CATCHING UP WITH FILM - THE QUEST FOR A PERSONAL CANON

 

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Sundays at Videotheque

Videotheque in South Pasadena, CA was my film school post-college. Even though I live far away now, I still make it out almost every Sunday to check out movies that I have no luck finding online, for money or otherwise. In this ongoing series, I will give my brief impressions about my rentals from the past week. Still Life (2006) dir. Jia Zhangke, starring Zhao Tao, Zhou Lan, Han Sanming If Jia isn’t the representative filmmaker of modern China, then he should be. All of his films seem to capture modern Chinese society in both its glory and its downfalls. In this film, Jia focuses on the people on the fringes of society. The city for the first half of the movie is scheduled to be flooded and

Sundays at Videotheque

Videotheque in South Pasadena, CA was my film school post-college. Even though I live far away now, I still make it out almost every Sunday to check out movies that I have no luck finding online, for money or otherwise. In this ongoing series, I will give my brief impressions about my rentals from the past week. Lucia (1968) dir. Humberto Solas, starring Raquel Revuelta, Eslinda Nunez and Adela Legra Along with Memories of Underdevelopment, which came out the same year as this movie, Lucia is a film that tries to cover a large swathe of Cuban history and how its identity is so rooted in upheaval and change. Solas does this by focusing on three different women named Lucia at different periods

Sundays at Videotheque

Videotheque in South Pasadena, CA was my film school post-college. Even though I live far away now, I still make it out almost every Sunday to check out movies that I have no luck finding online, for money or otherwise. In this ongoing series, I will give my brief impressions about my rentals from the past week. Under the Sand (2000) dir. Francois Ozon, starring Charlotte Rampling A subtle melodrama whose impact steals up on you as you realize just what is happening to the main character. I saw this movie with no idea of what it was about, and it was so much better that way. The only thing I will say is that Charlotte Rampling and Ozon work together to make a complex, affecting portrayal of

Theme Tuesday - Meiko Kaji - Female Convict Scorpion

The intense stare and charisma of Japanese actress Meiko Kaji has compelled me to explore her extensive filmography for December 2018. One can’t help draw comparisons to James Bond when watching the Female Convict: Scorpion series. The song “Flower of Carnage” alone should be enough to set up Kaji as an icon, and it certainly had enough of an effect on Tarantino that he included it in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Beyond the song, she has that iconic all-black outfit complete with trenchcoat and large floppy hat (later paid homage to in Sion Sono’s Love Exposure) Finally, her knack of getting out of impossible situations and her physical prowess that even cows men with guns is the stuff of legends. The

Theme Tuesday - Meiko Kaji - Stray Cat Rock series

The intense stare and charisma of Japanese actress Meiko Kaji has compelled me to explore her extensive filmography for December 2018. To get some potential misconceptions out of the way, the Stray Cat Rock series is not so much a series as a collection of movies that have little to do with each other except for many of the same actors and most likely crew. They are low-budget yet visually exciting and flashy movies with tons of style to compensate for their somewhat mundane stories. While the two directors (Yasaharu Hasebe and Toshiya Fujita) responsible for the series would be confined mostly to genre movies including the so-called “pinku” films, they would compensate for their limitations

Burning (2018)

For November 2018, I will be exploring and revisiting the works of one of South Korea’s greatest cinematic storytellers - Lee Changdong - which will culminate in an assessment of his latest film, Burning. As a literary adaptation of one of the most popular yet possibly most enigmatic writers to Western audiences Haruki Murakami, Burning, Lee Chang dong’s latest directorial effort, fleshes out far more than Murakami chose to. I specify Western audiences because I have heard that English translations of Murakami or any Japanese author for that matter have to leave out a lot of the complexity associated with the Japanese language, which is why a Murakami text may seem so sparse and possibly ant

 
 
 

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