Thursday, November 20, 2008

DORAMA: REQ 80%: Last friends [Rasuto furenzu - 2008]

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Last Friends tackles issues that afflict the current generation. Michiru's mother has brought a man back to their home and she is bullied at her workplace where she works as a beauty parlor assistant. She starts cohabiting with her boyfriend, a good young man who works at the Child Welfare Division and the only person who can give her emotional support, but ends up the victim of domestic violence and becomes fearful of love. The boyishly charming Ruka was a classmate of Michiru's in junior high school. She has performed brilliantly as a motocross racer and aims to win the national championship, but as the story progresses, a deep worry that she can neither confide in her parents or close friends grows evident. Takeru is a hair and makeup artist acquainted with Ruka. He is a good confidant to females due to his kindness and perceptiveness, and finds himself attracted to Ruka but has a phobia of sex as a result of a past trauma. The three of them become house mates and through their associations with others, gain the capacity to be positive about life.

11 Episodes + special

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What we are expecting from 2009: Nobody to watch over me [Dare mo mamotte kurenai]

What we are expecting from 2009: Flugten

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Patti Smith - Dream of Life (2008)

dir. Steven Sebring

Equipped with a 16-millimeter camera, the fashion photographer Steven Sebring spent 11 years filming the punk rocker and poet Patti Smith. The result is not just an insightful and inspiring documentary, “Patti Smith: Dream of Life.” It is also 109 minutes of exquisite imagery. “I approached the film the way I do my photography — always looking for that one extraordinary moment,” said Mr. Sebring, who, for his efforts, won the documentary cinematography award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Now, a selection of those images has been made into a companion book, published by Rizzoli and available at the Film Forum. And a exhibition of Ms. Smith’s paintings, objects from the movie and oversize photographs shot by Mr. Sebring of her personal mementos (like her signature combat boots) is making its way around the world. In September, it will be at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, but for now, the limited-edition prints can be seen and bought on the film’s Web site,

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Festivalul Filmului Japonez

Festivalul Filmului Japonez revine la Bucuresti, dupa succesul inregistrat anul trecut, de data aceasta cu cateva productii moderne. Va aseptam sa le vizionati.
Organizatori: Ambasada Japoniei, Fundatia Japonia, Cinemateca Romana (ANF)
Perioada: Joi 5 decembrie-Vineri 11 decembrie 2008
Locul: Sala Jean Georgescu, Str. Eforiei Nr. 2, Bucuresti
Intrarea este libera, iar primele trei filme au si subtitrare in limba romana.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Linkeroever [2008] - dir. Pieter Van Hees

"Marie, a lonely introverted young woman, has dedicated her life to the pursuit of athletic excellence. When she suddenly collapses due to an infenction in her immune system, she is forced to rest. Now she starts realizing there are a lot of things she misses in her life.

Marie, whose parents are divorced, lives with her overprotective mother who increasingly gets on her nerves. Thus she very much welcomes the attention she gets from Bobby, a handsome archer she recently met and with whom she feels a strong connection.

Marie decides to temporarily move in with him in his flat on Left Bank (part of Antwerp). Their passionate relationship offers her a lot of comfort. Bobby has a strong rock and roll attitude and a zest for life. The more her mother thinks he resembles the impulsive pleasure seeker her ex-husband was, the more Marie is drawn to him. They are very happy together. That is until Marie discovers that the previous tenant of the flat, Hella, has mysteriously disappeared. She becomes obsessed with Hella's disappearance. When marie begins to suffer from headaches, nausea and insomnia, she starts believing that the place they live has a bad influence on her body.

Her obsessions create distance between her and Bobby, who believes she is just imagining things. Now Marie feels lonelier then ever. She begins to doyubt whether she can really trust Bobby. Life in Left Bank, once envisaged as a dream town, becomes an alienating nightmare."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What we are expecting from 2009: Thirst

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Director: Park Chan-Wook [The vengeance trilogy, I'm a cyborg but that's OK]

Beloved and devoted priest from a small town volunteers for a medical experiment which fails and turns him into a vampire. Physical and psychological changes lead to his affair with a wife of his childhood friend who is repressed and tired of her mundane life. The one-time priest falls deeper in despair and depravity. As things turns for worse, he struggles to maintain whats left of his humanity.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Iri [2007]

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Director: Zhang Lu [Chongqing, Desert Dream, Grain in ear]

In China a woman lives an impoverished life with her father who is far from helpful. In the crowded and busy streets of industrial city Chongqing, the story goes on showing those neglected people who have no hope or future. In Korea there had been an explosion 30 years ago at the I-ri station that no one seems to remember. Jinseo- who was born mentally disabled because of the accident and her brother lead a hard existence. The two stories are counterpoints to each other about hardship, struggle, and daily bravery.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crossing [Keurosing - 2008]

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South Korea's 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign-Language Film category.

The movie is based on a real story about the life of a North Korean defector and his family. Actor Cha In-pyo starred as a North Korean coal miner who crossed illegally into China to get medicine for his wife. His wife passed away soon after he crossed the border, and he was separated from his 11-year-old son (played by Shin Myung-chul) who was trying to trace him from North Korea. The story shares the hardship of North Korean refugees in the late 1990s, with famine striking the country and killed an estimated 1 million people. The North Koreans couldn’t cross into South Korea directly because of landmines and heavy military presence at the border… these defectors had to cross into China and made a detour to South Korea instead. The Chinese government, an ally of the North Korean regime, does not recognize the defectors as refugees and would send them back to North Korea to face stiff action.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

REC 80%: Laundry [2002]

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A young man named Teru, mentally altered by a childhood injury, runs a laundry and falls for Mizue, a lonely young woman with internal scars

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REC 90%: The Chaser [Chugyeogja - 2008]

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Few years ago Korean society was shocked by a horrible serial killer mayhem. Dozen of call-girls are disappeared and never returned when they visited unknown customer. The serial killer also murdered innocent old men and women on his loose. After caught of serial killer the revealed fact was beyond one's imagination. He killed girls with hammer, chisel and amputated the victims. Some of them were cannibalized. He mashed victim's liver with food processors and drank it. Now the serial killer is sentenced to death and his existence throw serious questions about execution of death sentenced prisoner to the Korean society. For ten years Korean government never executed prisoners and now UN approved Korea as a No Execution country.

This movie is a product of these social circumstance. Of course any modernized country can have notorious serial killers. But this is most brutal and abominable criminal act as reported to the public.

Another phenomena described in this movie are the inactive police act and ugly politician. Koreans are very disappointed at this and this movie is quite accurately visualized the situation.

[source: Jake Kong from Imdb]

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Caótica Ana (2007)

Chaotic Ana (Caótica Ana) (Director: Julio Medem)

"Caotica Ana is the story-journey of Ana during four years of her life, from 18 to 22. A countdown, 10, 9, 8, 7... until 0, like in hypnosis, through which Ana proves that she does not live alone, that her existence seems like a continuation of other lives of young women who died in a tragic way, all at the age of 22, and who live in the abyss of her unconscious memory. This is her chaos. Ana is the princess and the monster of this feminist fable against the tyranny of the white man." (source)

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