1991-2000

Patrick Leung – Sip si 32 dou aka Beyond Hypothermia (1996)

Synopsis/Review:
In the ’80s and early ’90s, Hong Kong’s star-rich cinema was one of the most fascinating, fully evolved of national cinemas. Orgiastic violence and radical shifts from humor to romance to tragedy coexisted easily with themes of loyalty and humility in narratively rich films. Drawing equally from western and eastern models, these works spanned every genre, from classic ghost stories (Mr. Vampire) and historical epics (Once Upon a Time in China) to low-brow comedies (Wheels on Meals) and blood-drenched gangster movies (practically anything by Woo or Ringo Lam). Read More »

Nobuhiko Obayashi – Futari aka Chizuko’s Younger Sister (1991)

Quote:
Futari (Two of Us) is about two sisters, one of them the perfect child, the other clumsy and slow. One day, the perfect sister dies, and comes back as a ghost to guide her little sister.

I’m not into old movies, but I’ve been told by a friend that this movie was the “ultimate seishun (coming-of-age) movie” and the overwhelmingly high user ratings at Japanese sites stirred my curiosity.

The movie had a lengthy runtime of over 150 minutes, but it kept me on the edge of my seat. The story and characters developed very well throughout the movie, with many memorable scenes. Read More »

Stephen Dwoskin – Trying to Kiss the Moon (1994)

This autobiographical film evolves from the perspective of events and images over a period of over 50 years. Read More »

Zelimir Zilnik – Tito po drugi put medju srbima AKA Tito Among the Serbs for the Second Time (1993)

Synopsis:
A man dressed in Marshal Tito’s uniform appears and, instantly, groups of people flock around him. In this film, Žilnik brings the former Yugoslav leader back to the streets of Belgrade to see how his people are now living without him. Tito’s double wanders around the city and procures remarkable reactions as people come up to speak to him, feeling the need to articulate their destinies to him. Žilnik collects statements from a cross-section of Yugoslav society, revealing its attitudes toward the past and the current government. Read More »

Shimako Sato – Eko Eko Azaraku aka Eko Eko Azarak: Wizard of Darkness (1995)

Quote:
Misa Kuroi is an adorable high-school girl who arrives at her new school when it is falling under an evil supernatural force. Trying to figure out who’s behind the supernatural attack, Misa also has to deal with assumptions by her fellow classmates that believe she is the one behind it all. Misa and twelve other students are kept late after school hours one day to retake an exam. Then, after sunset, the entire school is deserted, and the students find themselves trapped inside and their teacher no where to be found. One by one, the thirteen students are picked up and disposed of in horrific and graphic fashion. It is up to Misa to try and gain the trust of her fellow students so that she can protect them and stop the evil before it’s too late. Read More »

Roman Polanski – Death and the Maiden (1994)

Quote:
In a remote beach house on a cliff, a woman (Sigourney Weaver) rewards the doctor (Ben Kingsley) who gave her lawyer husband (Stuart Wilson) a lift home on a stormy night by tying him to a chair, stuffing his mouth with her panties and holding a gun to his head. A twisted romantic triangle? You might have thought so from Mike Nichols’ lightweight 1992 production of Ariel Dorfman’s play with Glenn Close, Gene Hackman and Richard Dreyfuss. You won’t think so now. Director Roman Polanski restores the play to the pulsepounding political thriller it is. His electrifying film nearly jumps off the screen. Read More »

Peter Tscherkassky – Outer Space (1999)

A premonition of a horror film, lurking danger: A house – at night, slightly tilted in the camera’s view, eerily lit – surfaces from the pitch black, then sinks back into it again. A young woman begins to move slowly towards the building. She enters it. The film cuts crackle, the sound track grates, suppressed, smothered. Found footage from Hollywood forms the basis for the film. The figure who creeps through the images, who is thrown around by them and who attacks them is Barbara Hershey. Tscherkassky’s dramatic frame by frame re-cycling, re-copying and new exposure of the material, folds the images and the rooms into each other. Read More »