Battle Royale (by Kinji Fukasaku)

More “real” than american filmmaking, that is, fewer CUs.

Convincing performances

Chilling, torturous irony in the perky manner of the girl anchoring the video.

horrific death when collar explodes. More terrifying than if whole head exploded. the spraying of blood is always terrifying.

the tension and danger make it difficult to stop watching. The question: who will kill first… and why?

the statement about adults vs kids.

the reactions of the students as they are called. The one acts cocky.

whoa! the one boy comes back, “That’s my bag”
“You probably guessed…”

nice. the first kill happens immediately. by the panicked fat boy.

Excellent. don’t show the calling and exit of all 40 kids. how boring. excitement and danger explode when we follow the boy out and the girl has an arrow through her neck.

that’s storytelling: build relationships and characters with dialogue… then surprise. almost every scene has a surprise in it. every scene has character building in it.

tender moments. then, BAM. death, bullets, blood, danger. surprise.

the dialogue (meaning, tender moments) make this an engaging story and keep it from being an American bullets-bombs-blood cookie-cutter action flick.

people always get bloody and wet and don’t care. What would happen if the character tried hard to stay clean and dry? Would it ruin the story or the look?

“Even if she didn’t mean it, it’s nice to have someone waiting for you.”

Great! From fear in cave, “You never got to taste those cookies” To teacher eating the cookies

Whoa. the one guy gets the gun and kills the whole group!

You can’t trust the others!! That raises the tension.

Whoa! The girl helps the boy jump off the cliff.

They should have some kids trying to take out guards, or disable the radio tower.

The one boy has a machine gun. That could take out a lot of guards

The girl looks creepy. Why does she kill the other girl?

The slutting girl. “Why does everyone pick on me?” She was acting.

Conceal and cover, folks! The boy and girl walk in the clearest areas.

Very cool setting. The island with its shacks and jungles.

The one surviving boy is kind, and smart. Cool. he moves fast, confidently, and purposefully

Very cool: flashback of girl running, boy promising to protect her. Cut to her running in same outfit… but with a collar on.

Cool scene with her and boy we find out has a crush on her. Ugh. She stabs his privates! We know she’s a runner.

so much about crushes and love.

The beginning of the movie told us the end already: one little girl remains.

I haven’t seen many pushes… see first note.

the one kid: My dad’s a doctor… My dad’s a chef.

Lots of photos.

whoa. when the kid tells the story of how he won the earlier game.

VERY touching at times. it’s really about relationships. (see: my notes on Leon, the Professional)

survival is in the heart of all of us. there is great appeal in testing and proving oneself. the challenge stirs an inherent, perhaps primal, instinct in us. I would like to win at surviving. Perhaps this instinct is stronger in boys than girls. This is the heart of the story: what would a human do to survive?

My mind begins planning, plotting with the characters; calculating which move was smart and which was foolish. We shake our heads when they give up, but, in part, we understand.

It is an intelligent movie.

What the girl says in the clinic. Pretty cool. The scene has to end with violence or shock. “The kid who signed up for fun.”

OK! The one kid is trying to beat the bad guys.

Ew. the one slutty girl is pretty ruthless.

Stupid kids are saying everything… which means the bad guys know everything.

the girls are doing an OK job banding together but they are too innocent. they do not take the bad guys serious enough

The students should all band together to defeat the real enemy. but the guy doing it for fun changes the situation.

like a video game: survive. kill or be killed. outwit, outlast, outplay.

life and death.

the savagry of children. the younger they start, the worse they will do. and vice versa. the younger they start to help and do good, the greater things they will do.

“What idiots. We might all have survived”
“It’s not my fault…” but it is.

the most sesnsible guy… you know he is gonna get something.

the teacher has a slight facial tick

some things are better not to know.

It’s gonna rain

“I hope ___ can find us.” cut to ____.

Now we know why Nanaharo’s dad killed himself!

Wait a minute… I think LOST copied this film.

Pretty tense yet moving scene when girl runs to meet Narahara. Beautiful cut… we leave the three out in the woods.

At this point it is clear that the students have everything they need if they’d work together.

everyone has a secret crush that comes out, one by one, as the story unfolds.

“But you never talked to me”

the battle scenes between ruthless girl and ruthless boy was pretty cool. Juxtaposed by classical music.

those three boys are making a lot of bombs!

Is the beautiful music being played over the speakers or just background.

Jeez. the kids aren’t very smart. and maybe that’s the point. they react; they respond in blind emotion. If they’d simply use their intellect, they’d rise above the level of animal, reason would tell them to connect, to work together.

the pieces of back story of the general add much to the story… in fact, they make it a story. we hear more of his story from him at the end.

it’s a liottle confusing, and therefore, anitclimatic because it’s not about one kid or two kids. we don’t know who to root for because all the kids we’ve rooted for, which is almost all of them for various reasons, have not survived. We don’t know who to root for, so there are not clear heroes.

whoa, the teacher gets up at the end.

don’t (never) position the characters in the same plane.

she could be talking about planet earth: “It’s beautiful… even though its where everybody died.”

“I’m glad I found true friends” is anticlimatic as well. the movie isn’t sure what it is. that is a little confusing. OK. good ending: we’re back in teh city, but it’s no different.


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