“[Reiki Tsuno] (…) proves his talent by composing an extremely enjoyable narrative blend of horror, crazy dark humour, and human psychology that truly is able to captivates audiences.”
It has been a long time, since we reviewed another Japanese short movie, but the wait is over. This time we focus on Reiki Tsuno’s short Crying Bitch, a short that screened at last month’s Yubari Fanta Fest.
Reiki Tsuno received his film education in New York, by studying at TROMA, the film company led by Lloyd Kaufman, a cult-movie director. After his education he worked as a kind of reporter, but eventually – after interviewing Hillary Clinton – he resigned and returned to Japan. Since his return, he directing various TV-programs, commercials, promo-videos, music videos and so on. But now – now is last year, time was ripe to further reveal his own creative vision with his own short cinematographical narrative.
Because of the affair he has with a young woman, Satomi’s husband always comes home late – even when she made his favourite dish Borsch. One night, when he returns, his wife Satomi is acting strange. Without knowing, he has strayed into her dark side, the “labyrinth”.
Crying Bitch serves as a short crazy, violent but extremely fun exploration of the problematic nature of relationships and male opportunism. This is already made evident in the very first violent act of the narrative, i.e. the kicking in the nuts, which serves as a timely reminder that men often follow their sexual desire, finding their manly worth exclusively in their manhood. The further development of the narrative further ridicules manly opportunism and shows the emptiness of the imaginary phallus men often strive to have. As men chuckle, they “unconsciously” chuckle with the ridiculousness of the imaginary phallus, the imaginary phallus which they often hold so dear.
It is evident from the cinematography – the way fixed and moving shots are composed into a whole – that Reiki Tsuno is able to craft a captivating narrative and is able to use the act of composing to guide expectations, only to overturn them in an enjoyable and often surprising pun-like manner (Cine-note 1). In other words, the cinematographical composition of Crying Bitch is a testament to Tsuno’s talent to exploit his fine sense of dark humour.
What makes Crying Bitch‘s cinematography so captivating is the way the disconcerting ‘music’, which forms an integral part of the cinematographical flow, maintains the impending doom introduced by the very first shot (Cine-note 2). Furthermore, the impact of the aggression is truly sensible within the narrative, as the sound of the aggressive act tangibly breaks the ambient “silence” that serves as background of the narrative space.
We hope that Reiki Tsuno will soon receive the opportunity to craft a full length feature, because with Crying Bitch he proves his talent by composing an extremely enjoyable narrative blend of horror, crazy dark humour, and human psychology that truly captivates audiences.
Cine-note 1: Even though there is a lot of variety in the cinematography, we do sense a preference for movement. There are trembling voyeuristic-like shots, slow zoom-ins and zoom-outs in the narrative space, movement within a shot to shift focus from one character to another, … and so on.
Cine-note 2: In most cases, the disconcerting music supports the cut between shots and the time leaps these cuts introduce.