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Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:45 pm
by trevor826
Umoregi, The Buried Forest, I need to contemplate this one, beautiful cinematography, very artistic but where was anything else?

Give me a day or two to brood on this one before I comment on it.

Cheers Trev.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:43 pm
by trevor826
Japanese film "Heavens Bookstore", whimsical romantic drama that's appears to have taken an inventive leaf from Kore'eda's "After Life".

Full comments to follow in Japanese Journals - General.

Cheers Trev.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:43 pm
by wpqx
Reincarnation of Golden Lotus (1989) - Clara Law

Well hard to believe there is a look and feel to such a remote genre, but this definitely feels and looks like a Hong Kong film from the late 80's. The music has that synthesized hybrid of Easternized Western music, the colors aren't sharp, and even the editing has a pace that makes it work on a John Woo level.

This was the first feature from Clara Law, and by most accounts it is her best work. The film certainly has promise. It begins with the dead Lotus about to be reincarnated, all she has to do is drink three cups of tea to erase her past, but she only drinks two, determined to go back and get revenge. She is warned that it will ruin her life, and well let's just say that's pretty obvious foreboding.

The story takes us to modern Chinese history, first in the sixties where Lotus is an orphaned child ballerina, and then her eventual exile, finall winding up in present (or at least present at the time the film was made) Hong Kong. There is certainly a contrast from the China of the beginning to the later Hong Kong. Everyone appears to be mindless slaves in China, and the ideology is shown as extreme, so not surprising the film wasn't produced there. According to the legend, Lotus was known as the "slut of all time" and her original story took place in the 10th Century. Law periodically cuts back and forth to reveal the life previously lived.

In all a pretty good film, things seem to get a little more hectic and confusing at the end, but over all I think it's a pretty compact film. It could have been longer to perhaps flesh out the different affairs carried out, but that might have made for a completely different film.

Grade B+

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:52 am
by hengcs

wow ... this is such a long ago show that I have to rewatch to recall ... anyway, some comments by me include ...

-- if you like Joey Wong, go watch her most popular film "A Chinese Ghost Story" (i.e., the first in the series, the rest are not as good)

-- The character Lotus Pan was from a well known Chinese novel ... in it, she was very unfaithful to her husband ... so I think the movie (if I recall correctly) tried to have a different take of her ... in the reincarnation ...

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:27 pm
by wpqx
Sisters or the Balance of Happiness (1979) - Von Trotta

Can't say this film overwhelmed me. Wasn't particularly moved or impressed with it, which may be a little cruel here. Just didn't really captivate me, which is a shame because this is the first film of Von Trotta's I've seen.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:11 am
by A
Don't worry, she isn't THAT great a director. If you want to see her at her best watch "Rosa Luxemburg (1986)!

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:32 am
by A
Saw Donnie Brasco (1997 / Mike Newell) today, and I must say this is one of the potentially best stories I've ever encountered. Kinda the godfather trilogy via gangs of New York, with a little Scarface in, but everything on a very personal triangle Protagonist - Father figure - Wife.
The film didn't make much of its potential, but enough for the two hours. The chemistry between Depp and Pacino is phenomenal, they could almost be relatives as far as my impression goes, and the photography is also top-notch. Wonder why it didn't get any awards that year?
Recommended.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:09 am
by wpqx
Still haven't caught that. I did however get to see Hou's Flowers of Shanghai (1998) , and I must say this film impressed me quite a lot. Watching the opening scene I wondered if this was just another modern film with a long opening tracking shot, or if this was setting the mood for the film. I found it was the latter, Hou didn't abandon this approach after the intro, he kept the film uniformed. The film is tightly structured as an Ozu film, and there are no noticeable in scene edits, which transforms a potentially boring and predictable story into a truly remarkable film. Of the four films I've seen from him, this stands as the clear best, I will admit however that I saw City of Sadness without English subs, so that has a bit of a handicap.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:54 am
by arsaib4
What I like about Donnie Brasco is that it's very understated (it's almost minimalist compared to a couple of Scorcese films). Can't say that the story is very unique but it's handled very well. Good point about the chemistry between the leads.

Flowers of Shanghai is certainly one of Hou's best. It's good to know that you're finally discovering the Taiwanese master.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:40 am
by A
more Hou hsiao-hsien is also on my to see list. Can't really talk about him.
Yes, the understated approach is what I liked best about Donnie Brasco. Thanks, somehow I couldn't come up with the main point.