Movie Club - Battle Royale (2000)

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Sorry for being an idiot. Commence discussion on Battle Royale. I couldn't get my hands on this one, so talk amongst yourselves (I was getting kinda ferklempt anyway...).

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It's Monday the 16th (actually, it's almost past), so I assume we're ready to start...

I kind of wish I'd had the chance to read the book too, since I have the feeling that it may tease out some of the ideas just beneath the surface of the movie, such as how the battle royale is an extension of that panoptic edge to the classroom, and the military imagery that accompanies that extension. I'm also curious as to whether that unexpected ending is an invention of the screenwriter. Not that there isn't enough to talk about concerning the purely filmic aspects: for instance, I liked the sometimes sarcastic use of classical music and the muted monotones that show up the red slashes of gore in high contrast.

Given the problems of just getting hold of the movie (I got the region-free director's cut that Netflix has), I admit that this is only after one viewing, with the exception of a few scenes. So I do have one lingering question: am I right in seeing the battle royale as a macguffin (in other words, it gets us into to an interesting film, but would never actually work as a deterrent to bad behavior since the candidates are selected randomly) ?

You're absolutely right about the MacGuffin aspect. As pretty much every thinking person who's seen the film has pointed out, the concept behind Battle Royale is useless. But it does get us into the film. It makes more sense in the book, which is set in an alternate universe where Japan won WWII. But then, since the book is so poorly written that I couldn't get past page freakin' fifteen before I hurled it across the room, I don't have much else to say on that front.

More later, when I'm not blearly-eyed and still confused about my feelings for a Spike Lee film...

Also, the region-free disc from Netflix would be better if it ended at "Run!". The 'requiem' postscripts are useless and were better off cut, as they were in Fukasaku's original version.

Alright, this discussion was kinda sparse, but that's my bad. Sorry guys. Anyway, let's pick another film and we can start discussion in the middle of June. I believe it's Penny's turn to pick 4 or 5 nominees, so... Penny?

Sorry for the delay. O.K., here's a drama, a comedy, a documentary (why not?), a mystery, and a science fiction movie to choose from.

Rowing with the Wind (Gonzalo Suárez, 1988)
In the Soup (Alexandre Rockwell, 1992)
Lost in La Mancha (Keith Fulton, 2002)
To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955)
Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

Anyone wanna vote? Alright, I'll kick it off by voting for Metropolis.