Taking place on the sprawling campus of Jinsai Medical University, Isn't Anyone Alive follows various students as they go about their typical routines. While things seem normal, word of a horrendous train crash on the outskirts of ton has just reached the campus, and soon after, various students begin to drop dead inexplicably. There is absolutely no warning around these deaths, with individuals coughing and then falling to the ground in full body spasms leading to their death in a matter of minutes. Sogo Ishii's Isn't Anyone Alive is an absurdest satire of the vacuous youth of today. Before the deaths even start, it's clear that Ishii is making a statement of youth's inability to comprehend what truly matters, with the death sequences reinforcing this fact The film follows a bunch of characters, with Ishii routinely overlapping scenes and cutting back and forth to make sure every one of the characters is involved. Don't be confused, this is much more of a comedy than a drama, with Ishii injecting the film with some interesting style- particularly his use of cross-sectional framing. In a way the film is a study of human behavior, as we witness these various characters all reacting very differently to the apocalypse. As many die or witness death we noticed the inane details and even inappropriate or superficial feelings which they bring to the table, even when their existence and life as they know it is threatened. While the film is a pretty enjoyable endeavor from a comedic standpoint, I found the commentary about youth's vacuous nature far too distant. The film simply gets so wrapped up in the absurdity that it misses the point when trying to actually be profound. In the end, Ishii's Isn't Anyone Alive should please those who enjoy the absurdest style of filmmaking, but I wish it would have been able to say a bit more.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.