Review: Red Post on Escher Street – Escher dori no akai posuto (2020)

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Red Post on Escher Street – Escher dori no akai posuto (2020)

Directed by: Sion Sono | 148 minutes | comedy, drama | Actors: Mala Morgan, Sen Fujimaru, Tomoko Fujita, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Matsuri Kohira, Marina Kozawa, Canon Nawata, Tarô Suwa, Jun Toba, Tetsu Watanabe, Tatsuhiro Yamaoka

Eccentric. provocateur. daredevil. scum. These are all terms used to describe Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono. The director has been the subject of controversy since the beginning of his career. Some consider him a creative genius. Others see him as a troublemaker. His work is regularly criticized in Japan, but in many other countries his films are labeled as masterpieces.

In any case, Sono doesn’t care much about other people’s opinions. The average critic’s word is like a compressed murmur to him. The filmmaker goes his own way, regardless of what his work may bring about among the crowd. His new film ‘Red Post on Escher Street’ is nevertheless a striking addition to Sono’s oeuvre. Unlike his other films, there is no bloodshed here and sex and violence are virtually absent. Sono seems to have become a lot more mature with his new film.

With ‘Red Post on Escher Street’, Sono seems in many ways to want to reflect on his own career as a director. This film is primarily a tribute to cinema, with quite a few meta winks for seasoned film buffs and a main character (Tatsuhiro Yamaoka as filmmaker Tadashi Kobayashi) that could be considered a direct reflection of Sono on his younger self. The story focuses on all kinds of aspects of the world of cinema, from insecure actors, to money-hungry producers, but also on indomitable extras, who are only too happy to get their short moment in the spotlight.

Sono’s quirky humor is still in effect in ‘Red Post on Escher Street’. Certain aspects are not always logical and quite a lot of questions will never be answered. Some scenes should therefore be viewed with a grain of salt. Sometimes this is frustrating, and sometimes you go along with the madness. You laugh, you frown and by the end of the film you know one thing for sure: Sono still makes the kind of films that you as a viewer will not soon forget. He evaluates in his own niche of incessant folly.

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