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1.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Zentai
Directed by
Hashiguchi Ryusuke
Country
Japan
Language
English

There's a magnificently weird sequence in the midst of this otherwise muddled film that is so wittily out of sync you might as well leave after it's done. There isn't much else to see in this numbing exercise that posits artsy quirk for substance. The high point is a party in which all the guests are wearing skin-tight zentai body suits that cover them from head to toe so they look rather like a crowd of Spider Men taking a break to chill. The sight is jaw dropping, but the participants are laid back. "I work at a drugstore. One of my responsibilities is shelf layout," says one chap dressed in sizzling pink. "I'm a genius at it." Things take a remarkable turn when one guest talks about wearing a suit to the sea, and a computer is booted up to show footage of the occasion. The masks come off to reveal some compelling life truths. Then we're back to the rest of the movie – airless, vacuum stuff as groups of men and women talk about life, baseball and beer, among other things. As it drags on, you miss the zentai suits.

At VIFF: Sept. 26, 7 p.m., Cinematheque; Sept. 29, 11:45 a.m., Cinematheque

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