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Decisive Match! Girls Dorm vs Boys Dorm (1988) Sion Sono
Decisive Match! Girls Dorm vs Boys Dorm (1988) Sion Sono

original Japanese title KESSEN! JOSHIRYO TAI DANSHIRYO
[Decisive Match! Girls Dorm Against Boys Dorm]

director: Sion Sono
starring: Hiromi Kawanishi
Kazuko Kobayashi Noriko Hida Hiromi Suzuki Yukari Nishida

For fans of Sion Sono, this film will be considered a lost masterpiece, perhaps a key to understanding his extraordinary yet frustrating talent. Those cinema purists will relish in the anarchy and, ultimately, the fleeting romanticism of Sonism. To others, the clunky style and imposing visual techniques will lessen the overall impact while calling too much attention to his mixed metaphors and other failings born from simply being too young, too inexperienced to make a film.

This is Sion Sone's first cohesive motion picture, shot in 8mm, shortly after I AM SION SONE and his family documentary A Man's Flower Road. He was 27 years old.

After a short nude-in-the-flashlight sequence featuring young Hiromi Kawanishi [a silent section removed from most prints, but included here], the movie stabilizes on a heated discussion between members of girls' liberation force inside their dorm locker room. The main business at hand is to organize a girls vs boys marathon race which will spill into the city streets and eventually culminate on the seashore. Considered by Sono himself the most successful work of his 8mm period, here is the first attempt to downplay engulfing personal introspection [prevalent in his many short films] to concentrate on - at least - a germ of a story. While it is true that many of his characters seem to be masquerading as thinly veiled variations of self-awareness, they are also stylistic homages to Sono's most influential filmmakers from Goddard to Truffaut.

Interestingly, despite the promise of a conflict between the sexes [as indicated by even the title itself], Sono opts instead to address more personal themes of submission and disintegration which will be explored more thoroughly in later works like LOVE EXPOSURE, HAZARD and REAL BODY [Hollow Body]. Ultimately, his disregard for cinematic convention takes this work closer to the early cyberpunk stylings of Sogo Ishii, without the overbearing nihilism. In reality, this film more accurately sets the stage for THE ROOM, Sion Sono's venture into quiet desperation four years later.

A Japanese film with optional ON/OFF English subtitles; fullscreen format,
uncut 102 minutes, DVD Package encoded for ALL REGION NTSC FORMAT.

Recommended for Mature Audiences

Sale Price: $17.50
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