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NYAFF 2007: “Big Bang Love: Juvenile A.”

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"What kind of man do you want to be?"
You hear "Takashi Miike made a gay prison love story" and you think… well, we’re not sure what you think, but we imagine it’s probably blood splattered, sexually incomprehensible, and includes someone cackling maniacally in the background. Of course, the only thing you can really generalize about Miike’s films is that he sure makes a lot of them; "Big Bang Love: Juvenile A" (more literally translated as "4.6 Billion Years of Love") comes on the tail of "violence across the ages" epic "Izo," an episode of "Ultraman Max" and fabulous, traumatic children’s film "The Great Yokai War," which screened at last year’s NYAFF. "Big Bang Love" is, unlikely enough, a pensive, symbolism-laden art film that regards its delinquent protagonist pair with rueful tenderness and bemused sorrow.

Shiro (Masanobu Ando) is, at the film’s outset, dead — strangled — and Jun (Ryuhei Matsuda), who was found with him, immediately confesses to the crime. From there the film stutters back to when the two arrived at the prison, blood-splattered from the respective murders they’ve each committed and eyeing each other as they’re stripped and processed. Shiro is all rage and violence, while Jun is remote and affectless, and Shiro falls into protecting Jun from the other inmates. It’s no "Oz"-style relationship, though, and it’s not, despite the heated pans down Shiro’s tattooed form, physical; the two have an immediate and unspoken understanding of each other expressed through the sweetly vulnerable conversations they have in their few moments alone. The world of "Big Bang Love" is otherwise cold and methodical, from the sparse, abstract sets that recall Lars von Trier to the circling investigation into Shiro’s death that shapes the film.

Looming outside the prison are a rocket ship and an ancient pyramid. One is a way to space and the other supposedly leads to heaven, we’re told — they’re the most overt instances of the film’s reoccuring application of astral imagery to emotion. It’s as if in "Big Bang Love"’s desolate setting science is the inadequate sole language available to describe human connection, and the damaged young men experiencing such things are as foreign and incomprehensible as alien beings.

"Big Bang Love: Juvenile A" will screen at the IFC Center June 28 at 7:00pm and July 5 at 6:45pm. It has no US distribution.

+ "Big Bang Love: Juvenile A" (
+ "Big Bang Love: Juvenile A" (IMDb)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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