shaking tokyo is bong joon-ho’s contribution to tokyo!, an anthology of three short films, each involving surrealist/absurdist plots set in that city. bong’s protagonist is a hikikomori or hermit who’s walled himself in his apartment for a decade, driven by his aversion to human contact of any sort. his perfect world, painstakingly self-sufficient and obsessively ordered, is shaken both by an earthquake and the concurrent appearance of a fellow hikikomori who he falls in love with, and for whom he faces the unthinkable dilemma between staying in his fortress or leaving it to face the blinding light of the outside world. this tension, already epitomized in a certain song title by the clash, is revisited in more accessible terms more recently by cults with their debut 7″ single, “go outside”, which dwells on the conflicting desires of going outside to “see the day” and holing up at home to “sleep the light away”. you don’t have to be a hikikomori to know that feeling. – dan.
mp3: cults – go outside
the cults 7″ is sold out, but is available for free download on their bandcamp page.