2001-2010

Hitoshi Matsumoto – Saya zamurai aka Scabbard Samurai (2010)

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Recently widowed samurai Kanjūrō (Nomi Takaaki) puts down his sword and abandons his master, with nine-year-old daughter Tae (Kumada Sea) in tow. Now wanted for desertion, Kanjūrō is captured by a rival lord (Kunimura Jun), who makes an unusual offer. Kanjūrō will be released if he can bring a grin to the lord’s son (Shimizu Shūma), who hasn’t smiled since his mother’s death. If Kanjūrō can’t succeed within thirty days, he must commit seppuku. With the help of his jailers — and some harsh reinforcement from his daughter — the humorless Kanjūrō devises comically desperate (or desperately comic) methods to save his skin and crack the son’s stony exterior. Though more sentimental than writer/director Matsumoto Hitoshi’s previous films (Big Man Japan, Symbol), Scabbard Samurai is unmistakably in the same spirit, with deadpan absurdism and bizarre stunts recalling the variety shows that made his name.) Read More »

Sang-soo Im – Baramnan Gajok AKA A Good Lawyer’s Wife (2003)

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Quote:
Bored, horny, and frustrated, a woman begins an affair with a teenage boy. Read More »

Jorge Coira – 18 comidas (2010)

A street musician meets the love of his life again; two drunk men have long drinks and seafood for breakfast; a man cooks, cooks and cooks for a woman that never shows up; two men love each other but they hide; a cooker dreams of being a singer; a young woman wants what a man does not give her while a waiter is dying for her; a Macedonian is lost in Santiago suffering the lack of love; an elderly couple who have already said everything to each other have breakfast, lunch and dinner in silence. All these stories meet in “18 meals” during a single day of fiction, a film of emotions served around a table, a journey along the feelings of the most universal of all fights: the search for happiness. Read More »

Byambasuren Davaa – Das Lied von den zwei Pferden AKA The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (2009)

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Summary
A promise, an old, destroyed horse head violin and a song believed lost lead the singer Urna back to Outer Mongolia. Her grandmother was forced to destroy her once loved violin in the tumult of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The ancient song of the Mongols, “The Two Horses of Genghis Khan”, was engraved on the violin’s neck. Only the violin’s neck and head survived the cultural storm. Now it is time to fulfill the promise that Urna made to her grandmother. Arrived in Ulan Bator, Urna brings the still intact parts of the violin – head and neck – to Hicheengui, a renowned maker of horse head violins, who will build a new body for the old instrument in the coming weeks. Then, Urna leaves for the interior to look there for the song’s missing verses. But she will be disappointed. None of the people whom she meets on the way appears to still know the old melody of the Mongols. Written by silke Read More »

Colin K. Gray – Freedom’s Fury (2006)

Freedom’s Fury is a documentary about the Hungarian water polo team of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the the effects of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution on the lives of the team members, with their infamous match with the Soviet team in the main focus.
The film is made up of a series of archive and recreated footage and short snippets of interviews with people directly or indirectly involved with the revolution or water polo. The material discussed is perhaps a little too extensive to fit into a ninety-minute-long documentary, but the interviews with the surviving members of both Hungarian and Soviet teams make Freedom’s Fury a memorable viewing experience. Read More »

Isabelle Stever – Glückliche Fügung (2010)


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37-year-old Simone decides to go out alone on New Year’s Eve. The next morning, she wakes up next to a stranger in his car, and a few weeks later she discovers that she’s pregnant. By coincidence, she runs into the stranger again – the handsome Hannes – and is surprised to find that contrary to her expectations, he’s actually happy about the pregnancy and wants to live with her. Could this be the face of happiness? While Hannes works in a hospital as a nurse in palliative care, tending to the dying with extraordinary tenderness, Simone renovates their shared, little home. An attractive neighbor fuels Simone’s jealousy. The larger Simone’s belly grows, the more extensively Hannes’ integrity warms the nest, the more oppressive their little, homemade prison appears. Read More »

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. Read More »