Quasi-Bodies and Kafka’s Castle in Sion Sono’s Crime Noir Guilty of Romance (2011)

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Sion Sono’s Guilty of Romance (Koi no tsumi, 2011) was adapted from an actual crime in Tokyo’s love hotel: an educated woman (a prostitute at night) was found decapitated and her limbs were re-assembled with a sex-doll. Sono renders this through his cinematic narrative blurring the distinction between true crime and fictional sin like Rancière’s idea that everything is a narrative dissipating the opposition between “fact and fiction,” and “quasi-body” becomes a product of human literarity while an imaginary collective body is formed to fill the fracture in-between. In Sono’s story, the victim is a literature professor tormented by an incestuous desire for her father, whose favorite book is Kafka’s Castle. Thus she compares the love-hotel district where she turns loose at night as a castle of lusts. Here the narrative becomes a collective body that puppeteers human “quasi-bodies” in a Kafkaesque spatio-temporal aporia, and time’s spatialized horizontally with the germs of desire spread like a contagion on a Deleuzian “plane of immanence.”

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Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies

The Journal of "Sapientia" Hungarian University of Transylvania

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