Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Noriko's Dinner Table (2005) constitutes a follow-up with thematic similarities and loose narrative connections (though not a direct sequel) to Japanese filmmaker Shion Sono's dark 2002 satire Suicide Club. The time-fractured narrative weaves the gothic tale of the two backward Shimbara sisters, teenagers Yuka (Yuriko Yoshitaka) and Noriko (Kazue Fukiishi). The girls inadvertently become enslaved to a website, Hayiko.com, that represents a front for a perverse theatrical group, "The Family Circle" -- whereby young girls are hired by clients to act out bizarre fantasies. As a product of becoming implicated in the site, the sisters lose the ability to recognize their own identities; one is brainwashed by being forced to watch the mass suicide of 54 young Japanese girls from the earlier Suicide Club. The picture ultimately descends into blood-soaked carnage involving the titular table and a bevy of inanimate domestic objects. Ever the formalist, Sono divides his recit into a quintet of segments, and labels four of five with the names of key characters, each of whom narrates his or her "chapter" in voice-over.
Internet, obsession, sister, teenagers