18 and up. No one under 18 admitted.
Taking the time out to view a 4-hour movie certainly requires a real commitment beyond that of time, because it also requires you to psych yourself up, to prep for taking in four hours of story, characterization, themes and ideas that could prove an overload by film's end. Heaven forbid that the film itself sucks, too, because on top of everything you're going to feel like it's been time wasted watching 'that' other than wasting your time doing something else. But when films reach a truly epic length one often feels that it's almost a safe bet, because, despite the time, if a filmmaker is going to spend four hours (or more, if possible) telling a story, then that story must truly be something special. That is unquestionably the case with Sion Sono's Love Exposure, a picture that could quite possibly become the reigning film classic of 2009. This is a picture with a hell of a lot going on, and a lot on both its heart and mind, that it packs in so damn much and does it with admirable heart and drive that you just want to set up your own distribution company just to make sure this puppy gets seen by as many people as possible.
What is particularly estimable about Love Exposure is how it very successfully jumps around genres for those four hours but never loses its focus. Love Exposure is equal parts silly comedy, violent revenge fantasy, meditation on religious beliefs and a testament to the healing power of love, so it's unquestionably ambitious in ways that most movies would never dream of. This is a wild and alive film, heartfelt but also giddy insane and reckless; all over the map but also surprisingly restrained. It's densely packed, but not jammed with so many ideas that it confuses or alienates its audience, and it's so audacious in what it sets out to accomplish and how it does it that by film's end you're convinced that you've seen a work of geek art of the highest order; trust me when we tell you that you are in no way wrong. Four hours or not, we need more movies like Love Exposure. (Matt Kiernan)