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  Cycle index  
Vermillion Souls
dir. Iwana Masaki / Japan 2008 / 104’
subtitles: Polish and English
The Third Eye

Cast

Hiroshi Sawa, Mohamed Aroussi, Valentina Miraglia, Yuri Naganka, Moeno Wakamatsu

Film description

Vermillion Souls is a surreal black and white Japanese horror full of erotic tension. The film debut of the famous butoh performer, Iwana Masaki, is a collision of Japanese minimalist aesthetics and surreal anxiety. This is no coincidence, as butoh is called the dance of darkness, referring to old ceremonies and folk aesthetics of ugliness. The dance, created in the 1950s, is a ritual which liberates internal energies and explores the darkness of subconsciousness.

As for the plot, Vermillion Souls, although shot entirely in Brittany, presents the outskirts of Tokyo seven years after the end of WWII. This is a story on the borderline of dream and reality about a boy who comes to an empty building, inhabited by a group of adults who suffer from a strange disorder, due to which they must not be exposed to daylight. From the child's perspective, we watch feverish and passionate delirious people, who are already half-dead. But in this performance-film, even death and pornography are shown in a beautiful way. As André Breton put it: Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.

Ewa Szabłowska

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