Miike again – surprisingly, Izo doesn’t seem to have made much of an impact since its UK premiere a few months ago. Unsurprisingly, it made quite the impact on me. Difficult, though not for the reasons one would have expected. The almost pathologically disgusting set-pieces of Miike films past are relatively sparse, with the fractured time-travelling anti-narrative and the relentless but far from flamboyant swordplay providing the bones of the viewer’s endurance. With Izo, Miike proves himself a deft collagist both literally (stock footage) and metaphysicaly. It seems almost misguided to talk of Miike’s best or worst films, intent as he seems on showing us his improvement as a filmaker in increments. His rapidly multiplying body of work is an exhilariting alternative to the cinematic equivalent of the perfectly planned and crafted ten track album; daring me to tentatively suggest his films as moving away from – or moving toward being able to be read as moving away from – the 2 hour-odd motion picture as a finished piece of work, as definitive. The finished film as unfinished, reflexive, a beginning rather than an end? Eager to get his or her ideas on celluloid, a filmaker uses the film primarily as vessel and means to explore and project tangents and possibilities, viewing the festival circuit premieres not as measuress of success or failure, but unpredictable and productive group critiques? Isn’t this romantic but exciting notion pretty selfish? It seems a nigh impossible balancing act, perhaps managed by Miike in a partly illusory fashion – I’d be interested to see how I’d analyse any sudden dips in quality, though if Gozu or Izo are anything to go by, the concern is purely academic.