Funky Forest: The First Contact
Directors: Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine, Shunichiro Miki
Writers: Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine, Shunichiro Miki
Production: Naisu no mori Seisaku Iinkai
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Susumu Terajima
Country: Japan
MPAA Rating: NR
Running time: 150 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

by Andrew James
     Before entering the screening for Funky Forest, I asked a friend who had seen the film previously what this film was all about. His response? An extremely confused look crossed his face, before breaking out into laughter. I wandered away bewildered, thinking he'd obviously lost his mind. Now, after viewing this film, I realized I was half right and he most likely had in fact lost a few marbles and was still having flashbacks from this movie that is all by itself a psychotropic drug.

      The movie is basically a series of shorts loosely woven together by some recurring jokes and characters. Several of the skits use the same locales and characters, but focus more intently on a different character with each showing. The film is over two and half hours long, but thankfully, these filmmaker's are old school and added two intermissions. One is 3 minutes in length and the other is about 15 seconds. Thank God. Beyond this, I have no other way of describing this movie without going through the entire thing minute by minute and frame by frame explaining each detail in it's brilliant randomness and wierdness (weird would be the understatement of the year). And if you ever get a chance to actually view the film yourself, brace yourself because it will auto transport you into something closely resembling a bad trip.”

      Instead of going any further, I've decided to do something that is probably illegal and could put me in a penal colony on Piko-riko for many years. I managed to steal a top-secret copy of the recipe for this film. The best way to explain the movie is for me to post this recipe online for the whole world to see; even though it's most likely copyrighted. Here you go...

A film suited to fit all age groups from 18-142. A conglomeration of ideas so absurd, the final product is unprofoundly genius. A sure-fire way to stoke up any waning get-together.

Maximum theater capacity of 1500

2 12 oz (336 grm). Pink Floyd's "The Wall"
1/2 cup (125 ml) Koyaniquaatsi
4 tsp (20 ml) dried "Dr. Who" episodes (preferably 4th, 5th or 6th Doctor)
1/4 cup (60 ml) Amazon Women on the Moon
1/4 cup (60 ml) A Clockwork Orange
6 halves of cast members from "Cats"
2 tbsp (30 ml) Devo's video "Whip It"
2 tbsp (30 ml) Pee-Wee's Playhouse
1 blooper reel from "E.T."
1/4 tsp (1 ml) Willy Wonka juice
1/2 tsp (2 ml) Days of our Lives
1/2 tsp (2 ml) Pokemon, to taste
1 Atari 2600 cartridge of "Yars' Revenge"
2 whole skinless, boneless models of the alien from Ridley Scott's "Alien." (if this is unavailable, substitute a controller from "eXistenz")
2 cups (475 ml) episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus
1/4 pound of your favorite "Welcome Back Kotter" episode, cut into 1 inch by half inch pieces
1 thinly sliced VHS copy of "Brazil" (BETAmax if possible)
2 12 oz (336 grm). "Bambi vs. Godzilla"
1/2 cup (125 ml) any Bjork video

1- Preferably in a zero-G environment, simultaneously whisk together all ingredients until thick in a shallow dish.
2- Pour emulsifeid liquid into a motorcycle helmut [sic] and let stand for 2 Jupiter years. While waiting, play zippity-do-da on a trombone.
3- Once hard, place helmut [sic] in a Barbie "bake with me" oven. Set oven to high until the oven itself begins to smoke and melt.
4- Pour liquid on a linoleum floor and spread thinly, making sure you use all of the sauce.
5- Cut the now crusted-over liquid into long strips and allow David Lynch and Michel Gondry to edit the strips into something resembling celluloid.

Final preparation:
Force celluloid into a movie projector and show in a darkly lit room onto a white wall. Have Frank Zappa and The Flaming Lips score your film. DO NOT ingest any hallucinagenic drugs while viewing this film as it will detract from the experience and may cause irreparable damage to your frontal cortex, as the film should be, if prepared correctly, an intoxicating trip all in itself.

      In all seriousness, this is a masterpiece of a movie unlike anything that I've ever seen, or likely will ever see, again. I have no doubt it will easily take the audience choice award for best picture at The Toronto After Dark Film Festival. It's certainly been my favorite and the instant I arrive home, I will begin a desperate, but likely futile attempt at purchasing a DVD copy of this movie. Everyone needs to see this, and it will be my mission to make sure that happens.

Press "PLAY" to watch the trailer

Links: - full cast and crew
Official Site