Wednesday, July 28, 2010
of the three films that make up 'tokyo!' my favourite is easily the michel gondry 'interior design'- a film about the insane density of the city and the lives of two recent migrant sharing the home of a friend. while he finds a job and adulation for his experimental films, she gradually turns into a furniture (literally). with his trademark whimsy and special effects the films worked for me because ti did not try and overstate a profound point about the city. the other two films ended up being 'city films' in the most traditional sense- each presenting a fictional 'tokyo' distorting the current city into something else. in merde! a creature from below the sewers emerges and randomly murders innocent bystanders before descending into an underground littered with fragments of past wars. when he is finally caught and brought to the court, he becomes some sort of a celbrity raking up inherent racist stereotypes. its all a thinly veiled allegory about the east and the west, terrorism and xenophobia. the last of the three films concerns a man who ahs spent 10 years living alone as a recluse, living off the phone. when he finally overcomes his fear of the outside to connect to a pizza delivery woman he realises that the whole city has retreated into private perfections. they only emerge when the earth shakes and then retreat into their private domains immediately.
'ninja scroll' had an outline of a story concerning some devils and a ship full of gold. a swashbuckling hero and heroine whose kisses are poison rush in to save the day with ultra-violence in the most stylised form. bodies are sliced into pieces as blood spurts out in rivers and fountains. great fun- as was 'city on fire'- an old fashioned hong kong action film- before wang war-wai moistened our gaze. a 'white heat' of sorts- an undercover cop (chow yun fat ; fabulous) goes undercover to catch a bunch of jewellery robbers and ends up making friends with one of them.
Friday, July 23, 2010
is the fact that in pedro almodovar's newest film the only sustained relationship is the most conventional a little odd coming from the man who made 'all about my mother' with its crazy gender and sexuality twisting of all stereotypes? the blind writer and his son (illegitimate though he might be) along with the woman who fathered him walk on the beach as an idyllic family after old rich men and their mistresses have been disposed off. so unlike 'live flesh' made in 1997 where a boy is born on a bus of madrid and ends up imprisoned for an attempted murder and for crippling a policeman. when he is released and wants revenge he ends up getting it by replacing the cripple in the life of the woman he loves. nowhere as brilliant as 'all about my mother' or even 'women on the verge..' but still watchable enough.
having grown up learning to sing 'ae malik tere bande hum' at every family function it was certain that 'do aankhen barah haath' was going to give me goosepimples occasionaly, but i must admit ot being somewhat distrubed by the strange paternalistic prison where shantarams eyes form the walls. from the first scene where his eyes watch over the blood stained hands of the prisoners to the end when they are floating on the sky; this kind of surveillance through the conscience is scary especially when it concerns sacrificing your own family and friends at the altar of the unseen deity. the prisoners seem to willingly submit to this. no rebellion is possible.