Blu-Ray Review: The Whispering Star/The Sion Sono

Sion Sono must be one of the hardest working directors currently ploughing his own unique and occasionally unwanted furrow in Japanese cinema. His films are usually, without fail, loud, brash, confrontational and unsettling. He revels in bright colours, bloodshed and a taste for the perverse. All these factors make his new film so unexpected and surprising. The Whispering Star is a black and white minimalist science fiction tale with a thoughtful tone.

Yoko Suzuki (Megumi Kagurazaka), a humanoid delivery woman, making her rounds through space on a rented spaceship. She provides her service to the few humans left who are scattered across the galaxy on isolated planets. Her only company is the faulty ship’s operating system which whispers to Yoko. Neither understand why humans persist in sending each other meaningless objects which take years to arrive, but her encounters give her brief glimpses into their lives.

The Whispering Star is an unusual tale which brings to mind the work of Andrei Tarkovsky with its barren and beautiful backdrops. Two-decades in the making, it clearly holds some significance for Sono. It’s a meditation on the very essence of humanity, from the perspective of one of its creations which have now usurped their masters. Included with this package is The Sion Sono. A documentary directed by Arata Oshima which was largely created during the making of The Whispering Star. It gives a unique insight into what makes Sono tick.

The Whispering Star/The Sion Sono is released on Dual Format (Blu-Ray & DVD) by Third Window Films on 16th April.

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