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Asian Cinema Thread

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Mr Herbert, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Saw Ikiru last week. It was really a lot worse than it was billed up to be. I was trying really hard to like it too.

    That's because you guys grow up with movie ADD.
     
  2. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    That's because you guys grow up with movie ADD.

    No it isn't. I've enjoyed several older classics. For example, the recently-discussed Rope, which really has zero flashiness as it is filmed in one, plot-developing shot. No special FX or anything. I also hate fast-paced action flicks.

    Sorry, but I just don't see the "depth" of an hour-long scene of bureaucrats uttering trite 5-word sentences, followed by 20 seconds of silence.

    It was clear the main character was the novice actor he was. Half the movie was him looking at the ground bug-eyed for 10 seconds, and the slowly gazing up towards the horizon. This was true whether or not he was literally looking into the horizon or another person.

    Please don't say that his acting was "nuanced" and "subdued". It was just not very dynamic.

    The plot and meaning is quite touching conceptually. I enjoyed the first 45 minutes immensely. But after his death it really begins to plod, and adds nothing of meaning to the movie.

    Please feel free to tell me what about the movie was excellent with specifics, if you would like.
     
  3. boogaboogabooga

    boogaboogabooga Senior member

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    No it isn't. I've enjoyed several older classics. For example, the recently-discussed Rope, which really has zero flashiness as it is filmed in one, plot-developing shot. No special FX or anything. I also hate fast-paced action flicks.

    Sorry, but I just don't see the "depth" of an hour-long scene of bureaucrats uttering trite 5-word sentences, followed by 20 seconds of silence.

    It was clear the main character was the novice actor he was. Half the movie was him looking at the ground bug-eyed for 10 seconds, and the slowly gazing up towards the horizon. This was true whether or not he was literally looking into the horizon or another person.

    Please don't say that his acting was "nuanced" and "subdued". It was just not very dynamic.

    The plot and meaning is quite touching conceptually. I enjoyed the first 45 minutes immensely. But after his death it really begins to plod, and adds nothing of meaning to the movie.

    Please feel free to tell me what about the movie was excellent with specifics, if you would like.


    While I'm a cinemaphile, I'm not a film historian, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it possible a few techniques and liberties taken in this film were without precedent? I remember watching the scene where the main character is reminiscing over his son while actually saying his name. I initially thought it was a really crass and overt mechanism. Then I thought about how many contemporary films have dream sequences or flashbacks and utilize that same technique, the only difference being the characters musing's being reposited as exposition or narrative instead of actually being voiced by that character. It basically made me wonder if the impressionistic aspects of today's cinema for that type of scene were acquired. Also, for the acting, Ikiru was made in 1952, so while I'm more a fan myself of contemporary and presumably more naturalistic character portrayals, I think I can forgive a melodramatic portrayal or two and some stagy conventions, especially for such a directorial powerhouse. While I agree with a good portion of your criticism, and disagree with a few of your ideas (I wouldn't write off the various exchanges amongst bureaucrats, they are often expository and offer tonal variety ((hence the secretaries joke at the beginning)), they are arguably only excessive when compared to modern cinema that operates on implication. It is also arguable that they are subtle when compared to contemporary Hollywood films that are wholly reliant on data dumps) I would say we mainly disagree on what concessions the film deserves and why. And finally, to answer your challenge I think you yourself understand the core concepts (ageism or generational divide, professional tedium, bureaucracy, class struggle, redemption, altruism, etc, etc...) of the film and the value it has to you and should have to others, and I would say that is what makes the film invaluable. If that isn't enough for you, then you of course are absolutely entitled to your own opinion.
     
  4. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    I am not specifically into Asian cinema, but there are definitely a couple of movies I really enjoyed:

    In the Mood for Love is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

    I am a huge WKW fan. Also really liked the Korean movie Failan (파이란[​IMG].

    A Scene at the Sea (あの夏、いちばん静かな海) is pretty brilliant in an off-kilter way.

    Haven't watch anything too recent that blew me away. I'll have to go through some of the suggestions here.
     
  5. Sesame Seed

    Sesame Seed Senior member

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    Saw Ikiru last week. It was really a lot worse than it was billed up to be. I was trying really hard to like it too.
    Please watch his other non-samurai films, especially ‘High and Low’ and ‘Dersu Uzala’.

    No it isn't. I've enjoyed several older classics. For example, the recently-discussed Rope, which really has zero flashiness as it is filmed in one, plot-developing shot...
    I don’t see the point or the comparison here. You just seem to be lumping older films into the ‘classic’ category. You’re right to an extent when it comes to Ikiru. The tail of the film just drags. You won’t be a fan of the significant role that a cat plays in ‘Madadayo’. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but some of his films fall flat after the first hour.

    It was clear the main character was the novice actor he was...
    What? Takashi Shimura is an acting legend. He is tragically underrated. His equal in talent would be someone like Joe Pesci, but Shimura was far, far more prolific.
     
  6. boogaboogabooga

    boogaboogabooga Senior member

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    I'll second High and Low. Incredible.
     
  7. Sesame Seed

    Sesame Seed Senior member

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    I'll second High and Low. Incredible.

    It's Kurosawa's best IMO.
     
  8. bbaraque

    bbaraque Active Member

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    First post folks (couldn't resist contributing to an Asian cinema thread).

    WKW = awesome. Agreed. Although I think Happy Together is the pinnacle of that quick-cut, step-motion style he employed in the 90s (the Buenos Aires Zero Degrees doc makes the film that much better). If you watch the others, you have to watch Chungking Express before Fallen Angels (originally the third story of CKE and thus, related) and In the Mood for Love before 2046 (sequel, kind of).

    Favorite Takeshi Kitano flicks are Hana-Bi and Dolls.

    Haven't seen Shunji Iwai mentioned in the thread yet. Love Letter was the biggest grossing film in Japan/Korea at the time and is a total tearjerker while still being quite decent. All About Lily Chou-chou was decent as well.

    Didn't see Zhang Yimou's Happy Times either.

    Agreed on Tony Takitani, Failan. And if you liked Tony Takitani, read the short story by Haruki Murakami. I'm not sure if I've seen a story carried to screen so seamlessly and executed so well before. It's amazing. Then read Murakami's short "All God's Children Can Dance" and watch the corresponding adaptation. Awful.

    Seven Samurai is the shorted 3-hour movie you can watch. I love Ozu's Tokyo Story but prefer Ohayo (Good Morning).
     
  9. zoorado

    zoorado Senior member

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    I revisited the Stephen Chow anthology in the past week. His films were an integral part of my childhood. I found them funny, and I find them funnier now. Probably cos I couldn't catch the vulgar / mature jokes when I was young. Chow + Wong Jing = Brilliance. Their use of puns as a source of humour is incredible.

    Later Chow isn't that funny, but Shaolin Soccer is still the most entertaining PG-rated comedy from HK, and King of Comedy the most affecting.
     
  10. Johnny Amiga

    Johnny Amiga Senior member

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    Finally ended up ordering To's Vengeance. Anyone here seen it yet?
     
  11. grandmasterv1

    grandmasterv1 Member

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    bump, any generalized recommendations?
     
  12. office drone

    office drone Senior member

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    A True Mob Story (1998). An HK triad movie starring Andy Lau, but with a more interesting premise than other typical films of this genre.
     
  13. grandmasterv1

    grandmasterv1 Member

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  14. alexanduh

    alexanduh Senior member

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    blood brothers is pretty good
     

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