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The Bottled Fools

30 January 2012

Thanks... I'll... I'll wait for the next car.


On Saturday night, I watched a pretty fucked-up Japanese horror film called Gusha no bindume (The Bottled Fools), which you can find on Netflix under the name Hellevator: The Bottled Fools, or in some American stores as (sigh) Gusher No Binds Me. (Come on, America, really? It’s like you’re not even trying. “Gusher No Binds Me” doesn’t even make sense. It’s just someone saying the Japanese language is all pretty much English.)

It was written and directed by a guy named Hiroki Yamaguchi, who, as it turns out, was born about a month after I was. Gusha no bindume was made in 2003, though, which means the guy was all of 25 when he made it. I thought it was a fascinating film.

So, what am I going to talk about here? The trend of Americans trying to, and failing to, Americanize the title? Nah, I already complained about that.

The fact that, according to all reports, this guy used a crew of volunteer actors and made his sets out of scrap metal? Now, that’s interesting. He made a damn watchable film with very little in the way of resources, and that’s something all of us can take to heart — not to wait until you have everything you think you need, but to just go out there and create instead.

But that’s not the main thing this film made me think about. It’s about Yamaguchi himself. Go look at his IMDB page — it seems like this is the last film he ever did. That surprises me, as this would seem much more like an excellent first feature from a director who has a pretty bright future ahead of him. (Note: Well, if you like Japanese horror films, it’s excellent — if not, or if you have no idea what you’re getting into there beyond the remakes of The Grudge and The Eye, I’d recommend working your way up to this one… somehow.)

So that got me thinking — what makes a person want to stop being creative? What makes them stop working in a field that they wanted to work in, or were doing well in? As I’ve mentioned before, I dabbled with indie film in my 20s, but I know the reason why I stopped. I just wasn’t very good at it. That’s not the case with Yamaguchi, as Gusha no bindume was kind of great. Was it like the case with the Wachowski brothers, who said they put every idea they ever had into the Matrix films? Did he run out of things to make movies about? I doubt that, because the mind that came up with this movie must be coming up with about a billion crazy ideas a day. I could solve this all with a Google search, I suppose, but I kind of like the mystery, and the questions it makes me ask.

Have any of you ever experienced this? Some kind of creative work you were doing, but then stopped? Why did you stop? Did you move to something different?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 January 2012 1520

    I’ve never stopped, but my wife made a leap from one creative endeavor (art) to another (historic costuming). But even there, with limited space, she really only has room for one thing or the other, and after getting burned out on dealing with clients for the art she did, she decided to do something more for herself.

    She’ll eventually get back to art, and keep it to herself. I know a few artists who stopped because they became burned out on the commercial aspect of it all. Maybe this director still shoots and edits things on his own? Who knows?

    But like you, I find it strange when some people are right there and did what they set out to do, and then stop. Perhaps that was all he wanted–to make a movie and move on to something else? (Which seems weird and unlikely to me.) I know an artist who started getting bigger and the thought of a certain degree of fame scared him enough to make him stop…maybe a case of that, but with a director?

    It looks like quite a film…I’ll have to check it out some night when the TV is all mine.

    • 30 January 2012 1524

      Late night is definitely better. I don’t know if you’ve seen many oddball Japanese films, but… Yeah, late night is probably best.

      Speaking of films, I watched “Special” on your recommendation right before Gusha no bindume. You were right — good film, unsatisfying ending.

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