Director: Gô Shibata
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Year Of Release: 2004
Language: Japanese (w/ english subs)
Length: 1hr 23min
Type of video: .avi
Late Bloomer is the story of Sumida-san, a severely handicapped man, and his downward spiral into hell. When we’re first introduced to him we find that despite his physical limitations – and contrary to cultural misconceptions about the handicap – he has all of the desires and personality traits of a physically normal man. Specifically: he loves to party, eat good food, and ‘rock out’ to his caregiver Take’s hardcore band. However, Sumida-san’s life begins falling apart when he develops a crush on his new occasional caregiver, Nobuko. Needless to say, the feelings are not reciprocated and when Nobuko starts spending her free time with Take, Sumida-san is driven mad with desire and frustration and things take a turn for the worse… This film, which took five years to produce, has become a Japanese cult favorite. Hauntingly shot with Black and White cinematography and featuring the underground electronic music of World’s End Girlfriend, the film has won several awards on the festival circuit and was subject to rave reviews from critics and viewers alike. This is simply unlike any film you have seen. Audiences are coerced into seeing events through Sumida’s eyes and the depth and breadth with which the issue of physical handicap is dealt with will stay with you long after viewing. In an approach which is neither condescending nor apologetic, the existential malaise faced by the character Sumida is front and center, all through a non-verbal presence highlighted through visual and audio stylization.
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