Sunday, September 19th, 2004
Black 'N White Ecstasy
Movie number six in nine days was Takashi Miike’s Zebraman. I’ve never seen any other of Miike’s films, but I know he’s got quite the reputation for over-the-top concepts and gratuitous violence. So while his latest film qualifies as ‘over-the-top’, it’s not especially violent – it’s a children’s movie at heart, more than anything else. The story plays out as follows: Mr Ichikawa is a third-grade teacher who seeks to escape the tedium of his life by dressing up as Zebraman, the lead character from a barely-seen 70s television show, but make-believe falls by the wayside when he finds himself not only possessing Zebraman’s powers but also having to repel and alien invasion centered around the school where he works. Got it? Good.
The film is big and goofy and outrageously cheesy, but all deliberately so – anyone whose seen an old episode of Ultraman or even Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will know exactly where it’s coming from. Sure, little things like plot and logic take more than a few Zebra Back Kicks, but it’s silly and fun enough that you don’t especially care. A good and lighthearted way to wrap up the Festival.
And so that’s it for the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival – essentially my first, despite being essentially a lifelong Torontonian. It was pretty tiring but lots of fun. It was pretty amazing being in sold-out film after sold-out film with a theatre full of enthusiastic filmgoers – It made me appreciate the amount of passion some people have for cinema. And for all the movies I did see, there were dozens more I would have liked to have seen. You can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be doing this again next year, though I may split the coupon book with someone and try to fit a gala or two in. Just to hang with the beautiful people instead of the great unwashed, ya know.
So yeah, after like nine non-stop days of go go go, the upcoming week looks like… nothing. I got nothing going on. I will probably have to hit the video store to get my movie fix.
np – A.C. Newman / The Slow Wonder