The annals of strange just got thicker with the arrival of “Funky Forest: The First Contact,” a surreal sci-fi-musical-whatsit whose resistance to thematic or narrative logic renders viewers thoroughly — but not unpleasantly — bewildered for 2½ hours. Breathtakingly, often hilariously bizarre, it’s nobody’s idea of a commercial sureshot. But pic merits attention from adventuresome fest programmers, and will doubtless accrue a cult following on DVD.
First team effort for writing-helming-editing trio of Katsuhito Ishii (“Shark Skin Boy and Peach Hip Woman,” “Taste of Tea”), TV commercial directors Shin’ichiro Miki and Anika aka Hajime Ishimine is a series of deadpan, oft-fantastical non sequiturs and goofy plot threads. Latter occasionally intersect, but scarcely hint at any game plan. Recurrent elements include idiot TV variety show-style comedy duo “The Mole Brothers”; three hapless “Unpopular With Women Brothers” who look unrelated; three pretty young women first identified as “Babbling Hot Spring Vixens”; a nerdy high school teacher-cum-DJ involved with his star student; and sitcom-style “Homeroom!!!” chapters from a Dadaist school life. Plus peppy choreographed dream sequences, unidentifiable puppet-or-CGI creatures, Cronenberg-style queasiness, and UFO visitations. Delirious, disarming pic is sharp in all tech and design departments.