Ubisoft presents...
Exte: Hair Extensions
Exte: Hair Extensions

Ekusute
Canadian Premiere
star CANADIAN PREMIERE Hosted by Writer/Director SION SONO WINNER: Public Prize, Silver Fantasia, Most Innovative Film, Fantasia 2007

Japan
2007 | 108 min | 35mm
Japanese language, English subtitles

none click here to watch the trailer

Screening Times

July 10th, 2007
7:15 pm
Hall Theatre

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Description

A mainstream J-horror film from the director of Suicide Club and Strange Circus? Not quite, but sort of, yes! Customs agents stumble across a giant crate of human hair, destined to be used as extensions for trendy Japanese civilians. They are disgusted, but revulsion is eclipsed by horror when they discover, in the centre of this mountain of hair, a single dead girl, whose organs and even an eye have been removed, presumably for black market sale. A girl whose broken body has, they will soon learn, been harvested in every conceivable way. Meanwhile, at the hip Gilles De Rais hair salon (!), an apprentice stylist named Yuko (the stunning Chiaki Kuriyama, best known to Western viewers as Kill Bill’s Gogo Yubari) is living an all-hair all-the-time existence, practicing on friends, wigs, anything. Over the ensuing days, her salon is turned upside-down as clients are found dead, inexplicably and very violently murdered by… their own hair! And not in any subtle, symbolic sense either. No, in spectacular setpieces that recall the psychotropic mania of Higuchinsky’s Uzumaki, strands of hair tear out from body cavities, wounds, eyeballs, mouths and fingertips, often fastening to immovable objects and utterly obliterating the people they happen to be connected to!

Exte is transgressive art/horror genius Sion Sono’s entry into big-budget, star-fronted Japanese studio filmmaking, and neither his signature nor his spirit have been washed away by the influx of yen (though his penchant for inspired depictions of extreme “outsider sexuality” have been relegated mostly to subtext here). Grand Guignol surrealism burrows through the façade of normalcy, S&M undertones abound in circumstances and dialogue, absurdist comedy sprouts from the most unexpected places and stunning setpieces of body-horror are often a saliva-swallow away. Sono takes the Japanese supernatural horror genre’s now-well-past-done flowing hair iconography to levels so uncharted they tear straight off the chart. He not only turns hair itself into his narrative’s central threat, he anchors it back to his filmography’s continuing exploration of the natures of abuse and accountability, the hyper-destructive strands functioning in part as a metaphor for internal horrors impacting external realities, unstoppably brutalizing their “owners” in ways that must be seen to be believed. It’s outrageous, it’s gruesome as hell, it’s darkly comical and it works fantastically. Beloved character actor Ren Osugi (Audition, Zebraman, Cure and, interestingly, Uzumaki, among many others) a Kitano/Kurosawa/Miike regular, co-stars as a morgue attendant with some very peculiar fetishes and delivers the downright freakiest performance of his 145-film career.

—Mitch Davis

"A perfect balance between outright parody and skin-prickling terror" - NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2007

Notes

CANADIAN PREMIERE Hosted by Writer/Director SION SONO WINNER: Public Prize, Silver Fantasia, Most Innovative Film, Fantasia 2007

Website

http://www.exte-movie.jp/

Credits

Director: Sion Sono
Screenplay: Sion Sono, Masaki Adachi
Cast: Chiaki Kuriyama Ren Osugi Megumi Sato Tsugumi Eri Machimoto
Producers: Makoto Okada
Distributor: TOEI

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