The Blade is a whirlwind of blood, color and stunning imagery. Rarely does one find an action movie so uncompromising and technically evolved as this offering from Hong Kong’s prolific director/producer giant Tsui Hark. Based on the “classic” kung-fu film The One-Armed Swordsman, The Blade tells the story of a young man adopted by the owner of a renowned sword smithy, who discovers that his true father was killed by an almost superstitiously powerful bandit, Lung “who it is said can fly!”. When he goes out seeking revenge with his father’s broken blade, he runs afoul of a group of vicious desert scum, and loses his right arm in the encounter. After being nursed back to health by an orphaned farmboy, he eventually learns to compensate for his loss, and with half a weapon, half a swordfighting manual, and one arm short of a pair, returns to confront the man who murdered his father. Continue reading
For passion, betrayal and murder… there’s still no place like home.
Michael Chambers returns home to celebrate his mother’s marriage. Michael had been ousted from his home town due to his gambling indiscretions and had left his wife to deal with the mess he created. He now must reassimulate back into the town, renew his relationships with his family and friends (and enemies) and, most-of-all, seek out his ex-wife to woo her again. In the process, he obtains a job working with his mother’s new husband as an armored car driver. He almost seems the perfect prodigal son as he finds his niche back in the community and his way back into his ex’s heart. His troubles surmount when he and his wife are caught in the act by her hoodlum boyfriend/fiancée. To get out of this predicament, Michael must concoct a plan to heist of a payroll being carried by his armored car company. Continue reading
Begins a week of LATE SHOW’s looking at the future. This programme argues that the 21st century is going to be just like the 14th. For example Alan Minc has argued that there will be no political order at all and areas of countries will be outside state control, run by crime syndicates the modern equivalents of medieval robber barons.
Pure dystopic/apocalyptic 90s mentality. Chaos, drugs, AIDS, Ebola, unifying theories in physics, internet, computer graphics, PC games, early GUIs etc etc and parallels drawn between the world to come and middle ages. Continue reading
From the pen of famed Hungarian novelist Peter Eszterhazy comes this erotic tale of passion and betrayal. Lili, a young gypsy girl, falls madly in love with a dashing salesman who introduces her to life’s sensual pleasures. When Lili discovers he is engaged to another, her life begins to spiral downward into unending sexual liaisons and an unsatisfying marriage. Eszterhazy wrote the novel under the pseudonym Lili Csokonai–the main character–so the story unfolds through her eyes, like an autobiography. The film’s complex weaving of flashbacks and memories perfectly captures Lili’s haunted perspective on her life as does Tibor Mathe’s beautiful cinematography. Continue reading
A really wonderful and visceral pseudo-documentary with a distinctly Japanese twist. The film follows a boyfriend/girlfriend duo
through a tumultuous period in their lives: the boy is an underachieving actor who wants to sleep all day, the girl is a depressed
shop assistant. The film does a wonderful job of painting deep and complex characters without making anything too overstated. The
characters barely talk to each other about their deteriorating mental states, instead talking to an unseen narrator about what they
hint at with their actions. The whole fly-on-the-wall approach gives the movie an underlying tone of profound alienation and shows
rather than tells the audience the negative consequences of the emotionally repression that’s unfortunately so common in Japan.
Viewers without firsthand experience of Japan might find something lacking, but everyone I know who’s lived in Japan has thought
the characterizations were eeriely accurate. Definitely worth the effort to track down. Continue reading
In this short film on the life and work of the 12th century saint-poet, Mahadevi Akka, her radical poems, written with the female body as a metaphor, have been composed and picturised in contemporary musical language. Mahadevi, framed as Akka – elder sister, while leaving the domestic arena in search of God also abondoned modesty and clothing. The film explores the meaning of this denial through the work of contemporary artists and writers and testimonies of ordinary folk who nurtured her image through centuries in their folklore and oral literature. A celebration of rebellion, feminity and legacy down nine hundred years. Continue reading
Laurence Kardish, Sundance Film Festival wrote: “Edge and emotionally complex, Black & White is a very unusual film… [It] is a nocturnal love story suffused with the melancholy and anxiety of not belonging, and full of the sad understanding of what it means to be a stranger.” Continue reading