|Occupation||Poet, film director, screenwriter, cinematographer, film composer, actor|
Sion Sono (園 子温 Sono Shion, born December 18, 1961) is a Japanese filmmaker, author, and poet. Best known on the festival circuit for the film Love Exposure (2008), he has been called "the most subversive filmmaker working in Japanese cinema today".
After receiving a fellowship with the PIA, Sono made his first feature-length 16 mm film in 1990, Bicycle Sighs (Jitensha Toiki), a coming-of-age tale about two underachievers in perfectionist Japan. Sono co-wrote, directed, and starred in the film.
In 1992, Sono wrote and directed his second feature film, The Room (Heya), a bizarre tale about a serial killer looking for a room in a bleak, doomed Tokyo district. It participated in the Tokyo Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize. The Room also toured on 49 festivals worldwide, including the Berlin Film Festival and the Rotterdam Film Festival.
In 2005, Sono wrote and directed Into a Dream (Yume no Naka e), a coming-of-age tale about the life of a theatre group member and his quest to find himself. Much in the style of Bicycle Sighs, the film was also later released as a novel. A few weeks after that, he released a sequel to Suicide Circle based on the Kanzenban novel. Sono also directed and wrote Noriko's Dinner Table, which took part in twelve film festivals worldwide. For this movie he worked with many first-time actors, and took the Suicide Circle story into a different level. For his efforts, he received a Don Quijote Award and a Special Mention at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
At the end of 2005, Sono also premiered a personal project with actors Issei Ishida and Masumi Miyazaki, Strange Circus (Kimyô na Sâkasu). Directed, written, composed, and cinematographed by Sono, it took elements from the Grand Guignol theater and a story from the minds of both Miyazaki and Sono, filled with incest, sexual abuse, terrible family issues, extreme gore, and a twisted sense of reality.
In 2008, Sono directed and wrote Love Exposure. Love Exposure is the first film in Sono's "Hate" trilogy; the films Cold Fish, released in 2010, and Guilty of Romance, released in 2011, are the second and third installments of the trilogy respectively. 2011 saw Sono be recognized in the United States with his work being highlighted in the cinema series Sion Sono: The New Poet presented at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.
In The Hollywood Reporter, Clarence Tsui writes that Sono has "established himself as one of the most idiosyncratic artists of his generation". Often considered a provocateur, Mike Hale of The New York Times argues that he is "the most recognizable, if not the most universally celebrated, director in Japan", which Sono himself explains by stating (in Hale's words) that Japanese critics generally "reserve their approval for work that doesn’t 'embarrass' the nation." The director has said, "I do think an international audience understands my work more.”
Sono received the following awards for his films:
Sono also received the following nominations for his films:
|Actor||Suicide Circle||Into a Dream||Hazard||Strange Circus||Noriko's Dinner Table||Exte||Love Exposure||Be Sure to Share||Cold Fish||Guilty of Romance||Himizu||Land of Hope||Why Don't You Play In Hell?||Tokyo Tribe||Shinjuku Swan||Love & Peace||Tag||Eiga Minna! Esper Dayo!|