Jonas Akerlund – Spun (2002)

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Quote:
This roller coaster ride depicting four days in the life of a group of speed freaks has a real gay feel to it. Blondie diva Deborah Harry plays a nosy man-hating, butch-dyke neighbor who steals the girl, Eric Roberts dives right into the role an over-the-top totally queenie drug dealer adorned on both sides by hunky Abercrombie and Fitch-type models. Openly gay Alexis Arquette butches it up as a drug-addicted cop with some wild sunglasses. A heavily tatooed ex-Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford (who it is rumored was booted out of the band for coming out) makes an appearance as the manager of an adult video arcade. And sexy John Leguizamo spends most of the film either half dressed or undressed as he performs a hilarious extended masturbation scene wearing only a sock over his dick. All this, a great story and a terrific soundtrack (and cameo) from ex-Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan. Continue reading

Raoul Ruiz – Généalogies d’un crime AKA Genealogies of a Crime (1997)

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Drawing from an actual incident, artistically audacious director Raoul Ruiz and writer Pascal Bonitzer turn a story of psychoanalysis gone awry into a labyrinthine psychological mystery in Genealogies of a Crime. Weaving together flashbacks, flashbacks within flashbacks, multiple renditions of the alleged crime of le monstre, and surreal, voyeuristic compositions, Ruiz skewers psychoanalysis’ excesses in a narrative mind-bender that takes on such heady topics as nature vs. nurture, repetition-compulsion, and the nature of certainty. The dueling psychoanalytic societies provide moments of black comedy, with Michel Piccoli’s certifiably insane Georges as the ultimate dark joke. The flashback structure trickily melds Catherine Deneuve’s two identities as Rene’s lawyer and the embodied memory of the victim, suggesting that she may indeed be Rene’s karmic punishment. Yet there’s still the matter of that little girl holding a cat and a knife. Though some critics were put off by Ruiz’s pretensions, others deemed Genealogies of a Crime a beautifully shot and acted intellectual game, with Deneuve channeling an eerie psychosis reminiscent of her work with Roman Polanski and Luis Buñuel. — Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Jim Jarmusch – Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

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IMDB wrote:

In Jersey City, an African American hit man follows “Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai.” He lives alone, in simplicity with homing pigeons for company, calling himself Ghost Dog. His master, who saved his life eight years ago, is part of the local mob. When the boss’ daughter witnesses one of Ghost Dog’s hits, he becomes expendable. The first victims are his birds, and in response, Ghost Dog goes right at his attackers but does not want to harm his master or the young woman. On occasion, he talks with his best friend, a French-speaking Haitian who sells ice cream in the park, and with a child with whom he discusses books. Can he stay true to his code? And if he does, what is his fate? Continue reading

Howard Hawks – The Big Sleep (1946)

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Summoned by the dying General Sternwood, Philip Marlowe is asked to deal with several problems that are troubling his family. Marlowe finds that each problem centers about the disappearance of Sternwood’s favoured employee who has left with a mobster’s wife. Each of the problems becomes a cover for something else as Marlowe probes. Continue reading

Chan-wook Park – Saminjo AKA Threesome (1997)

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Description from KMDB:
Han is a suicidal saxophonist, Mun is violent simpleton with an I.Q. of 80 and Maria is single mother with dreams of becoming a nun. Han has tried numerous times to kill himself but nothing ever works. When he witnesses his wife’s infidelity, it is the last straw. He gets a call from Mun and both decide take things into their own hands by robbing a cafe at gunpoint. They run into Maria who is determined to find her baby who was taken from her. Maria decides to use the two men to get her baby back and joins the team. Continue reading