5.0 out of 5 stars miike at his brutally best
make no mistake, takashi miike does not hold back. but unlike his american and european counterparts (if such a thing could exist), miike's cinema is not about shock for the sake it as an exploitative device. he is a filmmaker who uses violence and taboo themes to get to the heart of the human condition.
in 'visitor q', his most stripped down film, it is the...
Published on Jan. 9 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars The horrors of family dysfunction
When the outside world fails us, whether it's dealing with a crap job day after day or a love life that goes nowhere or rejection in various forms we often turn to our family. For many of us the family is a safety nest, a sanctuary of saneness where we can escape the pressures of every day life. That's why films dealing with the disintegration of the family unit have...
Published on Feb. 10 2004 by Matthew King
Most Helpful First | Newest First
4.0 out of 5 stars [3.5]--Who are some of these actors?,,
I had to avert my eyes at points. I have never liked needles. MIIKE seems to love them. The use of the hypodermic syringe was used brilliantly in his film "Audition". A classic of modern Cinema in my opinion. The creativity in "Visitor Q" is boundless, slightly sick, I grant you, yet assured and beautifully acted. This is a strong film. The ideas are warped and the execution is masterful. As the story advances in this movie various taboos come to life (the shock factor), the way things are presented is a little humorous. If you are pretty open-minded and don't take things to seriously you are going to start laughing at some of the situations that transpires in this movie.
Takashi Miike is a very talented filmmaker. He bears his soul with a project like "Visitor Q" and that is rare and brave. I mentioned acting earlier and find myself asking, "How far did these actors go?" History has shown that the first actors were prostitutes. I sometimes wonder at the actors that walk the red carpet and ask, "What has changed?" Actors will do anything a director asks. This cast must have had great faith in their Director and great trust. The acting is faultless. At one point I did make the comparison with another great film "Man Bites Dog" because I found my self-laughing at situations so real and horrifying. That feeling is strange and I'm not sure I like it.
Unexpected situations give birth to even more unexpected results during all movies and I cannot criticize this film in anyway. You probably might fine the cinematography a little bit amateurish as I did but the imagination overcomes any limitation when it comes to "Visitor Q". If you decide to watch/purchase this film take caution about the level of disturbance that's being exposed here with all the violence, gore, necrophilia, and kinkiness laid out to you.
3.0 out of 5 stars The horrors of family dysfunction,
Visitor Q examines a Japanese family with more problems than you could shake a stick at. The movie opens up with a young prostitute and a middle-aged man engaging in intercourse in front of a home-video camera. Throughout the act, the man keeps expressing remorse and doubt about what he is doing. Remorse for what, cheating on his wife? Nope, turns out the prostitute is actually his daughter. After this disturbing act that lasts not long, the lady taunts her own father with cries of "early bird!" and charges him 100 000Yen for the act, way more then he can afford. No problem, the girl says just give the rest of the sum to mom once you have it. Incest is the first of many atrocious acts committed by this family. Throughout the course of the movie the viewer is submitted to various scenes of necrophilia and domestic violence. Most bizarre is the young teenaged boy who continuously whips and beats up his mom, a crack addict and herself a prostitute. Mom doesn't seem to mind too much though and even encourages the boy to beat her up even harder as long as it's not on her face.
Visitor Q has a cheap Snuff-film kind of look to it and I wouldn't be surprised if Miike had filmed this with an 8mm camera, it certainly looks that way. If Miike's sole intent with Visitor Q was to shock the viewer with as many outlandish images as possible than this can be considered a success. However, I found this film to be quite lacking on an emotional level. The family and their disturbing actions are presented in such a hollow way that the viewer doesn't even feel any sympathy towards them. The family members themselves seem to be quite satisfied with their current lifestyles. There is only one exception in the form of a scene where the young woman who works as a prostitute sits on her bed in her room and holds a stuffed animal in her hands. There is a glimmer in her eyes that suggests that better days used to exist for her. It would have been nice to see fragments of the family's past so that we could answer the following questions: Has this family always been this screwed up? If not then what led them to become this way? What is the purpose of them holding a video camera and wanting to tape all of their atrocities? Miike never bothers offering any answers.
Visitor Q works well as long as it's taken strictly for what it is intended to be: a piece of exploitation filmmaking. It doesn't challenge on any emotional level the way Audition does, it's just a forum to throw as many shocking scenes in the viewer's way. Or is it perhaps meant as a social commentary on the ever-increasing absurdities of reality TV? Or a portrait of the changing dynamics of a Japanese society that has over the last couple of decades increasingly become attuned to the ways of the American models of entertainment and capitalism? It's open to our own interpretation but one thing's for sure, Miike never fails to shock or to challenge.
4.0 out of 5 stars Mother's milk heals all family squabbles!,
"Visitor Q" takes a penetrating look at your typical Japanese middle class family, Miike style. The father of this bizarre clan works as a reality television host who is always willing to go so far over the line in his broadcasts that his fellow workers shun the his very presence. The daughter of the family no longer lives at home since she is too busy putting in a full schedule at a brothel somewhere in town. The young son in this creepy household spends his days meekly submitting to a trio of bullies who beat him up after school. The mother is a real winner, a heroin addict and prostitute who allows her abused son to beat her with wicker canes. The mother and father fail to communicate on any substantive level. The son's problems with the bullies goes unheeded by the family, except when the father decides to fashion a new reality program centering on his child's beatings. The relationship between the father and his daughter is best left unelaborated on here; it is sufficient to say it is one of the most warped father/daughter connections in film history. Yes, this family suffers a host of psychological problems that would give a Sigmund Freud a coronary.
All of these people are sick to the core of their souls, a problem that is about to undergo a radical change with the introduction of a complete stranger into the household. This anonymous (we never learn his name), scruffy looking youth first makes an appearance on the scene when he hits the father of the family on the head with a rock--twice. For some mysterious reason, dad brings this guy home with him for dinner. As time goes by, we see this chap increasingly integrate himself into the daily lives of the family. He sets his sights on the mother at first, rekindling a sense of motherhood in the woman in yet another unmentionable scene (there are a lot of unmentionable events in this movie). The interaction between the stranger and the mother is the most dramatic in the film, but eventually the father, son, and even daughter all fall under the spell of this enigmatic visitor. The end result of these odd encounters is a type of peculiar healing, where the family abandons their insane behavior and returns to a sense of normalcy. Obviously, "Visitor Q" is a Miike film, so the healing takes some really stomach churning turns along the way. After all, there is nothing like dismemberment and a host of other depravities to turn a family around!
There has been some effort to emphasize the reality television elements of the film, but "Visitor Q" has little to do with this theme. There are only a few scenes that even deal with this element, specifically the first taboo shattering images between the father and daughter and a couple of other short bits later in the movie. What is really going on here has to do with the Japanese family and how it deals with the pressures of modern life in an industrialized society. Miike likes to shock with his films, and his target audience must surely have expressed such an emotion when they saw his take on a traditional Japanese family plagued with so many obnoxious psychopathologies. As weird as it sounds, I firmly believe "Visitor Q" is actually an extremely conservative film. Even as the director breaks the bounds of good taste, he seems to possess an earnest belief in the overriding importance of the healthy family unit. You could easily make the argument that images of the type indulged in by Miike have led to the breakdown of the family, and it would be an effective argument, but this movie does contain a strong pro-family theme.
"Visitor Q" runs for about eighty four minutes, short compared to the other two Miike films I have seen. The picture quality is excellent. Extras on the DVD include four trailers--"Visitor Q," "Samurai Fiction," "Fudoh," and "Freeze Me"--some liner notes about Miike's films and a short biography about the director. Once again, Media Blasters has released another soul shattering movie to DVD. The disc I watched had a technical problem, though: whenever I hit the menu button on my remote control the picture went gray and I had to start the disc over again. Perhaps this flaw appeared only on my copy of the movie, but it's something to think about before purchasing if it is a widespread glitch. I look forward to watching more Miike mayhem in the near future. If you would like to examine this director's queasy visions, "Visitor Q" is the ideal starting place before moving on to the more complex "Audition."
5.0 out of 5 stars miike at his brutally best,
By A Customer
in 'visitor q', his most stripped down film, it is the examination of the family unit which miike has focused his lens on. the use of DV video makes it more startling, giving the viewer the sense that they are watching something more intimate as per home video or even pornography. but this is not pornography, it's a close dissection of human weakness, hope, strength, and the most startling of all - love.
i'm a bit dismayed that many miike affectionados seem to relegate him as a genre director. miike uses the genre a vehicle for more subversive means and perhaps no other film in his cadre of work more exemplifies this than 'visitor q'.
it is shocking and not for the faint of heart but if you stick with it to the end you will be thoroughly rewarded.
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely Uplifting,
4.0 out of 5 stars bizarre metaphor for family life,
great flick, way more enjoyable and stimulating than 'happiness of the kitakuris'. takashi miike is awesome.
5.0 out of 5 stars Miike's one sick mutha!!!,
2.0 out of 5 stars ....,
I loved this film for it's exposure of elements..true elements of what seems to be the downfall of the Japanese (and even Western) family life/structure. Most elements of the family's disfunction were either taken strait from the Japanese newspapers or bore incredible similarity, but, the genius of that was lost when every thing from incest, fulls scenes showing middle-aged lactating, scatology, necrophilia, domestic abuse and murder were featured in an almost pornographic-like manner.
This was Miike showing off and patting himself on the back while doing it. Sadly, it really is, or could be, a great story, but the story itself seemed to much to be a means of holding graphic scene of every taboo together.
5.0 out of 5 stars ....Insane.........,
5.0 out of 5 stars just watch it,
By A Customer
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Visitor Q Plus by Takashi Miike (DVD - 2011)
Not in stock; order now and we'll deliver when available