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 | Category: film
entry May 29 2009, 12:38 AM

it may be difficult to understand the mechanics of the film without a synopsis one can be found here

one thing i always like is when the opening credits really set the stage for a film. the opening credits for irreversible certainly does that. it starts with the end credits, copyrights etc, and goes backward, words and letters backwards, practically illegible inspite of the bold typeface. just like the film, those credits slide out of control, angling, curving to the left before ending up horizontal. just like the camera work. the cinematography is something elsem and very complex. it's construction is much like the work of julian temple-- who did the film young americans and the janet jackson video, when i think of you. the editing is made invisible, so it looks like one continuous shot. from the first scene we are disoriented, the camera swoops, swirls, shows us things that make no sense. we see people upside down, flipping as if going down a drain. what's more it's progression going from dizzy making at the start, or end of the night to the conventional camera movement of the end/beginning of the story almost makes this a case for a decent into hell. as things spiral further out of control, the camera does more acrobatics, and when the two male characters draw closer to the club that will seal their fate, the camera likes to slide to one side-- and extreme dutch angle, as if they were walking down a steep inline. into the gates-- or rectum (the name of a club) of hell.

i'd been dreading watching irreversable-- the film is infamous for it's single take rape scene, but that is certainly not the most violent part of the film. although it comes pretty close. what's worse, when the violence gets really intense, the camera finally snaps into focus, as if that's what the viewer was waiting for. trust me, long before the rape scene, one is very tired of violence. not to mention any kind of sex-- the opening scene is related only in that it connects to the themes of violation, sex, and guilt, has two men talking, rather blandly about how one man raped his daughter(a bit of intertexuality here. he's a character-- and actor-- from another gaspar noe film, i stand alone, who has only the apt name, "the butcher."*), and now he can't forget it, while the other one jokingly tries to comfort him, saying "there are no bad or good acts, just acts." what follows, makes it hard to agree with him. but it does set up the sort of "play" that director noe is inflicting on the audience: balancing fatalism against memory. the strange thing is that irreversable's structure-- we see the whole thing backwards, like memento, each scene leading taking us back in time-- strangely blunts the violence. if that sounds like a cop out, i don't think that it is....exactly. instead of showing the scenes over and over visually, in playing the scenes backward, the viewer is forced to play the violence over in their head. if you've seen quinton tarantino's death proof, he did something similar, if more literal, (and a bit more sickening, if you ask me) in the first 1/3 of his film, showing the violence over and over and over, until it becomes unwatchable. unfortunately (or fortunately for the viewer), trying to keep up with the chronology can be a distraction, although something replaces the visceral immediacy of the violence once it's off screen: a fatalistic dread. this is where that playing the scenes over in your head comes in and bites you on the ass. as we pull away from the violence earlier in the film an arm broken, and a man's face smashed in (literally and quite graphically) by the blunt end of a fire extinguisher and towards the violence of the rape scene, violence upon violence piles up. it is only after that scene that we get some respite. i say some because, once we've arrived at the safety of "before" we start to see foreshadowing of the events that will conclude and destroy what was supposed to be a beautiful, happy evening. we see how all of the players played their parts, culminating in the trainwreck of destruction.

that fatalism, while it worked in memento as a device to ratchet up the tension in a noir mystery, in irreversable, it ends up relieving any of the characters-- including the rapist-- of any responsiblity. the whole thing was preordained, as the man in the room says, there are "just acts." one of the themes is that "time destroys everything" a phrase flashed at the end of the movie, and taken from a book mentioned by alex (played by bellucci). i can see how that might justify the backward sequencing, but it puts the emphasis on cause and effect, rather than choice, a strange way to go about making a film that has rape in it. is alex's rape the result of her sexuality and her display at the party or just a combined series of events? is it her independence for leaving the party without her asshole boyfriend, or just because she was at the wrong place at the wrong time? cause and effect in film implies that there is no choice in film, that the people populating the screen have no more choice that figures that zoom in and out of a cuckoo clock. yet, alex says, the woman always chooses. but then says everything is preordained. perhaps it's just my moralizing but in a film with such violence, it seems strange that the director seems to simply shrug. usually in a film on the subject of film violence, the viewer is solidly implicated. that holds true here, although i a strange, muted way. played forward, it would be hard not to be drawn to alex/monica belucci's sexuality, and that is the usual trap. the audience is drawn in by her beauty and seeing her objectified, and then the director springs the trap. it worked for hitchcock, and many other directors exploring this theme. noe, however does things strangely. we see alex briefly, in a classic horror film manner, shot from behind. a visual that implies vulnerability, the camera is practically stalking her. the voyerism/objectifying that implicates the viewer occurs after the rape filmicly; the viewer is rather dared to think of her as a sex object, although, technically, she's little else by that time in the film. she's barely been mentioned up until that point, and she isn't, as a character, fleshed out until we are well before the rape. infact, noe seems to make a point of her being a cypher the closer she gets to being raped. perhaps that is one of his points-- sex for men is objectification. none of the men seem capable of anything sexually without the objectification of the other. this is not a simple male/female equation, for noe, i should add. there is a subtext of brutish masculinity running thru the film, the men constantly question each other's sexuality, and variations on "faggot" are constantly hurled. the second scene in the movie takes place in a gay bar called the "rectum," where we see all manner of sex acts taking place, one man even asking to be fisted; the rectum is frequented by the rapist, aka le tenia (the tapeworm) is also a pimp, who beats his transexual prostitute, insists on raping belucci in the ass, and saying she has a "tight faggot ass"; a transvestite the men (alex's ex and current bf, pierre and marcus) meet while looking for the rectum insists he's not a faggot; the two pimps trying to get the men to help them find le tenia, finally convince pierre and marcus after insulting thier masculinity; and marcus (who mirrors le tenia in some ways); tells alex he wants anal sex. in noe's world, it seems, men are easily manipulated, will do anything to hold on to what little masculinity they have left.


i'm still mulling over irreversable. like inside it's one of those films that i love-- ones that require you to chew on for a while, that need a bit of wool gathering in order to pull apart. the more i do, however, the more i really admire/ respect what noe was trying-- and i think largely succeeds in doing. it is of course a film that is hard to digest-- it has the most notorious rape scene in film, and there is no mediation (cuts etc.) between it and the viewer. we are made to suffer thru it with alex, the female lead. but pulling back, the structure shows us something much more profound. if we take it that irreversable (film wise) starts-- in hell, having arrived there thru the "rectum" the club of brutality, a club of death, where everything, metaphorically turns to shit, a specifically male space, an exclusively evil, with a character from another film, one noe calls the most hateful, evil, self loathing, spiteful human being that ever lived, and then "count backwards", we end up, at the chronological start-- eden. with alex untouched, perhaps as a child, playing in the sprinklers, a specifically idyllic, female place, a place of life, and birth, having arrived via the home, a somewhat female space, indicated by the rather ham handed shot of a 2001 poster.

i should rewind. the auteur theory posits that with a film master, the films are solely her/his vision, their obsessions, granted, most films are too big for that to be literally true, but they are the person in charge, and if we are talking about an auteur, not simply a director, then this is certainly true. behind that theory is that for the purposes of story telling, that person, the director is god/dess, ruler and controller of the world/universe or all that he sees, and thru their control, we glean their message, or their world view.

now, keeping in mind, noe's subtitle for irreversable is, "time destroys all things," and if the metaphor is an allegorical look at human progress using the human body, which is more than plausable, thanks to "the rectum," the tunnel and our friend, the tape worm, la tenia, then what noe does in showing everything backward is not the act of vomiting up the bile he shows us, but rather, undigesting it. taking the proverbial bite of the apple and piece by piece restoring it, rendering the apple-- and the body, at least in his universe, whole. more than that, however, it is a rejection of maleness, and male violence. brutality for brutality's sake is found on the male half of the film. the center of the film is the rape, a metaphor of corruption, to be sure, but it is after this, the energy or world spins out of control, if we head cronologically, and the narrative decisively switches from the mostly female centered alex, to the masculine animal pack of the pimps, pierre, marcus. the tapeworm and the roman quorum/bathhouse of the fire extinguisher scene in the rectum. shown filmically, the tunnel is, as i have mentioned, where alex is reduced to object, to the point that she disappears from the film. it is only when we return backward chronologically, that her humanity, her complexity is restored, and she centers the film.

contrast that to the way it would have appeared had the movie been shown chronologically, she would have slowly been stripped of that humanity, reduced to voyeuristic object of desire. alex -- women--represent hope, joy, kindness and love in the film, and when she is 'snuffed' the same happens to the film. it is rather obvious with the rape being center, that this film is concerned with the corruption of women, but aside from the rape, noe shows us the corruption in other ways, the closer we get to that center, the more corrupt the women become too, going from alex's friend who is pregnant and very sweet, on to the women who dance with alex, to the coke sniffing drugged up women, to finally the prostitutes marcus toys with, to the one that tells alex, the tunnel is safer. once in the tunnel, there is a transference (pun intended) the woman le tenia is harassing symbolizes, that filmic shift i talked about earlier-- she is, as we found out earlier (chronologically backwards) that she is not just a prostitute, but a transexual. both male and female, but she falls on corrupt side of the story line, although she is still sympathetic, she too is a victim of male energy/hate, along with the other women on the corrupt side, but eventually, they too will disappear, and all that is left is male rage. here, the corruption is almost a cain and abel parallel, with pierre's jealousy of the "ape" marcus (and of course there is the 2001 reference again too, natch). so it makes sense that he bludgeons the man he thinks harmed alex, much to the pleasure of the other apes/men.

other notes: the boards on imdb are pretty repulsive, with lots of trolls (with names like pederasty) saying really fucked up things, but-- there is a very interesting post of someone who found steven hawking's take on the film, which falls in line with my take on it, using the auteur theory. [/color]

 | Category: film
entry Jul 21 2008, 01:32 PM
so below is my take on the new batman movie, the dark knight. it contains no spoilers, and that brings me to the subject of this here para: why movie reviewers SUCK. it's not like they have to, i mean, i say they suck having been a film reviewer. i've written for all the major free papers in my burg, and well, film reviewers suck. but i should be clear. i don't only mean the majority of the ones who get paid to write about movies, i mean the movie bloggers too. yes, you. you really suck. but before you throw your rotten tomatoes (ha, ha) at me, let me give you a backhanded complement: you suck entirely no more or no less than most of the assholes in the paper. the problem with most reviewers nowadays (particularly the tv ones) is that they do nothing to illuminate their audiences understanding of what they watch. too often it's boiled down to talking about fucking weekend grosses, or a really shitty synopsis. another point is, they don't bother to learn about movies. seeing copious amounts of movies does not a film reviewer make.

that is all.


as for the dark night, i liked it, but i had some problems with it.

for me dc characters really need to be in that kind of mythic borderland between reality and fantasy. otherwise they don't quite hold up. the bm begins, was a bit stronger because it still stayed in that shadowland, yes, it was a more realistic batman, what with his batmobile, but it was still in an architecturally gothic landscape, and the scarecrow's explanation/psychotropics seemed to add even more unreality to things, think of the shots of batman on the horse, eyes blazing... the batman still inhabited a land of almost eternal darkness, and set against that, he loomed even larger. putting him in a real life chicago even still labeled Gotham, the quintessential Gothic city, batman can't help but look diminished.

if you watch any douglas sirk movies, he does something interesting-- his people are soap opera stock, like comics, usually well off, living in mansions, and they are normally-- in any other film or tv show-- shown in a way that makes them larger than life. but sirk did the exact opposite-- he put them in these mansions, but they seemed swallowed whole by them. they were not, the exact size of life, they were, smaller. the rooms were, like those in orson wells used in kane's san simeon, huge, cavernous, and the people in these cases, flailed, barely treading water. i don't think it was intentional, but i think for me that is what happened in this dark night.

now, i am certainly not saying i didn't enjoy it, but put in this real space, separated from his mythic status, the political questions raised in the film-- terrorism, privacy rights, vigilantism, torture, rendition -- are all the more troubling. granted we are talking about batman, a ubervigilante if there ever was one (eat your heart out bernard getz), but the dark knight tries to have it both ways, it is, (pardon the pun) two-faced, about it. it explicitly seems to be saying it's ok this once, but does things that seem to condone the patriot act. there are comments made that would lead you to believe that the joker is our stand in for bush, but then the vigilante that batman represents is the embodiment of the USA post 9/11.

like my sig used to say, on the whole it could have been crunchier, meatier, like bacon. at least in terms of it's message.

while people talk about how the dark knight is very dark, i can't help but comment about the joker's smile/scar it's actually a reference to a japanese film, ichi the killer you can see the references in ichi's movie poster here. i think i've posted in here about ichi before, and i never take moralistic stands on films (political stands, yes, moral stands, never), but ichi is the exception. it is by far the most brutal, depraved, fucked up, sadistic movie i hope to never see again. it's not the direction, i've seen and liked quite a few of takashi miike's films. this, was a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

so, i know nobody replies to these questions when i ask, but i do so love talking about film (and i seem to be on a writing tear). i was talking with one of my favorite film folks about jack nicholson films, (spurred on by a coffee shop quiz), and we started talking about our fave jn films. so i'm curious which films busties like.

my all time fave is the last detail, his chinatown.

and if i haven't recommended the pledge (in a year or two), i still love it. it's a close to the bone, play-it-straight neo-noir. it does what all great noir films do. there is a scene in noir films where there is almost an 'unreality' to them, where they come unglued from the normal and symbolize all that the film is about. in the pledge it is when nicholson goes into a turkey farm. there is this great shot where he is talking to someone in a sea of turkeys walking around. i don't know if it translates to the small screen, but in the theatre there was a palpable feeling of vertigo. as if there was no solid place for these people to stand, and the world around them shifted. a great visual metaphor for all that goes on in the film. oh, and ps, it was directed by the fantastic sean penn.

 | Category: film
entry May 5 2007, 02:13 PM

addendum: it's been more than a week since viewing they shoot horses, don't they? and i have to say, it's only grown in my appreciation. it is the rare movie that i am interested in seeing more than once. they come around maybe once every 2 or 3 years. the thing that all movies that i want to see again have in common, is that they are always, very taut, tightly woven stories, they are the quintessentual "well made [movies]." there are no loose ends, often the first shot carries as much meaning as the last as to the film and the charecter's trajectories. the mise-en-scene is carefully chosen and shot to reinforce the story. these are films that are meant to be read, and re-read. the last few movies i have wanted to see again: tale of two sisters, oldboy, 3 iron, and memories of murder.

yesterday i watched a movie that i had been waiting to see for some time. it's a movie that always ends up having snippets in film studies classes or movies about movies or movies about movies in the 70's, like the brilliant, a decade under the influence which regularly shows on ifc. that movie is they shoot horses, don't they?"

part of the interest for me is the odd titlle, but as i've said, it was made in the 70's. in american film, the 70's were, are and odd age. gone is a lot of the optimism of the 40's 50's and 60's. they gave way, because of watergate, vietnam, and other things to a disillusionment, and cynicism. on top of that it was the end of the old studio system so there was a new wave of filmakers who were financed largely because the studio couldn't figure out what audiences liked. the result is a group of movies about the individual, so unique, so different, and many of them so great that they deserve to be studied. they shoot, is one of those films.

the essentual story of they shoot horses is that it is a look at two people who sign up for a dance marathon in atlantic city durring the depression. the two people are robert, a rather wide eyed kid who gets pulled into the "contest" on accident, and gloria (jane fonda) a cynical street wise girl who knows all the angles, but thinks this is her one shot to pull herself out of her misery. the other main charecter is rocky, the smiling mc of the contest who promises $1500 to the winner. what follows, like most 70's movies, is an examination of their complete loss of innocence and hope. if that sounds a little bleak, well it is. let me put it this way, the thread on the top of the imdb site for they shoot horses as a threat titled: "your top 10 depressing movies". they shoot horses, is that.

here is a brief break, where i list some of my favorite depressing movies, in no particular order:

killer of sheep
they shoot horses, don't they?
life is sweet
last exit to brooklyn
house of sand and fog
requiem for a dream
bless the beasts and the children
a woman under the influence
in the mood for love
the passenger
cool hand luke
cries and whispers
penny serenade
pulse (original kirosawa version)
Abre los ojos (open your eyes)
benny's video
memories of murder
samarian girl
boys don't cry
mie vie en rose (my life in pink)
dog day afternoon

at this point, i should confess, i have always prefered depressing movies. there is something about them that makes me think i'm being told the truth warts and all. i have never had much of an appitite for saccarine, so depressing is quite alright with me.

they shoot horses is a very strange movie. not in terms of it's telling, it's all in flash back, and it's naturalistic almost to a fault. no, what makes it odd is it's sparseness. save the last scene, there is nothing is unbelievably, spare: there is only one location, more or less, there is almost no back story on the people in it, the three main charecters are the exception, but even what we are given of them is trimmed to the bone. no one in this movie really wants to talk, they are all facing the grimness of their lives with an attempt at stoicism. for the meat of the movie, we are shown the marathon floor with it's racetrack and stands, backstage with the mc and backstage with the contestants. there are a couple of different places at the begining, ending and flashbacks, but they hardly amount to much, no, this movie wants you to concentrate on this claustrophobic little sadistic dog and pony show, and nothing else. by the end of the movie, one is so worn down, the end, which is no suprize really comes as much of a relief as it does to the two leads.

now that i've totally scared you off of the movie, i have to tell you, i loved it. i absolutely loved it. it was completely worth the wait of the umpteen years it's taken me to get around to seeing it. this, is what i love in a movie. not just the depressing aspect, but that it is so focused, so well made. nothing is in the movie unless it has reason to be. each event, the lines, the scenes, all of it. and the way it's shot, it seems so matter of fact, even though i know they had to produce special techniques to shoot the derby scenes, they fade in. the women's eyes, in they shoot horses, seem so loaded with misery, that they haunt. there is one scene with a woman in a shower, and her eyes well up in a way that is like a punch in the stomach. it's so effecting, and when i look back at it i am almost stupified as to how. but the secret here, is that they shoot horses is self reflexive-- it is about more than just this little "contest". it is about people in the movie theatre as well as in the stands at the marathon, it is, at it's heart it is an endictment of capitolism's failings in the depression era AND the 70's, and now. it is about having the deck stacked against you. one thing that has occured to me, in the last hour thinking about the film,(and this movie is one that gets better in hindsight the more you think about it), is that they shoot horses is neo-noir in the best 70's sense. a fantastic film, and one that i would consider one of my favorites.

below are snippets of my comments from imdb's they shoot horses, don't they? board. i post under the name, "it's poop!" my exclaimation when a movie is less than good. there is a bit of over lap can read the comments in context there, or use them here to think about the film, to tell me your take on the movie or whatever, in the comments (i love a good film debate, especially when i am wrong) ..............or you can ignore them.


Q:why is gloria such a bitch?
i think i have to disagree with this idea of gloria being a bitch. she is the embodyment of people who have been so beaten down, the bite everyone. it's like that abused dog that turns on his master. she and rocky have been down this road before. they know each other, and every one of her snide comments is a growl warning others. when the dress gets stolen like most people i thought gloria might have done it, but it was rocky, who is the real villan in the piece-- the smiling facade of a sadistic system. it is no accident that he was a former faith healer's shill. and as it says he comes from a family of them, but back to the point-- the shill is the one who restores people's faith, returns their belief in something, but it is all a lie.

Q:why is robert so simple?
robert is the stand in for the audience in a lot of ways, innocent, but not easily led. when he talks about the brain tumor movie, it is gloria's cynical take on it that says it was, even in her words "probably" wrong. not proof of robert being simple. and when asked a second time about the marrage idea, he again protested. the point was that you had these two charecters-- one, gloria, cynical, streetwise, bitter and knowing all the angles (she had done these things before which is why the old lady was a fan), and the other rob't. who really didn't know about the marathon, but thru events (the death of the sailor, the dress), comes to know about them. both of these people-- polar opposites lose their optimism thru this horrible "contest." remember, at the end of the film, it's not gloria who starts with the depressed talk, he does. out on the pier, there is the shot of the ocean, and he starts talking about how he used to love the ocean, now he doesn't care. it's no accident this scene takes place at night-- remember the scene where rob't dances alone in the sunlight? or the one where he wants to watch the sunset? the movie charts his (and her),loss of innocence. i don't think that his last words, "they shoot horses, don't they?" was made to make him a simpleton either. to me it meant, "it was the least i could do." it struck me as a rather sophisticated understanding of his and gloria's situation-- it meant when someone is in such misery it's nothing but cruelty to leave them like that. even a horse gets put out of his misery. it's the sort of thing that was eluded to earlier in the film, and they are constantly refered to as animals in different ways, like when gloria sarcastically remarks before the wedding idea, "what's next? put us in cages and have them throw peanuts at us?

Q:what did rocky show gloria that got her so upset?
while the amount is NOT revealed to us, we can only go by her reaction, which, for someone who has dragged a deadman across a finishline and suffered for more than 45 days, is to see that it is all a scam. it seems she knows that her prize --if she won-- is zilch. the deck is stacked against her. it's like those people who bought things from the company store on credit-- sooner or later you find yourself an indentured servant, and working not for money but to pay an insurmoutable debt.

Q:why did gloria quit the contest?
it was a scam. the whole point of it was to put on a show. it's repeatedly refered to as such. when rob insists it's a contest, rocky sets him straight-- it's a show, and they are there to suffer, to give people something to believe in. rocky is, and always has been a sham artist-- think about it-- in a movie where the charecters have so little backstory, why do we know more about rocky than almost anyone else? thru the whole movie, he lies, cons, and cheats, he seduces. for all intents and purposes he is the devil himself, he is the loaded gun out to kill both gloria and rob from the very begining-- remember how and why rob got in the contest? he was curious, but rocky pulled him in as a partner to gloria.

Q:why does gloria want to die?
editorially, it's as she says, it's the finale, the climax of the movie. and the movie tells you many times thru roberts flashbacks (a sort of coming attractions) she will end up dead. as for her motivation, the reason she decides she wants to die is that she (and robert) have lost all hope. this was the one thing she thought she could do, and thru the whole movie she is cynical about everything but winning-- until-- the mc tells her even if she wins she gets nothing. the tab she will have acrued, it's implied, will eat up all her prize money. think about it, the mc tells her that the "kids" take up a lot of expenses, but the only people who have to pay for the expenses are the winners? what kind of sense does that make, if he's trying to make back his costs? here was the one thing that gloria thought she could do, and she finds the deck is stacked against her. she is cynical to a fault but this one ray of sunshine is taken away. she has nothing left.

Q:why don't we find out who won the contest?
one reason is that it was told in flashback by robert, and he was in jail/dead by the time the contest ended, but editorially,
anyone who wanted to see who won even for a second (myself included), fell for the trap in the film-- falling prey to the spectacle, wanting to see more of the awful suffering of those poor charecters. the sadistic show wasn't for the people in the stands of the movie, but rather for the audience WATCHING THE MOVIE. but more than that, not knowing serves the purpose of pointing out in this contest, there are no winners.

Q:what makes you think this is a neo-noir film?
well, it has all the componants of one:it's fatalistic, there is no escape for most of the charecters. they end up dead/having a nervous break down; it shows some sort of descent into darkness/immorality, it's claustrophobic, ends with a death, has the main charecter having some sort of visualization/mental break down (the horse/gloria shooting), and its told in flashback.

Q:ok, smart ass, if that was a neo-noir (and i'm not saying it was), who is the femme fatale?
not that all noir have them, but it's gloria. she seduces robert into being in the contest, and certianly fits the street wise architype.

 | Category: film
entry Apr 23 2007, 09:45 PM
mood: laugh.gif
there are two things i'm obsessed with, film and gendertheory. ok, that's not exactly true, but i don't feel like waxing on about how much i love big calves and legs right now. i want to talk about film. since i started welding school i haven't watched many movies. which is odd. i'm always seeing something, usually it takes me a while to get to anything new unless it's asian, then or i can sneak into it, which would explain why i haven't seen donnie darko, i've got a slate of teen angsty movies which i started yesterday with the covenant, which was not-so-good but i can't resist horror, especially vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. today's list looks pretty alt. i've got dd, like i said, mysterious skin, chumscrubber, thumbsucker, and breakfast on pluto. but as i said, i favor asian films and i have been dying to see, charisma, and i have 2 coppies of-- one from the library, the other from netflix. the public library here is awesome and almost any movie i can find on netflix, i can get from them, so i'll probably cancel n.f. i've seen almost every movie by kiyoshi kurosawa, except this one. he used to be one of my favorite directors till joon bong-ho (the host, memories of murder, barking dogs never bite.) pushed him off the top. some of kurosawa's best films are: cure, bright future, pulse, and seance i'd recommend each very highly, but you have to know his films, he makes strange films, charisma, as an egsample, is described as an existentialist eco-thriller/fable. bright future made me cry, although some people think it a bit too poetic and oblique, and cure is one of the strangest serial killer movies, a genre that i think is way past it's expiration date: anything after se7en is a retread-- except cure. it's about a detective trying to hunt down a serial killer who hypnotizes people to kill for him, never knowing the person slain, and having only briefly met the victim who kills. along the way the detective may be falling under the killer's spell. it also has a very subtle end.... great movie, and seance will remind most people of the ring,(haunting by a wet asian girl), athough i think it came out around the same time, it's chills are much more subtle. it's best seen on the big screen. you miss too much on dvd.

sooner or later i should post my list of asian extreme films i adore, but i actually meant to hop on here and talk about the best black films, just for cos. i think it's mostly because #1 is in release right now. i've written about it a couple of times in the lounge. anyways here is the list, i should mention it is just off the top of my head. i might elaborate more later.

1)killer of sheep
2)black is, black ain't.
3)devil in the blue dress
4)sweet sweetback's badass song
5)do the right thing
6)cooley high
7)boys in the hood
8)stormy weather
9)daughters of the dust
10)a soldier's story

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sk8 boarding with a long board,
skateboard drifting
street art/stickers/graff/stencils
thriftin' and liftin'
asian cinema- particularlly korean films, movies from the 60's + 70's, screwball comedies of the 30s-40's, german expresionist film, horror and film noir, neo-noir, sci-fi particularly dystopias, self-reflexive film. film theory.
almost any genre of musics, particularly soul, r&b, jazz, blues, old, new and true school hip-hop, jump blues, jazz vocals, "incredibly strange music", "golden throats", odd covers, asian underground, cock rock, hair metal, j and k pop and hop, the "countrypolian" sound, rockabilly, surf, soundtracks and theme songs, swing, big band, lounge, tradional ez listening, bossa-nova, international pop.
subcultural histories. asian subcultures, american subcultures, historical tangents, politics,
gender theory, queer theory,
feminism, feminist theory, feminist film theory,
transgendered issues.

and welding! yay for OAW!!!!

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