Tag Archives: 1990s

Roman Polanski – The Ninth Gate (1999)

A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones. Read More »

Angela Schanelec – Plätze in Städten AKA Places in Cities (1998)

Synopsis
Mimmi lives with her mother in an apart-ment on the edge of town. They won’t be living together for much longer because Mimmi is about to take her final exams at school and will soon move out. Mimmi’s mother is still young and sometimes wish-es Mimmi didn’t need her so much and yet, at other times, that she needed her more, like before. But Mimmi herself doesn’t say very much and it’s often hard to tell what thoughts preoccupy her. She sees her girlfriend, goes out with her boyfriend; she also has the odd flash-in-the-pan relationship with other men. She is often alone – perhaps just waiting for the time to pass, or for a new life to begin. On a school trip to Paris she meets and sleeps with a young man. When she gets back to Berlin she discovers that she is pregnant. She heads for Paris again where she spends two days trying to find the father of her child. She has no money and doesn’t even know where she can sleep. She begins to daydream – and gets more and more tired. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Yi ge dou bu neng shao AKA Not One Less (1999)

Quote:
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each day and promises her an extra 10 yuan if there’s not one less student when he returns. Within days, poverty forces the class troublemaker, Zhang Huike, to leave for the city to work. Minzhi, possessed of a stubborn streak, determines to bring him back. She enlists the 26 remaining pupils in earning money for her trip. She hitches to Jiangjiakou City and begins her search. The boy, meanwhile, is there, lost and begging for food. Minzhi’s stubbornness may be Huike and the village school’s salvation. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Hebi no michi AKA Serpent’s Path (1998)

Midnight Eye review:
Serpent’s Path and its companion piece Eyes of the Spider (Kumo No Hitomi) both start from the same premise: a man taking revenge for the murder of a child. Kurosawa used this premise as the jumping-off point for the two films rather than their definition, resulting in a pair of works which are not so much occupied with revenge, but with the mental processes of human beings in situations that have placed them outside everyday life. Read More »

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang – Fun Bar Karaoke (1997)

Quote:
Pu, a young girl, has been dreaming that her mother, who had died some years before, is building a house. A fortune teller advises her that, should she continue to have this dream, her father will die when the house is completed. Her father, a playboy, is a karaoke regular. He eventually becomes involved with Yok who has connections with the Chinese Mafia. Noi, son of an American soldier who dreams of saving money, is learning English and wants to leave for America. He is in love with Pu, but too shy to reveal his love for her. Pu cannot stop dreaming about the house. Her father’s relationship with Yok brings him nothing but bad luck… .. Read More »

Gonzalo Suárez – El detective y la muerte aka The Detective and Death (1994)

An aged and powerful magnate is dying. He offers Laura, his young and beautiful mistress, a birthday gift; a sophisticated display of virtual reality in which he will “come to life” for her after his death. But Laura much prefers that her mother, the Duchess, who has taken her place in the magnate’s heart and bed, dies instead. Read More »

Teruo Ishii – Gensen-Kan Shujin AKA Master of the Gensenkan Inn (1993)

Synopsis by AMG:
After a 14-year-absence, Teruo Ishii returned to the director’s chair with this anthology film based on the works of manga artist Yoshiharu Tsuge. The main character in all four segments is a fledgling cartoonist named Tsube (Shiro Sano). In the first segment, Tsube encounters a dotty old man named Ri (Akio Yokoyama) after renting a tumble-down cottage in the country. The following day, Ri, his equally weird wife (Chika Nakagami), and his two squalid children move into his house. Soon the wife is stealing the cucumbers in his garden while the two kids devour all the food in the house. Read More »