Peter Greenaway – The Pillow Book (1996)

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Review
Nagiko’s father was a calligrapher, and when she was a little girl he would write his birthday greetings on her face. Her mother would read aloud from a 1,000-year-old manuscript, (italics) The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, (unital) which dealt among other things with the arts of love. Because children invest their birthdays with enormous importance, it’s no wonder that when Nagiko grows up she finds a powerful link between calligraphy, human flesh, poetry, and sexuality.

Peter Greenaway, born in Australia, long working in England, is not so far from Nagiko himself. His films also work by combining images, words, quotations and sexual situations. He uses the screen as Nagiko uses flesh, finding an erotic charge not just in the words, but in the surface they are written on, His new film “The Pillow Book,” starring Vivian Wu (from “The Last Emperor”), is a seductive and elegant story that combines a millennium of Japanese art and fetishes with the story of a neurotic modern woman who tells a lover: “Treat me like the pages of a book.” Early in Nagiko’s life, she sees something she was not intended to see: Her father’s publisher (Yoshi Oida), forcing her father (Ken Ogata) to have sex as the price of getting a book published. On another occasion, when she is 6 or 7, she is introduced to the publisher’s 10-year-old nephew, and told this will be her future husband. These events set up fundamental tensions in her life, and as an adult, unhappily married to the publisher’s nephew, she begins keeping her own pillow book. The nephew (Ken Mitsuishi) is a shallow dolt, who finds her book and in a jealous rage burns her papers and then their house. Continue reading

Ren Peng – The Destiny (2014)

Plot:
The story takes place in 1937 in the southern town, a young woman married into Yinjialin rain lotus in the day, never met her husband joined the fleeing forced marriages MingXuan Japanese team, taking into account the family face, Ming Hao Yinjialin decided to let his brother instead of his brother weddings married , temporarily to defuse the crisis, but in the hearts of the people can not be together planted the seeds of love.
Over time, the war to the South. In the traditional immoral attack, rain Lin and Ming Hao, like love, like this piece of land was the ruthless destruction. Mingxuan killed returned a town news, grief hearts of two people and took a step closer.
But the fate of the family’s love and innocence in the face of war seemed fragile. Merciless fire enveloped the town, wedding eve, Minghao hesitate to join the fight to the death squads …… not the aggressor in the war-torn environment, weak rain stick on the beautiful lotus town, but also true to his love Continue reading

Joseph Losey – The Go-Between (1970)

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Quote:
This 1971 adaptation of L.P. Hartley’s novel was the third and final collaboration between Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter, and is often seen as the least successful.

It is the story of a young boy, Leo (Dominic Guard), who spends a hot summer holiday with his friend Marcus’ (Richard Gibson) upper-class family at their country house, unwittingly becoming embroiled in a forbidden love affair between the daughter and a local farmer. The Go-Between mirrors several of the themes of Losey and Pinter’s previous projects, The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967). Dwelling on themes of class, loss of innocence and our relationship to the past, the novel is well suited to Losey’s cold, detached style and Pinter’s subtle, allusive language. Continue reading

Barry Jenkins – Medicine for Melancholy (2008)

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“Everything about being indie is tied to not being black,” says Micah (Wyatt Cenac), half of the accidental kind-of couple whose one-day romance is chronicled in “Medicine for Melancholy.” He is making an observation — and also registering a complaint — about the quasi-bohemian way of life he shares with Jo’ (Tracey Heggins), his temporary other half. It bothers Micah that their embrace of the folkways of urban hipsterism seems to require the suppression of their African-American identity.

But his words, which Jo’ doesn’t quite agree with, also suggest a degree of self-awareness, and self-questioning, on the part of Barry Jenkins, who wrote and directed this small, incisive film. Most recent movies about culturally savvy, affectless 20-somethings hooking up and being cool are very much tied to not being black. They are about diffident, underemployed white boys and the women who (sometimes inexplicably) go to bed with them. Continue reading

Frank V. Ross – Tiger Tail in Blue (2012)

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Christopher and Melody are a couple in the midst of their first year of marriage. Christopher is a writer by day, but by night serves wine and food to people without discerning tastes. Melody is a teacher who finds herself exhausted with instruction, grading, and parent-teacher meetings. Less by choice than by chance (or maybe necessity), they keep opposing schedules that leave little time for one another. As a result, their interactions are abbreviated, sometimes impersonal, and over time their relationship suffers. But perhaps for the better? Continue reading

Claude Chabrol – Les Bonnes Femmes aka The Good Time Girls (1960)

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inette, Rita, Jacqueline and Jane try to find fulfillment and love in their lives. Rita has a fiancé whose family is obsessed with social distinction; Jane has a boy-friend in the army, but does not hesitate to enjoy herself with chance encounters; Ginette has a mysterious passion that keeps her away from her colleagues at nights. Jacqueline is lonely; but who is that mysterious bike-rider who is constantly following her? Continue reading

Ken Loach – My Name Is Joe [+extras] (1998)

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Synopsis:

When recovering alcoholic and amateur football manager Joe (Peter Mullan) falls for health worker Sarah, who should know better, they both suspect the romance may be a bad idea, but it blossoms nevertheless. However, the lovers have very different ideas about how to deal with the problems Glaswegian life throws at them, and when Joe is forced to do some drug running to pay off a debt, their tentative relationship is in danger of spluttering to a halt. Continue reading