Asian

Man Kei Chin – Shou xing xin ren lei aka Naked Poison (2000)

Synopsis:
A lurid thriller that mixes the erotic with the fantastic, NAKED POISON is the story of Ah Man, a loner who has only one human friend, his coworker Ling, and who spends most of his time with his pet lizards and snakes. When Ah Man discovers how to harness his reptiles’ power to create serums that can…
A lurid thriller that mixes the erotic with the fantastic, NAKED POISON is the story of Ah Man, a loner who has only one human friend, his coworker Ling, and who spends most of his time with his pet lizards and snakes. When Ah Man discovers how to harness his reptiles’ power to create serums that can give him strange powers, Ah Man begins to grow obsessed. When his deranged obsession alerts Ling that something is wrong, she puts herself at risk to save him. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Suchwiin bulmyeong AKA Address Unknown (2001)

Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism…
Address Unknown (2001) is Kim Ki-Duk’s most political film so far which traces the scars left by the Korean war of the 1950s and its contemporary reverberations on a US Army base. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom AKA Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring. (2003)

Synopsis:
From the award-winning Korean writer/director/editor Kim K-Duk comes this critifcally acclaimed and exquisitely beautiful story of a young Buddhist monk’s evolution from innocence to Love, Evil to Enlightenment and ultimately to Rebirth.

Prayer, meditation, and appreciation of nature are the sacraments by which two monks live a simple life in Korean director Kim Ki-Duk’s SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER… AND SPRING. A wise old monk (Oh Young-soo) is master to a young student, and remains so throughout the changing seasons of the younger monk’s life. In springtime the young monk is a 5-year-old boy, in summer he is a teenager, in fall he is a 30-year-old man, and in winter he is in mid-life. The master and his student live in a tranquil house that floats in the middle of a pond hidden in a vast woodland. Paddling their row boat to the edge of the pond, they roam the forest collecting herbs for medicine, observing animals, and learning deep lessons about life. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Soom AKA Breath (2007)

Quote:
After finding her husband’s infidelity, YEON absent-mindedly heads for the prison where condemned criminal JIN is confined. Although she doesn’t know him, repeated news of his suicide attempts on TV had subconsciously grown in her mind. Their first meeting is as awkward as it can get. YEON treats JIN like an old friend whereas JIN doesn’t open up so easily. To JIN’s surprise, YEON comes back for the interview again and again, with the decorated interview room like sping, summer and fall. YEON sings him seasonal tunes in dresses of that season. JIN gradually accepts YEON’s efforts and opens up to her. One day, her husband witnesses the intimacy between YEON and JIN and tries to separate them. They can’t see each other again while the limited time for JIN is ticking away. But the two are already attached to each other more than her husband assumed — more than life and death.

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Tomu Uchida – Koiya koi nasuna koi AKA The Mad Fox (1962)

At once reserved and utterly unhinged, Tomu Uchida’s The Mad Fox has garnered praise for its fervent theatricality and haywire visuals. But the very structure of the thing possesses a lopsided attractiveness as well and not only due to a twisty narrative that does justice to its alternative title, Love, Thy Name Be Sorrow (although a review claims it’s roughly translated as Love, Love, Don’t Play With Love). The first 25 or so minutes were taken up with what my friend Bill called cabinet meetings, some sort of medieval court power play that reminded me of the overnarrativization of The Phantom Menace (or, better, its laser-pointed parody in a hilarious episode of The Simpsons). Read More »

Tomu Uchida – Yôtô monogatari: hana no Yoshiwara hyakunin-giri AKA Hero of the Red Light District AKA Killing in Yoshiwara (1960)



Overview:
On the surface, this may seem to be an early example of the Japanese exploitation films that would become very popular about five years later. In fact, this film occasionally feels like Seijun Suzuki’s own interpretation, if only for the technicolor cinematography and the presence of some sleazy elements. However, past the surface, this is still very much a Tomu Uchida film. His compassion towards his character and the issues they face, is handled delicately and his semi-cynical humor is as apparent as ever. Still, I’d be lying if I said this was on the same level as Uchida’s own Bloody Spear on Mount Fuji. Read More »

Shinji Sômai – Yuki no dansho – jonetsu AKA Lost Chapter of Snow: Passion (1985)



Quote:
The story deals with a young girl getting adopted by a family that holds her like a slave and then being “freed” by a young man working for this family´s company. 10 years later she gets involved in the murder of one of her step-sisters. Read More »