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SDAFF Pick: ‘Cold Fish’

Asian Extreme Kicks Off With Japanese Film

Above: "Cold Fish" is part of SDAFF's Extreme program.

Okay I'm trying something new for coverage of the San Diego Asian Film Festival's 12th Season, a pick for each day of the festival. My suggestion for today is "Cold Fish" screening at 10pm at the UltraStar Mission Valley Theaters at Hazard Center. This is NOT to be missed.

"Cold Fish" presents us with a family that is as dysfunctional and troubled as the ones in such recent Asian films as "The Quiet Family" and "Visitor Q." In "Cold Fish," a forlorn, repressed fish store owner (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) is married to an attractive but disinterested wife (Megumi Kagurazaka) and has to cope with rebellious teenage daughter Mitsuko (Hikari Kajiwara), who hates him for remarrying. But when Mitsuko is caught shoplifting, the family's life gets an unexpected shake up from an unlikely and seemingly genial old shopper named Yukio Murata (Denden).

I shall say no more about the story. But director Shion Sono, who also did "Love Exposure" that screened at SDAFF, delivers another disturbing, extreme, provocative, hilarious, and brilliant film. Sono's films take you on what feels like an epic, rollercoaster journey that can leave you feeling both drained and exhilarated. If you like films that are provocative, original, and audacious then make sur to put this one on your list. Here's the trailer:

"Cold Fish" (rated R) screens tonight at 10pm and again on October 28 at 9:45pm. This is a must-see for extreme fans although it is more artful extremism than "Yakuza Weapon" (more on that later), which is the other film screening as part of SDAFF's Extreme program this year.

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