by Chris MaGee
Here is some great news for Japanese film fans in general and Sion Sono fans specifically. The iconoclastic director behind such films as "Suicide Circle", "Hazard" and "Strange Circus" has been honoured with two awards at this year's Berlinale Film Festival for his 4-hour epic "Love Exposure". First the film, which tells the story of a young voyeur, his priest father andhis love for a young woman involved in a religious cult (and that's only the very rough plot outline), picked up one of the three FIPRESCI Prizes in the Forum category as well as the Caligari Film Prize which bestows 4,000 Euros to the director to help with the distribution of his or her film.
According to Variety Japan Sono was in Japan when the awards were handed out on Saturday and learned of the wins over the phone. He said he was surprised by his film's success at Berlin.
There's already been great buzz about "Love Exposure" and these recent wins only add to that. This has me crossing my fingers and toes that Sono's film gets programmed as part of the upcoming Nippon Connection 2009 in Frankfurt. I'm dying to get a look at it.
Congratulations to Sono-san, his cast and crew! Check out all the winners at the Berlinale 2009 here.