Archive for June, 2005

Doi Nobuhiro’s Ima, Ainiyukimasu

Posted By yonghow on June 28th, 2005

Required viewing was in store for Doi Nobuhiro’s Ima, Ainiyukimasu, the biggest Japanese film for 2005 so far, picking up 3.8 million viewers. Despite been unabashedly melodramatic and saccharine, cliched even, *ahem*, I liked it. Perhaps an understanding of the original japanese dialogue added to the enjoyment of the film too. Take it as a guilty cinematic pleasure one indulges in every once in a while. *Mr Mckee, BFI S&S folks frowns disapprovingly*

Check out the Japanese Premium dvd boxset here.

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Iwai Shunji’s Hana and Alice

Posted By yonghow on June 27th, 2005

In one of the ending sequences from Iwai Shunji’s Hana and Alice, Alice, one half of the film’s 2 main protaganists, turns up for a teenage magazine covergirl audition. Having been scouted by a talent agency early in the film but with several botched auditions so far ( including an excruciatingly hilarious Kitkat CM screentest ), she attends unenthusiastically, nonchalant at best. As her turn arrives she is quizzed on by the young hotshot director ( a cameo neatly performed by Osawa Takao, star of Sekainochushinde, aiwosakebu )about what she can do, but is quickly dismissed after replying “ballet”.

Unbeknownst to herself, she quips : ” Can I dance for real ? ” Taken aback by her spontaneity the director nods, and she arabesques away, the audition long forgotten as she lost herself in her own world of ballet. This burst of creative emancipation reminds me fondly of my own interview ( with a panel of 10 judges ) during my scholarship selection, for when quizzed on matters of filmmaking I had started out quivering but was soon taken over by a true sense of affection for the subject, and it can be truly wondrous to care passionately about something. Well, so I think.

Finally.

Posted By yonghow on June 24th, 2005

Finally.

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Batman Begins

Posted By yonghow on June 19th, 2005

Respect I believe, is the appropriate word of the day for Mr Nolan, wtih 3 features to his credit, the latest impressionable Batman Begins, Insomnia, and Memento. Did anyone mention he’s 35 ?

That said, perhaps there’s still time to rethink my silly filmmaking antics and seriously consider lifelihood as a Char Kueh Tiao hawker.

Anyway, go here for a decent review of Batman Begins : http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/2005_07/batman.php

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Yomigaeri

Posted By yonghow on June 11th, 2005

On many levels, Yomigaeri ( Resurrection ) takes a striking affinity to past films like Soderbergh’s remake of Takovsky’s Solaris, as well as Mimi Leder’s disaster movie Deep Impact. Looking beyond the overt sci-fi setting where all the 3 films share a similar premise, what strings the 3 films into tandem are their nuanced and skilfully constructed plot devices that very successfully coaxes and yanks at the viewers’ own personal latent pool of memory, setting off a very intimate emotional response built on our own experiences, the classic case of “what if I were to live through the same experience” if you may. Think hearing a familiar tune off a radio that sets off nostalgic memories, only in this case you get the entire visual-aura package, enabling one to ease into the character’s plight, full assimilation and empathy, the whole works.

In Deep Impact the impending doom of the earth is rendered realistically enough for us to imagine that very last precious moments we can share with our loved ones, just as the protaganists do in the film, and in both Solaris and Yomigaeri the sudden reappearance of our most cherished people scrutinizes our ability to let go in the event of a death and probe one’s mind like a sharp needle straight through the cerebrum, though that heady, pleasurable feeling associated with the viewing experience can hardly be defined as pain.

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Barbeque party, Arakawa River

Posted By yonghow on June 2nd, 2005

A bbq party by the Arakawa River. Now these folks are really a lot crazier than they look. Photo courtesy of Mayo.

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