Sundance Film Review: R100

Posted January 19, 2014 in
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Photo courtesy of: Drafthouse Films

R100
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto

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This film is insane. A Japanese department store salesman (Nao Ohmori) joins a mysterious S&M club called Bondage, subscribing to one year’s worth of spontaneous beat-downs by various leather-clad dominatrixes. He gets kicked in the head while drinking coffee in a fancy restaurant, is forced to eat pulverized sushi in public, and receives intense pleasure from these acts—his face distorts and a ripple spreads across the screen whenever he reaches an ecstatic state. Gradually, the campy thriller turns from weird to bizarre as the protagonist finds himself in over his head in the world of S&M. When a dominatrix called Queen of Saliva spits gallons of smoothie-flavored phlegm on our bound and gagged protagonist while dancing to disco music, you’ll think the film has reached its peak of insanity. You’d be wrong, though—just wait till the Queen of Gobbling shows up. With hilarious beyond-the-fourth-wall critical analysis of obvious plot problems and directorial choices, Matsumoto lets the audience share the many WTF moments with screen cuts to a confused panel of movie execs or festival programmers or whoever they are. Witty dialogue, running gags and directorial winks make the whole thing fun at times (especially when ultimate dominatrix Lindsay Kay Hayward appears), but overall, R100 is kind of a pain in the ass to watch. If you’re into extremely campy, intentionally aggravating films and love Quentin Tarantino, you’ll probably like it, though. –Cody Kirkland

Screening Times: 
Monday, Jan. 20 — 6:00 p.m. • Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
Tuesday, Jan. 21 — 11:30 p.m. • Prospector Square Theatre, Park City

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