Thursday, February 3, 2011
HAUSU (HOUSE), Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977
Hausu Wrap Party! What a great gang ...
Jesus Fuck. This may be the most rulingest movie ever. Its like a super japanese gonzo baby sitters club teen horror comedy melodrama. It's so inventive. And it looks amazing. And it's hilarious. And it never gets boring! Not for the slightest second. It totally makes me wish I was a 14 year old pothead girl so I could enjoy it even more!
By the time he made 'Hausu' (his debut feature), Obayashi was already famous as a director of experimental short films and equally experimental advertisements. The way he saw it, in exchange for access to the advertising companies superior film stock and equipment, the "theme" of his films would thereafter be the product up for sale.
By the late 70's, the japanese film industry was in panic and decline. Much like Hollywood in the early 60's, studio executives just didn't feel they knew what people wanted anymore, and thus, they were willing to let a first timer who seemed 'cutting edge' and 'on the ball' like Obayashi do whatever the hell he liked with their money. And thus we have this bananas movie!
With the idea and many of the images based upon Obayashi's daughters teenage ramblings about how scary it would be if the house were to attack and eat you, upon release in Japan there were lines around the block to see the film, with nary a single patron over 14! Truly he had made the greatest, funniest, stupidest, smartest, freakiest teen film of them all.
Never released before outside Japan, it's finally been subtitled and given a theatrical run around the US and a DVD release through Eureka.
The influence of Obayashi faves like Jean Luc Godard and Mario Bava is apparent in some of the visual tricks and lighting, but really "Hausu" is like nothing I've ever seen and I wish to thank Lucy Dyson (see interview below) for greatly enriching my life with it!