By: Juan Miguel Martinez
The world of Shin’ya Tsukamoto is one of twisted faces, growling accusations and scarred flesh. “Gemini” comes after his “Tokyo Fist” and “Bullet Ballet”, two films which, at their core, are essentially about the same thing. Gemini deals with similar themes, which is about shortcomings and failures as a person and how they can chew you up and spit you out. This recurs in Shin’ya’s middle phase, and his protagonists always deal with their issues in bizarre and aberrant ways.
Gemini takes place in Tokyo in 1910, during a plague. It makes the film surprisingly timely. Yukio is a successful actor, happily married to a woman he loves. He is one day captured by his doppelganger and thrown in a well. The Doppelganger comes back and tells him his plans for revenge. He whispers at him through wooden slats, grinning demonically. He tosses fish heads and rice down, which Yukio rejects. The film is a gothic romance, and the soundtrack does what it sets out to do, make you confused and uneasy. Tsukamoto’s love of acting is on display, as the life of one weaves seamlessly in the story.
Depraved theatres of dancing macabre kabuki actors happen, their lush red garb offset against a cold blue nighttime forest. Faces are caked with mud knives dangle from fingers that belong to people toying with their victims. The hallmarks of Tsukamoto’s films are here, but so is his love for weaving a tale.
Today’s musical accompaniment is Toe cutter / Thumb buster by Thee Oh Sees.