Author Archives: James

James’ GBW for 2008

The GoodOld Fish

Perfectly balances the tension that arises from witnessing makeshift low-budget bomb disposal work with darkly humorous social observation, and demonstrates again how great cinema can surface once seldom necessary systemic norms like professional actors and commentative music are excluded.

The BadRab ne Bana di Jodi

Tarnished by conservative gender politics and drab music, as well as the already stale convention of having a tediously drawn-out dance number in the middle of the picture … (read more)

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James’ Top 5 films in 2006

1. Invisible Waves: Otherworldly, quiescent, full of continuity errors and technical goofs, hardly anything happens, and it’s green – I love it.

2. The Host: Gets away with breaking the rules – shows us the monster in broad daylight, blurs the distinction between good and evil, and obliges us to accept incompetence and idiocy as a routine aspect of our lives.

3. Linda, Linda, Linda: Bae Do-na shows Korean actors working abroad how to avoid Jackie Chan … (read more)

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Asian Films at PIFF 2004

Featuring about 70 screenings per day in one outdoor and 16 indoor theatres grouped in two locations about 40 minutes subway ride apart, the 9th Pusan International Film Festival was a densely scheduled affair that often required some advance daily planning and on-the-spot thinking to get into desired sessions. Like last year, ticketing for guests and press was occasionally a problem, with quite a few sessions ostensibly selling out within an hour after sales commenced each morning. Given the availability … (read more)

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Korean Films at MIFF 2004

Ten features and one omnibus film from South Korea screened at the 53rd Melbourne International Film Festival. Of these, I can’t comment on Natural City, Samaritan Girl and If You Were Me since I neglected to see them. From inquiries and overheard conversations, it seems Natural City received a warmer reaction than might have been expected, and given my tastes Samaritan Girl was probably the Kim Ki-duk I should have forced myself to watch. Unfortunately, If You Were Me(read more)

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