Bingo doesn’t have much of a place in the film canon. But here are four movies that are all called Bingo but deal with dramatically different themes…from a relationship between a boy and his dog to a strange, futuristic Japanese horror.
This little-known French-Canadian film is based on the Quebec’s October Crisis, which was a bit of an anomaly in Canadian history. Kidnappings of government officials by the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) led to an unprecedented use of the Wartime Measures Act in peacetime. It was directed by Jean-Claude Lord, who was known for his mainstream portrayal of political issues of the time.
Perhaps the most famous of all the bingo-named films is the one about a canine. Bingo, a runaway circus dog with a good heart, saves the life of a young boy called Chuckie. Both Bingo and Chuckie are presented as outcasts from their owners and families,respectively, and their common situation means the two quickly become best friends. They do the kind of things that you would expect dogs and young boys to do together: skateboarding, playing pinball, and doing math homework together. All feel-good films rely on some form of jeopardy, some threat to this wonderful relationship, which if overcome can leave. In this case, Chuckie’s parents forbid him from bringing Bingo with them in their cross-country move. Want to know how things work out? You’ll have to watch it.
Another obscure film that we’ll happily admit we hadn’t heard of until recently. It’s a computer-animated short film directed by Chris Landreth, who is most well known for his 2004 film Ryan. Bingo is based on a play called Disregard This Play, which combined surrealistic imagery and dialogue to tell a story of how we can be defined by how other people see us and what other people believe us to be. A man is surrounded by people who tell him that he is Bingo The Clown to the point that he believes he is when he is in fact not. It can be seen as a comment on the influence of others in our lives.
In an unspecified future Japan, the death penalty has been dramatically altered to integrate a cruel twist on the usual punishment. The victim’s family (as in the family of someone who has been murdered) plays a game of bingo where every number drawn relates to a prisoner. A prisoner is killed if their number is drawn.
The film centres on Masaya, a prisoner who is currently on this weird bingo version of death row. Mayumi who is part of the facility and sits watching Masaya, develops an attraction to him and the film develops from there.
It’s based on a short story by popular horror writer Yusuke Yamada, which was published in his collection stories titled “Brake”.
Posted by:Ben Barker on Sunday, May 10th, 2015