Author Topic: Asian Cinema  (Read 8512 times)

judd stephens

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Asian Cinema
« on: November 04, 2008, 08:05:18 PM »
Anybody a big fan of this?  Some of my favorites:  Versus, Zatoichi, The Returner, Arezumi, Future Cops, Stephen Chow's movies (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer), etc. 

Some of the more entertaining have been the Samurai flicks, occasional Sci-fi/fantasy, and the comedies.  Like the majority of decent folk, I can't stomach too much of Takashi Miike's efforts.  The one I really did get into was called "Dead on Arrival" and he's a great director, but there's this one scene in it well, it's unmentionable and had me thinking about it for almost a week after.  Other than Miike, any good recommendations from an enthusiast?

ps not trying to include Anime

darkenedsoul

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 06:39:13 AM »
Well, I am a fan of some of the movies. Don't care if they are gorey or not (actually, the more the better ;-) ). I have Versus, kind of a gangster/zombie/martial arts combination. I just watched Death Trance which I picked up at Best Buy...looks like a sequel is needed (I'll leave it at that, I was kind of disappointed actually in it overall... but hey, you live and learn when you buy before watching then buying!).

not sure if I've seen Zatoichi (sounds familiar...). But some of them are off the hook. One I thought was very good and gory/but lots of intense fight scenes was Black Mask with Jet Li. The 2nd one wasn't as good IMHO as it didn't have him in it.  As for anime - Legend of Overfiend! ;-) That's all I'll say on that.

judd stephens

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 08:24:47 AM »
Most of the movies have some gore, like how are you gonnna have a samurai movie without any heads rolling, so there's no major objection to that generally.  It's just that the type of gore or miserable situations featured on Takashi Miike films is a whole different ballgame- it's a difficult watch :) Maybe you'd like his works. The modern version of Zatoichi was directed by and starring Beat Takashi- I forgot his real name but this his most famous alias.  In the movie his hair is dyed blonde, and he looks like an Oriental 50-something Eminem- anyway, he's a blind samurai in the movie if that rings a bell, and has a sword that doubles as his cane.  Beat Takashi embodies the ultra-cool Japanese actor type, the Deniro or Nicholson only taken to an extreme. 

As for Anime nothing wrong with it, but it's such a big category it could make its own thread, and it has here in the past.

MPECK

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 10:27:22 AM »
I've been a fan of Miike's for sometime. I admit that he comes on strong and leaves no taboo overturned. I didn't care much for Ichi The Killer but loved Gozu and the fantastic Visitor Q. And whoever did OLDBOY did a great job and its perhaps better than those I previously mentioned. I guess it all depends on how you define "better" and let's not forget Audition. One of the creepiest films EVER made.

judd stephens

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2008, 11:59:54 AM »
I've been a fan of Miike's for sometime. I admit that he comes on strong and leaves no taboo overturned. I didn't care much for Ichi The Killer but loved Gozu and the fantastic Visitor Q. And whoever did OLDBOY did a great job and its perhaps better than those I previously mentioned. I guess it all depends on how you define "better" and let's not forget Audition. One of the creepiest films EVER made.

Is Audition the one where there's a woman auditioning for some job who winds up being psychotic and paralyzes the man somehow, and proceeds to do various "procedures"?

Wayne Higgins

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2008, 02:55:50 PM »
Years ago a friend and I got really stoned and went to a Chinese Kung-Fu movie that had Japanese subtitles.  It was great.
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MPECK

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2008, 06:25:57 PM »
Yup, that's the one. It leaves you feeling pretty grim and creeped out. Real low on gore but once it starts to get twisted, it's truely unrelenting.
Great topic.

9dragons

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2008, 07:35:56 PM »
Asian cinema has become my favorite, to the point where I almost only watch Asian movies, and of that, mostly Japanese, who I think  make the most interesting movies around. There are so many you should watch, but I'd start here:

Bright Future, by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (not related to Akira Kurosawa) Check this movie out if you want something that veers into very interesting directions, and is not as dark as it appears in the beginning. A heartwarming story (and I don't say that lightly). Kurosawa makes really creepy horror flicks, with stunning composition and glacial pacing. I would consider him the Kubrick of Japan. This movie is much different from his others, but very fun if you like inventive, nearly surreal, story and character oriented films.

I Am An S&M Writer, a very intelligent story of a writer in need of inspiration. This one has a classic sense to it, great story.

Taste of Tea, a very beautiful visually and story-wise, character driven movie. It has Tadanobu Asano in it, who is very charismatic with the right director. He's fun to watch, and the other characters are great too. There are surreal elements that add interest to the story in a non-invasive way.

Hara-Kiri, if you are in any way even half interested in Samurai movies, this is a must watch. It is a classic revenge type story, with a slow build up to an explosive, totally shocking ending. Absolutely great. Tatsuya Nakadai is a great actor.

I would also recommend watching the movie Adrift in Tokyo here:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Adrit_in_Tokyo_-_Movie

and Fine Totally Fine:

http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Fine_Totally_Fine_-_Movie

Both these movies are soulful, funny, and sometimes sad, character driven and wonderful. This crunchyroll site is free and legal, and has a lot of movies that are unreleased in the States. Watch them while you can, when licensed, they are removed from the site!

And this site, http://www.midnighteye.com/, has a large cataloque of reviews and features on Japanese movies, quite well done. There is actually a review of Adrift in Tokyo up right now, and a review of the new Kiyoshi Kurosawa movie Tokyo Sonata, which I cannot wait to watch. I would say that I am somewhat partial to the slice of life, quirky character, with scenes of everyday life, type of movie. But the Japanese do these types of movies so well, I can't get enough.








cookie monster

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2008, 10:19:08 PM »
And this site, http://www.midnighteye.com/, has a large cataloque of reviews and features on Japanese movies, quite well done. There is actually a review of Adrift in Tokyo up right now, and a review of the new Kiyoshi Kurosawa movie Tokyo Sonata, which I cannot wait to watch. I would say that I am somewhat partial to the slice of life, quirky character, with scenes of everyday life, type of movie. But the Japanese do these types of movies so well, I can't get enough.

Although I am a Japanese, I did not know it. It seem to be interesting.  :)
Will not “Adrift in Tokyo”  in particular be the times of the Showa era and a movie letting feel a good place of Tokyo?  :( An urbanity image was firmly established Ginza or Roppongi in abroad, but felt that true Tokyo was expressed. :D
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 10:23:19 PM by cookie monster »

Hypnagogue

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2008, 01:14:33 PM »
Big Zaitoichi fan, myself. For a while IFC was running a different Zaitoichi film each Saturday morning and I watched 'em all, often with the baby in my arms. Great stories, beautifully shot in black and white. Great fight scenes. But most of all, Zaitoichi is a wonderful, fully fleshed out character who evolves across the series.

Also love love love the film Throne of Blood. The Japanese version of Macbeth. The death scene at the end is stunning.

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cookie monster

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2008, 06:37:56 PM »
Zaitoichi is a wonderful, fully fleshed out character who evolves across the series.
Also love love love the film Throne of Blood. The Japanese version of Macbeth. The death scene at the end is stunning.
Of course the meaning that you say is Mr Kitano work? I think that it is made very interestingly. :D There was "Zatouichi" from old days. My daddy liked this TV series. This series is a thing of the times of youth of my father :o The thing that Shintarou Katu (actor) played the leading part is the most famous in Japan.  :) Mr Kitano director arranged that movie in contemporary style.  ;D
Zatouichi is blind basically. 8) However, he completely lets it notice an audience that is able to see by himself. . :o I think that it is the fun of this story. ;D
« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 06:45:12 PM by cookie monster »

darkenedsoul

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2008, 07:20:26 PM »
Actually they seem to be showing some of this stuff more so lately as I did see some asian stuff on later in the night on a weekend or two recently. I think Zaitochi was one of them too....!

I did see most, if not all, of Itchi the killer. That was a twisted movie if you ask me! Strange indeed!

Now for something off the wall: The Story of Ricki O. You won't look at hamburg the same way EVER again after seeing near the end of the movie! This one was over the top for the fight sequences! Loved it!  ;D

Big Zaitoichi fan, myself. For a while IFC was running a different Zaitoichi film each Saturday morning and I watched 'em all, often with the baby in my arms. Great stories, beautifully shot in black and white. Great fight scenes. But most of all, Zaitoichi is a wonderful, fully fleshed out character who evolves across the series.

Also love love love the film Throne of Blood. The Japanese version of Macbeth. The death scene at the end is stunning.



judd stephens

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 07:21:02 PM »
Takeshi Kitano... yes, that's his name.  I just found out he started his career as one-half of a comedic duo, which is surprising.  It makes sense, though- you've got this ruthless, ultra-cool tough guy who talks with this slightly high pitched voice, but the contrast makes him all the more badass.    There's another movie he starred in with a black American actor, Omar Epps, called Brother, one of the most killer gangster movies I've seen.  I don't know if he directed it or if even qualifies as Asian, but it's a story of Japanese gangsters working in the US and it's worth watching. 

cookie monster

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2008, 03:43:31 AM »
You seem to know a lot with Takeshi Kitano very. Did you see that movie?
Please you write review if you watch a movie. :)

judd stephens

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2008, 10:10:48 PM »
You seem to know a lot with Takeshi Kitano very. Did you see that movie?
Please you write review if you watch a movie. :)

Are you talking about Brother?  Yes, I saw it, over 3 years ago.  It would be hard to write a review because A) it was a while ago for me to remember enough detail, and B) I suck at writing good reviews.  Sorry  8)

Basically if you like a sleek and ruthless gangster movie, Brother delivers.  Takeshi Kitano's character is an exiled Yakuza who flees to the USA where he meets up with who I think was his kid brother.  His brother is a low-ball crook who hangs around with Omar Epps' character, and Takeshi, who is like a older James Dean- sort of the epitome of "Japan-Cool", enters their life and proceeds to kamikaze his way to the top of the mafia-scene.  It's amazing the ease in which he takes over, ending one gang after the next with his murderous and unflinching tactics.  The gang grows big and loyal (and those who aren't wind up dead or lose their finger), but ultimately they get in over their head with the Italians, and Takeshi goes out like you would want, like someone who just doesn't give a flip, while hooking up his "Brother" Omar Epps with a nice going away present. 

Brother= a good movie for fans of Samurai and gangster movies alike. 

Ekstasis

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2008, 03:39:25 PM »
I must admit..I am losing more and more interest in cinema..since it only gets worse and worse for each year that pass....

My favorite Asian director are "Ming-liang Tsai" he is by far the best...all of his movies are more or less good...very artistic and strange and dark humour, minimal dialog etc

I am mostly interested in slow and thoughtful films with visual quality... Andrei Tarkovsky is the master of this...



cookie monster

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2008, 09:56:47 PM »
You seem to know a lot with Takeshi Kitano very. Did you see that movie?
Please you write review if you watch a movie. :)
Thank you very much!  ;) WHATEVER REAL YAKUZA OR GANGER IS SCARY. I THINK.

stefan

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2008, 05:15:19 AM »
I'm a big fan of asian movies, ever since I saw Japanese "Ringu" (The Ring) back in the year 1999 or 2000. For some time ahead, I tried to watch every asian horror movie I could find, such as Dark Water, A Tale of Two Sisters, One Missed Call and a lot of others as well (many of them were soon remade into Hollywood versions). After a while I lost interest in the horror genre, as the movies generally repeat themselves way too much, making the scary parts into clichés.

I still watch a lot of other asian movies though, especially from Japan and South Korea, as they produce very nice stuff. Speaking of yakuza and gangs, two of my favourite movies in this genre are both from South Korea, entitled "A Bittersweet Life" and "A Dirty Carnival". Highly recommended. Other Korean highlights are "Oldboy" (that long no-cut fight scene is extremely well made), "3-iron" (very touching and highly unusual/original drama) and "Once Upon a Time in High School" (classic high school movie with a boys-will-be-boys theme).

From Japan, there are so many good movies I don't know where to start. Takeshi Kitano is cool, but I prefer his drama "Dolls" over his yakuza-stuff. I also love "Casshern", originally an anime, turned into a real movie in 2004. It has a really amazing soundtrack, some great ambient mixed up with powerful orchestral bits.

Hi, by the way. I'm Stefan and this is my first post here :)

9dragons

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2008, 11:58:30 PM »
I have to recommend the movie Untold Story starring Anthony Wong. Gruesome but quite fun, and Anthony Wong is always great...

Ekstasis

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Re: Asian Cinema
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2008, 08:54:17 PM »