Amaze-en-scène: Ichi The Killer
n., pl., Mise-en-scènes (sĕn'). 1. The composition of a single shot/scene (film) 2. The arrangement of performers and properties on a stage for a theatrical production or before the camera in a film. Ichi The Killer (Takeshi Miike, 2001) is a surreal, comically violent (in its extravagance, certainly not in slapstick terms) darkly hilarious exploration of the relationship between sadism and masochism as taken to their absolutes. It's not a film that is accessible, or even widely known amongst even Tartan Asia Extreme enthusiasts, but it's brilliant nontheless. One of the most striking things about the art direction is the costume design. The cinematography is mostly focused on portraying gritty, seedy, urban decay juxtaposed with gritty, seedy, urban opulence; it's Michiko Kitamura's costume design that makes the characters jump out of their grim environs and straight into your own dark fantasies.
The film's antagonist/protagonist (it's really unclear which...) Kakihara! "He was already in the box when we found him..." Kakihara's posse on the move. The ultimate masochist vs. the ultimate sadist - A match made in heaven?