El tercer asesinato: un nuevo género para Koreeda

cristal

Esta semana presentamos la última película de Koreeda, 三度目の殺人, Sandome no Satsujin, El tercer asesinato, aunque la traducción literal sería algo así como Asesino por tercera vez. Víctor y yo charlamos sobre el giro de Koreeda hacia un género poco frecuentado por él, el thriller, aunque con sus notas características de análisis y crítica social.

Podéis ver el vídeo del programa o escuchar el podcast:

 

And here is an article in English about the movie.

The Third Murder, 三度目の殺人

 

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30 years passed for Misumi San since his first double homicide, which cost him a long period of his life in jail. Now destiny wants that the lawyer who is to defend his present case –also a homicide– happens to be the son of the judge who handed down the former sentence. With this film, director Koreeda enters a new genre, thriller, suspense with murder, court-related movies, that is alien to his work, usually free of violence but always full of moral dilemmas. However, some of his identity signs can still be seen in the ambiguous treatment of the main character: a very grave and psychologically unbalanced suspect –very well in his role Kôji Yakusho, whose performance as an unfaithful husband in Lost Paradise (失楽園, Shitsurakuen), from 1997, left in me a bitter unforgettable feeling back in the day–.

Family issues are not forgotten either in this story, with a more than likely incestuous relationship that might have prompted the murder, and a contradictory and obscure attitude in the victim’s wife. Everything is under doubt for the viewer, who along with the lawyer’s character played by Masaharu Fukuyama –I liked him much more in Scoop (2016) and in the also Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son (そして父になる, Soshite Chichi ni Naru, 2013)–, follows the court’s dynamics until its logical conclusion.

The two men start from a cold and professional relationship, although determined by the family coincidence of the laywer’s father. More and more encounters and visits to jail happen, and Koreeda’s camera registers the approaching of both souls with reflections on the thick glass that divides the men, with the lawyer’s desperation and obsession for entering the accused man’s head in order to understand his motives and to save him from a likely death sentence. At the same time, Misumi’s interest in misleading Shigemori’s investigation will constitute a final twist in the story. And the third assassination is still to be committed in the fashion of sacrifice, which the Japanese judicial system cannot assume.

If in After the Storm (海よりまだ深く、Umi yori mada fukaku, 2016) Koreeda played with broken and abandoned umbrellas at the end of the film as a metaphor of the irreversible wreck of the character’s life, this time we see Misumi leaving the court towards the gallows letting imaginary birds freely fly from his hands, under the constant gaze of Suzu Hirose (Sakie), the young and talented actress omnipresent in Japanese cinema nowadays.

Invisible Man, Invisible Desires

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What would you do if you happened to be The Invisible Man? By the time we dealt with that suggesting question, we had already discussed Griffin’s inherent evilness plus a nurtured reaction to a provincial society. For many of us the language used for the writing of this 120-year-old fragmentary novel, including an orthographic representation of dialects and sociolects from the British countryside, was an additional challenge; but at the same time, it gave color and helped depicting a few stereotyped minor characters.

The novel is about physical invisibility and its possibilities, which include establishing “the Reign of the Terror, the Reign of the Invisible Man the First”, my favorite line by a deranged betrayed character anxious for a bloody revenge. He wants to start his epic New World with the killing of his former friend and now antagonist, Doctor Kemp. However, some of us freely interpreted the story as a metaphor for social invisibility, a contradictory phenomenon in the era of social media voyeurism and unicorns.

There might be moments when you dream of being invisible and others when you sigh for attention. That is maybe why Griffin is desperate to find a way to reverse the effects of his experiment, and be able to control the harshness of having to walk naked and barefoot in the cold English winter. And he speculates with the idea of moving to Algiers and its all-the-year-around hot weather, while we are still exploring the always-evil options for a transparent soul in a material world.

Let us not continue with more written comments, visible spoilers of our conversation, for it can be listened to here:

 

 

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