Saturday, December 27, 2008

Women of the Night

This is about how women became prostitutes in post-war Japan told through the stories of a widow, her sister and her friend.

Interesting plot! Thought this might be a pre-cursor to "Life of Oharu" filmed four years later with the same lead actress, Tanaka Kinuyo, with a similar theme. Didn't really understand why she did not choose to stay in the women's home as it offered food and shelter with a lot of pros and very little cons.

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

This is a kids adaptation of the mermaid fairytale about how a small fish with magical powers fell in love with a five year old boy and wanted to become human after he scooped her up from the sea.

Liked the nice storyline, the cute fish/girl and the catchy soundtrack at the end of the film!

Internet Movie Database Link

Osaka Elegy

The story is about Ayako's fall in society when she accepted her boss's indecent proposal in order to raise money to save her father.

This film is part of the Criterion Eclipse Series 13 boxset also named as Kenji Mizoguchi's "Fallen Women". The other titles are "Sisters of the Gion", "Women of the Night" and "Streets of Shame".

Liked the nice storyline that explained Ayako's actions due to her circumstances! Thought she celebrated a little bit too soon towards the end though.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hearts and Minds

This is a documentary about how the Americans got involved in the Vietnam War and its impact on both countries.

Liked the interviews with the people from the different sides and the newsreel clips! Gained a better understanding of this historic event after watching the film.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Elephant and the Sea

The film is about how a young man and middle aged man lived their lives after a mysterious disease struck their fishing village.

Liked the nice country side scenery and how the theme of emotional paralysis was elaborated through the performances of the two protagonists! Learnt a bit more about the film after the director revealed his influences by Hong Sang Soo during the Q&A. Realized that the prostitute scene with the middle aged man could have been adapted from a similar scene in "The Day a Pig Fell into the Well" while the young man's behavior could have been taken from "Turning Gate". The young man's friend's sister looked quite pretty in the pink dress!

Internet Movie Database Link

Story of a Prostitute

This is a love story between a prostitute serving the Japanese Army during the Second World War and a corporal.

Thought this film had a similar anti-war theme as the director's two other works: "Fighting Elegy" and "Gate of Flesh". Liked the manga visual style of the film, especially the surreal imagined scenes and the slow motion static shots! Nice story and great performance by the lead actress!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, December 13, 2008

For Every Minute I Live, I'll Enjoy Sixty Seconds

This is a documentary about how a retrenched middle aged man living in a small county town in Hunan spends his time.

Initially it was interesting to follow the protagonist around but got boring after a while as we realised how monotonous his life was! Reminds me of "Lim Poh Huat", a Singapore short film that describes how a Singaporean security guard working as a part time extra went about his day.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge

This is a sequel to "The Nibelungen: Siegfried's Death". Following her husband's death, Kriemhild wanted to seek revenge on her husband's murder and plotted to do so after King Attila proposed to her.

King Attila had a very cool image and Kriemhild looked very scary with her vengeful eyes! Quite sad how the thought of revenge could destroy families and wreck havoc on entire nations. Liked how the contrast between the loyalty among the Nibelungens and the cold blooded actions of Kriemhild slowly built towards a grand finale in the end!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cape No. 7

The story is about how the people living in a small town near the seaside formed their own band to perform at a beach party. Cape No. 7 is the address of an undelivered package that fell into the hands of one band member who is a postman.

Interesting to see the lives of the ordinary people in the small town! Liked the quirky old ex-postman and the enthusiastic drummer! The music was nice too! Didn't like the two main leads and the subplot about the story of the undelivered package.

Internet Movie Database Link