Love & Peace

  • Directed by Sion Sono
  • Japan, 2016, 117 mins., Japanese

Sono, always pushing boundaries and constantly surprising even his most frothy fans, finished and released five (!) feature films in 2015—and certainly the zaniest and most maximal is the nerd-turned-rock-superstar, cult-of-celebrity skewering tale of Love & Peace. Hiroki Hasegawa (Shin Godzilla) plays Kyo, an endearingly meek pencil-pusher at a faceless corporate job, constantly bullied by numbskull co-workers while hopelessly pining for the equally demure Yuko (Kumiko Asô). But Kyo’s private dreams betray his deeply nerdy public status: he wants to become Japan’s biggest rock star, having dabbled unsuccessfully in punk bands during his youth. With the help of his small pet turtle Pikadon and some seriously wild special effects (along with Sono’s relentless, boundless creativity), will Kyo be able to make it and win Yuko’s love? Totally unclassifiable and possibly the most fun you’ll have in a cinema all year, Love & Peace is “an amusing study of fame that rides on Sono’s characteristic disregard for reality…carried by his particular sense of style. A confident and well-constructed work that reaffirms the strength and flexibility of Sono as one of Japan’s most hard-working filmmakers.”—Jeremy Elphick, 4:3. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Appears in: Japanese Currents

Genres: Comedy

Other Films by Sion Sono

The Whispering Star

While there have been a number of films produced in Japan as a response the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of March 2011, few are as beguiling, mysterious, and radiantly shimmering as The Whispering Star. Taking a unique approach to the sci-fi space-travel genre, the film follows Yoko (regular collaborator Megumi Kagurazaka), a package-delivery android whose