Shinya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009)

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– from Variety-

“POWERED BY
A Tetsuo Group presentation of a Kaijyu Theater, Asmik Ace Entertainment production. (International sales: the Coproduction Office, Paris.) Produced by Shinichi Kawahara, Masayuki Tanishima.
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. Screenplay, Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki.

With: Erik Bossick, Akiko Monou, Shinya Tsukamoto, Stephen Sarrazin, Yuko Nakamura, Tiger Charlie Gerhardt.
(English dialogue)

Twenty years after making his breakout cult hit, “Tetsuo,” and 17 years after its sequel, “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,” multihyphenate filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto busts out the big guns again with “Tetsuo the Bullet Man.” Contempo-set pic doesn’t bring much new to the half-man-half-machine concept, but with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a “Transformers” movie. Fans of the franchise will have this in their sights and show support, but crossover potential looks iffy. Continue reading

Shinya Tsukamoto – Akumu Tantei 2 aka Nightmare Detective 2 (2008)

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Yukie and two of her girlfriends are being haunted by the ghost of a classmate, they once heavily bullied. When the other two die under mysterious circumstances, Yukie sees only one chance for herself. With the help of the Nightmare Detective (Ryuhei Matsuda) she hopes to escape her hopeless situation.

From IMDB:
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2 surpasses it’s predecessor on almost all levels. For one thing, though the film has a slightly more poetic feel to it (as opposed to the dark and chaotic nature of the original), it’s laden with depression and grief, adding a foreboding atmosphere that grows stronger as the film progresses. While the first film had a more straightforward plot (albeit still following Tsukamoto’s puzzling logic at times), now the story features a well-balanced duality. When Kyoichi starts to learn more about the origin of Yukie’s nightmares, he discovers parallels with his own past which will eventually lead to more discoveries concerning the mystery of his own, cursed persona. Continue reading

Paul Schrader – Adam Resurrected (2008)

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Quote:
While the Holocaust is certainly a legitimate topic of inquiry for the committed filmmaker, most contemporary treatments of the Nazi camps betray their mission by allowing the viewer to feel altogether too comfortable as they take in the on-screen atrocities. Whether through the establishment of a mitigating historical distance, the adoption of standard genre tropes or the repetition of an established catalog of horrors, films like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and A Secret tend to overly familiarize the events of World War II, allowing the viewer to safely assimilate that conflict’s genocidal horrors. But whatever the flaws of Adam Resurrected, and despite the fact that no physical violence is perpetrated on screen, Paul Schrader never allows the viewer to get comfortably situated, relying on an absurdist central conceit and a rapidly shifting array of intellectual and moral concerns—whose superficial treatment unfortunately leads to a certain diffuseness in the work—to continually de-familiarize his subject. Continue reading

Anton Corbijn – Linear (2009)

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Quote:
“Late May 2008 – at a band meeting I was introduced to the new songs. The reason for letting me in so early on this sonically and lyrically different U2 record is that the band have this idea for me to make some kind of moving imagery to go with the record. The thinking is that as a lot of people buy music from the internet and are likely to hear this on a computer or mp3 player, their listening pleasure could be heightened by visuals. Instead of just seeing a pack shot of the record sleeve, or a still photograph of the band for 45 plus minutes, as is often the case now, why not have a moving image for the duration of the record? It is not essential to the record, you can either watch it or ignore it. Brilliant! As always, U2 are thinking ahead, not so much having one foot in tomorrow’s door, as having built the house to which that door is the entrance. Continue reading

Selim Demirdelen – Kavsak AKA The Crossing (2010)

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Guven works in an accounting company. He is well liked in the office. He is a hard-working man. He has a happy marriage and a daughter whom he loves more than his own life. At the end of an ordinary workday, Guven leaves the office and goes home. He enters his flat, undresses, washes his face, and sits on the couch in the living room. There is no one else in the flat. Guven’s family life is a huge lie… (Written by Selim Demirdelen) Continue reading

Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani – Chambre jaune (2002)

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The Giallo film reinvented as an experimental S&M-tinged fever dream, told through a combination of color-gelled cinematography and jump-cut photographs, infused with dark sensuality and perverse cruelty. The short films of the directors of Amer are technically rawer than that film, but they show what was to come in terms of themes based on giallo films and an abstract style, from the use of still frames like in Chris Marker’s La Jetee to harsh coloured lighting. They are worth seeing by themselves as a refining of their ideas into a fantastic debut feature film. Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – Demain On Demenage aka Tomorrow We Move (2004)

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Director Chantal Akerman helmed this offbeat comedy about a mother and daughter who find themselves living together again for the first time in many years. Still reeling emotionally from the recent death of her husband, Catherine (Aurore Clément) has chosen to leave her old home and move in with her grown daughter, Charlotte (Sylvie Testud). While Charlotte is sympathetic, she’s something less than enthusiastic; her mother’s mood swings and the clutter of her collected belongings are cramping her home and her style, and when Catherine decides to revive her career as a piano teacher, the constant parade of youngsters bludgeoning the keyboard makes it all but impossible for Charlotte to complete her latest writing project. Catherine and Charlotte decide to look for more spacious living quarters, while Charlotte is also in search of her own office space. As a steady stream of prospective tenants check out their home, Charlotte makes friends with a pregnant woman looking for a new flat (Natacha Régnier), while her search for a space of her own brings Charlotte a relationship with a like-minded realtor (Jean-Pierre Marielle) and an unlikely collaborator in Michelle (Elsa Zylberstein), a poet who enjoys tinkering with Charlotte’s prose. Continue reading