First of all, Sion's movies are all brilliant and the fact that they are very slowly trickling into the US is a bit annoying. One scan of the internet (including IMDB and Sion's home page) will confirm that Sion has a massive list of movies under his belt, with more coming, and so far I can only find seven of his movies on DVD in the US. It took us late into 2011 before Love Exposure (released in Japan in 2008) was even released as a US region code DVD, and even before that it was hard to find at all, let alone for a fair price, in other region codes. A three year wait for a hot commodity? Someone is sleeping on the job.
Oh, but you wanted to read about the movie right?
Love Exposure, like all Sion movies, is impossible to learn about from reading the back of the box or any review anyone can write about it. The basic description is something like this...
Yu becomes tired of fabricating sins he didn't commit in order to please his father, a crazy priest who reprimands Yu whenever he DOESN'T do things wrong. So Yu starts committing every sin he can, joining a street gang and eventually, to really prove to his dad he's a sinner, becomes a peek-a-panty photographer. Things become complicated when he meets his dream girl, Yoko, in the midst of a street fight and now must win her heart.
Yeah, "things get complicated" alright. That's the understatement of the century. After all of the above happens we still have about three hours left in the film. Let's just say Yu's "I want to sin so I can confess" perspective gets him into a fair bit of trouble, not the least of which is drawing the attention of a cult promoter who takes a special interest in him.
And all the while, Yu keeps his focus on Yoko, despite everything that happens to him as a result, including her relentless scorn toward him, which only increases as he tries even harder to win her over. But will he succeed...?
Yep. It's a love movie. Love is not an alien concept in Sion's movies but in this one it is the thread that connects everything that happens through all 237 minutes of the film. This is 237 minutes without a single dull moment, mind you, so if you're adverse to watching a four hour film just free up your schedule and go for it. It's worth it.
American romance movies, suck on this. Oh, and I'll take more Sion movies, please and thank you.