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Sogo Ishii

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago

 Sogo Ishii




Sogo Ishii was born in the Fukuoka Province of Japan in 1957, and attended the Nihon University College of Art. He is an acclaimed "underground" director in Japan, focusing on punk and surreal themes and striking visuals.


In 1982 he directed Burst City (爆裂都市), a film about a gang of quasi-mutant bikers. The actors were members of Japanese punk bands.



One of his most widely acclaimed movies was released in 1984, titled The Crazy Family (逆噴射家族). It depicts a family trying to be perfect, but resulting in twisted problems sometimes shown in Japanese society:


"A savage satire of Japanese family life, it depicted an average household (mother, father, son, daughter, and later grandfather) moving into a new Tokyo home, only to have their perfect life collapse due to pressures from within and without. The daughter obsesses over her singing career; the nominally-demure wife does table-dances for the guests; the son stabs himself to stay awake during his exam-cram sessions; the father digs a giant hole in the living room floor, finds termites, buys ant poison and tries to kill everyone en masse. The film garnered the Grand Prix at the Saruso Film Festival."



Ishii most commonly makes short films with surreal plot lines. His most recent and popular films include Labyrinth of Dreams (夢の銀河), Gojoe(五条霊戦記), and Electric Dagon 80.000 V.




Electric Dragon 80.000 V shows the outlandish and creative punk-style typical of Ishii.The plot follows the conflict between two characters with different 'relationships' with electricity...





Dragon Eye Morrison:  underwent electrick shock treatment as a child (specifically 80.000 V) for being violent. When he undergoes electric shock treatment, it awakens a dragon within himself which brings rage, resulting in more shock treaments. As an adult, he finds that playing really really loud guitar music sooths his inner dragon. He also has a special relationship with lizards he keeps in his apartment.




Thunderbolt Buddah: He accidentally gets electrocuted with 20 million volts while climbing a power-line tower. Half of his body becomes encased in metal, and his personality splits as well. One side is trying to kill himself, while the other listens to all electronic conversations within his vicinity.



Thunderbolt Buddah spends his time attached to a satalite dish, and suddenly becomes aware of Dragon Eye Morrison's existance. He breaks into Morrison's apartment kills some of his lizards and takes some hostage. A large fight at noon ensues.




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10 minute clip



English subtitled Trailer




Q: The plot for the film, as much as there is one, reminded me a lot of the prototype plot for American superhero comic books: a hero with superpowers and a villain who builds a device to emulate those powers, in order to defeat him. Was that an inspiration or is it purely a coincidence?


Ishii: Before making Electric Dragon, I wasn't thinking of anything special. People say it looks like a comic book or like a video game. I like comics, but I never read American comics and I also never play video games.




Other, not so "intense" movies include Gojoe (a movie about warring samurais), Labyrinth of Dreams (a girl who suspects her bus driver to be a serial killer), and most recently Mirrored Mind (a visual exploration of a girls spiritual life).


Clips/trailers for these movies:




Labyrinth of Dreams trailer



Gojoe opening scene (the first 2 1/2 min worth watching)







Mirrored Mind trailer




















By Hannah Combs

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