My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? (Eri Eri rema sabakutani) (2005) • Japan

This is an extremely slow paced art-house flick punctuated with lots of found object music and noise rock, so depending on your taste in the art of noise you may or may not like it. I was fascinated by much of the found object stuff, especially the vacuum hose contraption built on an umbrella skeleton and attached to a fan motor, but the overdriven guitar wanking didn't thrill me much. I'm sure it was a near nirvana experience for many folks to see Japanese indie icon Tadanobu Asano, his hair blowing Fabio-iously in the breeze, standing on a hillside letting loose on six strings and four giant stacks of loudspeakers in an attempt to cure Aoi Miyazaki of her suicidal tendencies.

The story is a cute apocalyptic one: it's 2015 and a deadly virus is sweeping the population, causing those infected to become extremely depressed and ultimately commit suicide. The atonal music practiced by Asano and his partner appears to be an antidote to the disease. Music can save the world, ya know. A rich old man tries to persuade Asano, whose musical partner had the disease but committed suicide anyway (for dramatic effect), to jam for his infected granddaughter.

The story is told in typical Aoyama fashion: slowly. I never really felt enough of a connection to the characters to enjoy seeing them get into a vehicle and drive along some seaside road for an extended period of time. Nor was I particularly engaged by the scenes of them sitting there thinking for extended periods of time. This kind of direction is meant to give the audience a breather, a moment to relflect on the characters and on their own feelings with regards to what they are experiencing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I loved Aoyama's Eureka but this one didn't move me much. Fans of art-house noise rock, or whatever you want to call it, might find something to enjoy here, and fans of art-house films who aren't put off by loud noises might like it too. Just know going in that it's slow and loud.


Director: Shinji Aoyama
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Aoi Miyazaki, Mariko Okada, Masaya Nakahara, Yasutaka Tsutsui


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