Ow Screen 4 articles

Ow

2014

Ow Poster
  • There follows some comic suspense in which people enter the bedroom and may or may not leave. The biggest tease is the reporter who, after learning of a death during the sphere’s arrival, researches the case and then lunges into the room, ranting about a police cover-up. The tension–will others fall under the spell or the sphere?–is accentuated by shrewd camera setups.

  • Contemporary films from East Asia often employ allegorical conceits of their own for reasons of censorship and ongoing conditions of artistic suppression. And indeed, three ND/NF titles from three disparate Eastern locales each couch their message in parabolic scenarios. The most damning of these is Ow, by Japanese filmmaker Yohei Suzuki, who exploits elements of science fiction to comment upon the numbing traits of modern technology and the communicative barriers it paradoxically encourages.

  • Director Yohei Suzuki impressively establishes a latticework of domestic pain, fear, disappointment, and shame in a manner of minutes. Suzuki's precision as a filmmaker is best encapsulated by his ability to instantly convey to the audience the geography of the family house, as well as the specificities of the elaborate minutiae that reliably dot each room, particularly the kitchen with its ominous orb lamp and smattering of hastily spread out papers and foods.

  • Still relatively unknown in his country, Suzuki’s first feature after 10 years of making shorts is a genuinely bold statement all too rare in contemporary Japanese cinema. Recalling Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel and Nagisa Oshima’s Death by Hanging, Ow is an eccentric comedy that is absurdist in tone, deadpan in delivery, and biting in its social commentary.

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