R100 (2013)

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Writer: Hitoshi Matsumoto, Mitsuyoshi TakasuTomoji HasegawaKôji EmaMitsuru Kuramoto
Cast: Nao Ômori, Lindsay Kay Hayward
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Takafumi (Nao Ômori) joined a super secret club. Membership lasts for a year and can not be cancelled. The club’s purpose is to send its members dominas with varying specialties, unannounced, to wherever the members are. At first, Takafumi enjoys the club. But the dominas become out of control more and more.

R100 did not work for me at all. As a short film, I might have accepted it. But as a feature film it was way too long, offensive to anybody who has heard more about SM than “those people like pain” and more or less just a drawn-out rape joke.


R100 did surprise me. For something that so clearly has never seen any actual involvement from anybody involved in SM, it feels a lot ike Matsumoto created his very own wank template, getting off at the increasingly absurd specialties of the dominas and at Takafumi’s increasing discomfort with the arrangement.

And Takafumi gets ever more uncomfortable. As the club breaks one of his boundaries after the other (showing up at his workplace, in his home, involving his son, becoming increasingly more harmful), he is not liberated (which would have been one way to spin the story, he becomes terrified. And the no cancellation policy of the club (which is already against every safe SM practice ever) turns an initially consensual deal into rape – and the audience is supposed to laugh at it.

r100-1Why they wouldn’t have left it at a short film (just the opening scene which was pretty strong, even if it still had nothing much to do with SM), I’ll never know, especially because the film is padded out more and more as it goes on, adding a completely unnecessary meta level (it could have been enjoyable if they had done a little more with it). The film gains a bit more life again when the CEO of the club (Lindsay Kay Hayward) appears but it’s too little too late.

It does have its moments and it does end on a high note – no pun intended – with probably the strangest Ode to Joy rendition ever. But unfortunately you have to drudge through a whole lot of shit until you get there.

r100-2Summarizing: No.


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