Love Exposure

Director: Sion Sono
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 2.0

The too-pure-for-this-world son (Takahiro Nishijima) of a Catholic priest tries to 'please' Dad by committing "sins," which culminates in his mastering the art of taking up-skirt photos of women in public (!) - while on his quest to find his "perfect woman," he gets involved in a twisted relationship with the girl of his erectile dreams (Hikari Mitsushima) and a lesbian who is a part of a cult (Sakura Andô). Though it's certainly Out There in terms of outré content, and takes many twists and turns along the way (including Nishijima in drag and his father leaving the priesthood to be with a slutty loudmouth), I still found the running time (four hours) to be entirely too ambitious for director Sion Sono's (moderate) talent - the middle sags, and once the novelty of panty-photographing (and phallus breaking/cutting) runs its course, it simply plays itself out. I was, at first, under the impression - with the Catholic imagery and Nishijima's obsession with finding his one true lover - that there's some kind of morality operating under the surface of the lunacy, but then it concludes with a cult's office being bombed, guards hacked to death with a sword and Andô's committing suicide ... and I realized I was trying to think too hard. Look at all those panties!