Japanese director Sono Sion is back to his delirious best in this frenetic free-wheeling ode to filmmaking and yakuza cinema. Two feuding gangs look to settle their lingering scores in one final climactic samurai duel to the death. At the heart of their decades-long feud is Mitsuko (Nikaido Fumi), daughter of one gang boss (Kunimura Jun) and the object of the other’s (Shinichi Tsutsumi) unhealthy infatuation. After staring in a cutesy toothpaste commercial with an irritatingly catchy jingle 10 years earlier, Mitsuko’s father has her cast as the lead in an indie movie. Nothing goes to plan, Mitsuko run away and a guerilla film crew known as the Fuck Bombers are assigned the task of immportalising the gangs’ final showdown on celluloid.
After a few years making straight-faced, confrontational works like Himizu and Land of Hope, Sono has returned to the joyful gonzo style of his epic four-hour opus, Love Exposure. Apparently based on a script Sono wrote 15 years ago, and then sat on after seeing too many similarities between his writing and Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is an unselfconscious ode to 35mm and cinema itself, and proves an absolute delight from its first frame to its last.