to join, and Yu's is her next target.

Where do you start with `Love Exposure', a twisted love triangle which often defies categorisation? Bonkers ad infinitum doesn't come close to defining this film, which whizzes from extreme gore and revenge to manga style action to the sweetest teenage love story, only the Japanese could get away with this. Just take Yu, who at various points is a cross dresser, a murderer, a porn-star, an asylum patient, a martial arts expert, a pantie photographer, a terrorist, and still has time to woo the affections of Yoko!

I have no idea how director Shion Sono has managed to glue this often subversive film together, but he's managed to do it with style and good humour. Brimming with ideas and some brilliant lines, with so many characters and storylines, flashbacks and fantasy sequences, Sono still maintains a strong narrative throughout. `Love Exposure' may be 4 hours long (trimmed from an original 6 hours!) but it flew past.

`Love Exposure' is warped, profane, cringe-worthy, romantic, disgusting, violent, whimsical, and even spookily profound. With so much entertainment on tap, Sono still manages to weave together topics such as parenting, religion, brainwashing, sexual intolerance, and even questioned our attitudes to perversion. `Love Exposure' may border on the insane, but at its heart is a love story, done with so much fun and tenderness in a way that truly has to be seen to be believed.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 31 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Fun, shocking/provocative, stimulating, charged with emotion levels few works of art ever achieve, where do you start when commenting on a tour de force like Love Exposure?

A superb view of modern teenage angst on par with Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day in its depiction of lovetorn teenagers in crisis, this is also a film inviting comparison with Kung Fu Soccer, Tsui Hark's The Lovers, Tender is the Grass, Bad Lieutenant, the Graduate, or ...Porkies. Go, run, fly and see this extraordinary film about the coming of age of a pure soul who finds true love (and an impressive boner) through the travails of sinful under skirt ninja-style photography, (yes, I know) and fights a brainwashing cult -led by short skirted japanese nymphets-, mistaken (sexual) identities, abduction and madness to be united with her.

Like his principal character, Director Sino Sion manages to do all the wrong things for all the right reasons: few are the films whose actors deploy so succesfully such levels of physical and emotional intensity: fans of Samuel Fuller will relate to the raw intensity and frankness whilst others will enjoy the bawdy humour worthy of Hong Kong category III.

PS don't believe the sleeve that mentions a 4 hours running time, I found the film way too short and will probably see it again as soon as tomorrow...
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perverted Sinner Is A Guaranteed Winner, 6 July 2010
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This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
The poet turned filmmaker, Sion Sono, continue's his celluloid thesis based upon the Japanese youth culture with adolescent relationships being his primary objective this time around. His latest offering is not a shockfest in the same vein as Strange Circus or Suicide Club but it does have the same bizarre elements that feature prominently in all his previous flicks with the exception of the Mitsuko character which has been dropped this time around and replaced with the male equivalent; a troubled adolescent boy named Yu.

Takahiro Nishijima is cast in the lead role as Yu; his delirious portrayal of a young man with an identity crisis, desperately seeking affection, is truly exceptional and holds the whole film together; he has more charisma and screen presence than Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note, Battle Royal); he looks very convincing and strangely attractive in his alta-ego role - the fist swinging, roundhouse kicking Ms. Scorpion. After the death of his mother, Yu has two main objectives: to win back the affections of his father, who's lost his way in the Cristian priesthood; and, to find his one true love. In order to achieve his goals, Yu sets up his own peeka-panty club, with his delinquent friends, and transforms himself into the ultimate pervert.

On this new path of self destructive enlightenment, Yu will encounter an evil, manipulative cult leader named Aya (Sakura Ando) and a feisty young man-hater named Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima). Sion Sono introduces the three main protagonists seperately; in a similar fashion to Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs; revisiting the same timeline from each individual characters own point of view until reaching the present situation at hand. The stage is now set for one of the oddest battles for affection and desire you're likely to see, with all three of the dysfunctional characters becoming entangled in a bittersweet game of rivalry.

The second part of this four hour epic changes tone drastically; the outlandish humour is swiftly replaced with a dark, scathing scenario similar to the one played out in Sion Sono's other flick: Noriko's Dinner Table. This truly outstanding examination on the trials and tribulations of the strong emotions we humans associate with the word love, serves to enhance the vastly talented Auteur's reputation as one of the best Asian directors to have emerged during the Noughties. Buy, buy, buy, it's guaranteed to be one of the strangest movie experiences you'll encounter all year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pushy Parents Produce Preposterous Perverts, 29 Aug. 2012
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This insanely long Japanese farce is like Tarantino when he was cool and not a bombastic bore. The hyperactivity; the visual flare; the flamboyance; the surprising choice of music; the unexpected twists and turns. It's completely crazy but utterly compelling.

Yu loses his mum, and then loses his priest father to a nymphomaniac whose disappearance causes him to become obsessed with the idea of sin. Yu has no sins to report, which disappoints his father, so he is forced to reinvent himself as an acrobatic voyeur in order to have something to confess. Then one day he finally falls in love, but someone else is pulling his strings. A complex web of lies, half truths and corrupted good intentions, ensues.

This is a mad satire - I suppose - on religion, the family unit, the cliches of popular asian cinema, pornography. A bit of everything. The cast play out of their skins. I wouldn't suggest trying to sit through it in one go but do make an effort to see it. Blood, panties and perverts, but it's not as shallow as that sounds.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yoko Osawa <3, 11 Aug. 2011
By 
S. Clarke (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I first encountered Love Exposure when it was aired late night on Film 4, at almost 4 Hours in length (237mins Approx) This film might conjure up ideas of being long winded, you couldn't be more wrong! You will wonder where 4 hours went!

I cannot recommend this film enough. Obscure it may be but there's something here for everyone. An essential watch for any Hikari Mitsushima fan. If you're wondering who Hikari is you are missing out on some amazing performances (see Kakera - A Piece of Our Life [DVD] [2008] and the brilliant Sawako Decides [DVD])

This film deals with Love, Hurt, Sex, Peek-A-Panty Photos, Cults, Street Fights, Sin, kidnapping to name a few subjects. This is a real "Cinema Gem". If you haven't seen this film BUY IT! You won't regret it!! If you do regret it (please send it this way)!

This DVD is presented by Third Window Films (check out their other releases there's some great stuff).

I love the 'Making Of' it gives you a real insight into the making of the film, scenes with Hikari Mitsushima are particularly entertaining as you follow her journey in making the film.

This film sits proudly in my collection next to films by Hitchcock, Kubrick and Argento.

This DVD will leave you hungry for more, I've already watched it 5 times (6 if you count the Film 4 showing), It never gets old!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four hour fun fantasy, 4 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I had tried to record this film on VHS when it was recently televised late at night but as it was around 5 hours long (inc. adverts) I knew I would only catch just over half on a 3 hour cassette. I enjoyed that recording and was so pleased to be able to find it on Amazon. The main feature is almost 4 hours so be prepared! It's a very good film , a clever plot , well acted if a bit "hammy", but it's Japanese Art! And I love the facial expressions. the characters are quite endearing and very amusing. I will watch it again one winters evening. Be warned though some scenes are not for the squeamish and it's an 18!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, brash, sweet, ugly and BRILLIANT!, 31 Mar. 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This was part of Film 4's recent 'Extreme Season' and it's easy to see why. Film critic and introducer to the film, Mark Kermode unravelled a whole heap of adjectives in trying to describe its virtues - and I think he only scraped the surface.

Yes, we know by now that it's 4 hours long but with the requisite ad breaks, that bumps it up to five. Thus, the very thought of committing the time and effort to this huge chunk of one's valuable life is far worse than actually watching it. Due to other commitments, I had to undertake watching the recording in 3 manageable pieces, turning each into 'normal' film lengths.

Lurching between high melodrama and lamenting ballad, Love Exposure IS a love story. But the most crazy, beautiful and fantastical one you've ever seen. Typically Japanese in going to extremes, at times modern fairytale and then extreme graphic violence almost at the turn of a hat.

Somehow, strangely all the characters are endearing, especially the two central ones, Yu and Yoko. Yoko must have the sweetest smile I've ever seen, at times enticing, at others crying painfully. If you think though that this is just about emotional roller-coasting, there are some of the most striking storylines and stunts and ideas that have come from a fertile, imaginative and superb director, that mix martial arts with technology, religion with sex, perversion with love and much more.

The choice of music, from Ravel's 'Bolero' to other brilliant rock pieces, that were repeated in loops really added to the structure and my enjoyment and I'm sure they hypnotised us into feeling the film shorter than it actually was. This was one of the best features of the project.

Unlike the film, I'm going to keep my review shortish. Let's just say that the hype is real, the movie is unforgettable and whilst not quite a Citizen Kane, most film lovers with an open mind and an open heart will find much to enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the watch!, 6 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I bought this on impulse, the day it arrived and I looked at it more closely I wondered what I had let myself in for and proceeded to forget about it. Then one evening I finally popped it in the dvd player and I was at first bemused, and then hooked! I hadn't realised the length of the film but barely noticed as I sacrificed sleep to get to the end in the small hours of the morning. Since then I have watched it again twice with friends, none of whom have been disappointed.
I would thoroughly recommend you take a look!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Masterpiece, 20 April 2012
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This review is from: Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I saw this film back in autumn of 2009 at that indie/art theatre near Trafalgar Square (I forget the name) with an old boyfriend who loves films as much as I do. We were stunned. Speechless. We had never seen anything quite like it. I can see how some people wouldn't 'get it'. However, if you are an indie film lover, this has to be put in your top film list to see before you die. It's unbelievable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difference between Blu-Ray and DVD - BIG, 30 Jan. 2013
By 
Mabuse (Huerth, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love Exposure [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First I rented the DVD and after watching, bought the Blu-Ray.

Amazing and big differences. The picture quality in general is better, more detailed but also details Sion Sono wanted to show and are part of his artistic expression. E.G. one scene when Yu confesses his sins to this father in the church, always when Yu is shown, the picture is blurred, his father is perfectly in focus.
Or the sound: DTS HD MA and man there is bass on this track - also as an artistic expression, a very disturbing sound, no explosions.

All this adds in my understanding strongly to experience Sion Sono's ideas completely.

Thank you to HD and Blu-Ray.

The movie on Blu-Ray really makes a difference compared to the DVD. For those who like this film, I can strongly recommend the Blu-Ray. For the DVD, you are missing a lot.
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Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007]
Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007] by Sion Sono (DVD - 2010)
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