Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fringe: Butterfly, Butterfly, Kill Kill Kill!

In adapting Seijun Suzuki's surreal 1967 B-movie "yakuza noir" Branded to Kill, Patrick Harrison--who also directs and stars--has run with fundamental principle of Suzuki's: "There is no film grammar." This freedom from rules makes for a liberating show--and one becomes so immersed in the madcap presentation that it takes a while to realize that his company, Depth Charge, actually has a lot of structure behind their work. (It's almost disappointing to learn that this group has ties to Richard Foreman and John Zorn's Astronome.) The show is disturbingly erotic, too: Hanada (Harrison) has a boiled-rice fetish, and we see his wife, Mami (Alexandra Hellquist), tease him into violence with it; later, it will spill in slow motion out of the lips of his new lover, Misako (Margaret Odette Perkins). Don't dismiss this as pure imagery: when Mami mounts Hanada, wearing a butterfly mask and silhouetted in red light, the emotions are raw and very real. On a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being "Dis-u-grace-u-ful" and 5 being "The #1 killer," Butterfly, Butterfly, Kill Kill Kill! gets a 4.5.

[Read full review here]

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