Blog Archives

Blissfully Yours (2002)

Is there a better way to spend your afternoon than sitting around watching other people spend their afternoon?

I think not!

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Blissfully Yours is one of the most thought provoking, enchanting and poignant films made recently. However, you should avoid this film if you: A) lack patience, and B) lack patience. Don’t say I haven’t warned you!

Weerasethakul demonstrates his aptness to integrate his skills as an experimental artist into feature film, something that he and his Thai … (read more)

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One Take Only (2001)

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Once again the Pang Brothers have provided us a film that is more like a music video or flashy commercial than a feature film. However, unlike their other filmic ventures, One Take Only falls far short of excellence.

Directed by Oxide Pang, One Take Only is somewhat comparable to the gamut of generic gangster/hit-man genre films coming from Asia over the last fifteen years. What sets this film apart from the rest is the Pang Brothers’ usage of film style, … (read more)

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Canary (2005)

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For years now the talk of cults has touched on wounds for the Japanese population, following the 1995 Aum cult gas attack on Tokyo. Consequently, a number of Japanese films have very effectively looked at the stories of individuals and groups associated with these cults. These films have been the most breathtakingly touching and poignant amongst contemporary Japanese cinema. Canary (or Kanaria) is one such film, looking at the journey of twelve year old Koichi, his struggles while living … (read more)

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Tropical Malady (2004)

Tropical Malady is a sophisticated, loving, humane, yet haunting film that explores the relationship between two beings. Like his previous film, Blissfully Yours, Weerasethakul constructs Tropical Malady through the juxtaposition of two related halves. However, in this case, the relation between the halves isn’t as overt.

Heed my warning: this film will linger on in your mind for weeks!

The first story looks at the courtship between two young men: Tong, an ice factory worker, and Keng, a soldier. … (read more)

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A Time For Love (2005)

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A Time to Love is an homage to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. However, unlike many of the sorry filmic adaptations of this play, A Time to Love is one of the more touching versions, carrying with it a pure subtlety and innocence that one would only expect from a director who has graduated from the Beijing Film Academy.

A Time to Love tells the story of the tragic relationship between Hou Jia, (played by Lu Yi) and Qu … (read more)

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Osaka Elegy (1936)

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Naniwa Elegy, or, as many know it, Osaka Elegy is often cited as Kenji Mizoguchi’s first real masterpiece. It won the Kinema Jumpo in 1936 as Japan’s third best film, and marks the first collaboration between Mizoguchi and his long time screen writer Yoshikata Yoda.

Naniwa Elegy is a bitter film. There is no other way to suitably describe it, especially in terms of its narrative effect. The story looks at Ayako Murai (played by Isuzu Yamada), a young … (read more)

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Mekong Full Moon Party (2002)

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With a barrage of good films emerging from Thailand of recent, such as Last Life in the Universe, Legend of Suriyothai and others, I was excited to see what the writer and cinematographer of the cult hit, Iron Ladies, was going to offer. Much to my delight, this film gave me an effervescent hit of fresh Thai culture that can only be paralleled by the hit that you get from a spicy Thai Green Curry.

Mekhong Full Moon (read more)

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I-San Special (2002)

A group of intrepid passengers embark on a bus ride from Bangkok to the northern province of Nong Bua (the area is known as “I-San”). Hmm let me guess what will happen… monsters, hijackings, kickboxing transsexuals or perhaps a combination? Nope, the situation is much drier, the trip turns into a soap opera full of drama, romance, spite, claws and tears.

Director Mingmonkul Sonakul has created an enjoyable avant-garde film. From the outset the stylistic elements stand out like a … (read more)

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