Saturday, June 27, 2015

Film Log 6.27.2015

Seven Weeks (2014)

Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: The funeral dirge soundtrack is haunting. Obayashi loves color filters: red, orange, blue, purple, green, etc. etc. The film is long and the circular narrative fits with the story. Death and rebirth. Our memories are a way of keeping the past alive. To forget may be comforting, but in the act of forgetting our demons merely grow stronger. A film as dense as a Pynchon novel.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Film Log 6.26.2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Director: George Miller
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Favorite action film of the year so far. I hope the franchise continues if this is the direction George Miller is taking it. The almost 2 hour runtime flew by so fast. Modern action filmmaking should start with this film. CGI in service of the story and action.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Film Log 6.25.2015

Massacre Gun (1967)

Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Nikkatsu Noir. Baroque shots and expressionistic lighting. An entertaining masculine bromance between Jo Shishido and Hideki Nitani's character.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Film Log 6.23.2015

La Dolce Vita (1960)

Director: Federico Fellini
Number of viewings: 3

Comments: The good life, bursting with all sorts of pleasure but ultimately empty. The film is long and watching it can get exhausting, but still one of my favorites. A brutal film with a sad ending.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Film Log 6.21.2015

It's Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (2014)

Director: Emily Ting
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Godawful. White guy teaching Asian girl how to get in touch with her Asian roots. Jamie Chung's character is so helpless in this film. Not even close to approaching Linklater's Before trilogy. So many cliché shots. Terrible on the nose dialogue.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Film Log 6.19.2015

Roma (1972)

Director: Federico Fellini
Number of viewings: 2

Comments: Visually baroque film essay on Rome. Episodic structure. Erotic, grotesque, and thought-provoking. As usual, this film is a fictional autobiography of Fellini's life. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Film Log 6.18.2015

Round Trip Heart (2015)

Director: Yuki Tanada
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Fascinating film, but began to lose interest after awhile. Nothing particularly special or memorable about this film. Loved Yuko Oshima and Koji Ookura's performances though.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Film Log 6.17.2015

See You Tomorrow, Everyone (2013)

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: A touching film. Ending made me tear up a bit. Love the way the film ended, neither happy or sad. It just closes. Maybe in a few years we will return to Satoru's story. Gaku Hamada is becoming my favorite male actor in Japan, at least of the new crop of male actors.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Film Log 6.16.2015

A Farewell to Jinu (2015)

Director: Suzuki Matsuo
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Hilarious. A farcical look at small town politics. Definitely one of the films that can be said to be a product of the recession.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Film Log 6.14.2015

Meeting Dr. Sun (2014)

Director: Yee Chih-Yen
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Great take on the heist film. More Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958) than Rififi (1955). Love having the setting be in a school.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Film Log 6.13.2015

This Country's Sky (2015)

Director: Haruhiko Arai
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: A theatrical film that doesn't feel stage bound. Another film about the war, but this time focused on the Japanese home front. Fuji Nikaido subtly conveys the character's unhappiness through action. Last shot of picture directly reference's Francois Truffaut's 400 Blows (1959). Slow, but done to convey the languid pace of the war.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Film Log 6.11.2015

Kofuku (1981)

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Heavily indebted to Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog (1949) and High and Low (1963). The child actors in this film are holy unconvincing and, at times, very annoying. A standard police procedural.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Film Log 6.10.2015

Snow On The Blades (2014)

Director: Setsuro Wakamatsu
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Humdrum jidai-geki picture. Beautifully photographed and a talented cast, but nothing very memorable about the film.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Film Log 6.09.2015

Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Lots of phallic and vaginal imagery. Still trying to process what this film is about.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Film Log 6.07.2015

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Director: Doug Liman
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day. Emily Blunt gets to do her own looping. She is truly a Full Metal Badass. Exciting action choreography. Actual funny dialogue. Tom Cruise yet again plays a jerk who learns to care about other people through the love of a woman.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Film Log 6.06.2015

Groundhog Day (1993)

Director: Harold Ramis
Number of viewings: ~1

Comments: I don't know why I expected this film to be two hours long. The runtime just flew by. Bill Murray is always great.  Chris Elliott has perfect comic timing when delivering lines that a second rate actor would either just try and make funny or rattle off without aplomb.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Film Log 6.04.2015

Goodfellas (1990)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Number of viewings: ~10

Comments: Seen so many times and still great. Even the secondary characters in this film are memorable. Better than The Godfather, rivaled only by Kinji Fukasaku's yakuza pictures.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Film Log 6.02.2015

Real (2013)

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: This film shares the same flaw as Inception. In a universe where a person can enter another's dream one should be able to manipulate and alter the dream reality at will into any shape, size, or form. Yet, Kurosawa and Nolan present very antiseptic dream worlds. Nothing about the dream world and "reality" should be that familiar.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Film Log 6.01.2015

Neko Samurai (2014)

Director: Yoshitaka Yamaguchi
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: As a cat lover maybe I am preternaturally disposed to liking this film, but so what. Neko Samurai is such a sweet endearing film. Yes, the drama can get very saccharine at times but the film earns its kawaii moments.