Lets me do a little test with you. When walking along the street do you look down every so often? Are you a person who notices little odd ball things no else sees? Do you like solving mysteries? If you answered yes these questions then you would enjoy Resurrected Dead directed by Jon Foy. This film focuses on the strange and mysterious tale of the Toynbee Tiles. For me, a person who answered yes to all the questions above, this movie provides enough mystery to keep me on the edge of my seat.
I went to see Incendies the night after it got nominated for an Oscar! I had purchased that ticket January sixth with the rest of my package and just by chance the nominations were announced the morning before I saw it. Denis Villeneuve, the director, had been up for about forty hours by the time we had the question and answers after the film and he was sorry he wasn’t more coherent, but he was extremely grateful for the nomination. Incendies is a film loosely based on a play with the same name by Wajdi Mouawad, Villeneuve was so moved by the play that he wanted to turn it into a movie. Mouawad told him that he only had two stipulations, Villeneuve had full creative control over the subject and he had to write it alone. (more…)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like inside the world of a famous 16th century painting? Lech Majewski, in his 2011 Sundance entry, THE MILL & THE CROSS, transforms Pieter Bruegel’s 1564 The Procession to Calvary into a series of amazingly vibrant vignettes.
Receiving a standing ovation at Sundance is a pretty big deal. In fact, receiving a standing ovation at Eccles Theater (which seats about a 1,000 plus) is about as epic as it gets for a filmmaker. The goofy, brilliant, and lovable Mike Cahill wowed the audience with his first feature film Another Earth.
Another Earth offers a unique blend of drama and science fiction. On the night that a twin planet earth is discovered, John Burroughs (William Mapother), loses his family when the recently M.I.T. accepted Rhoda (Brit Marling), slams into his car. Four years later, after John wakes from his coma, and Rhoda is released from prison, their story begins to unravel.
Last Saturday night I had the opportunity to see as part of the Spotlight category at Sundance Ji-woon’s Kim’s revenge thriller I Saw The Devil. This south Korean film was shown at the Toronto international film festival last fall and received a considerable amount of buzz before arriving at Sundance. Kim’s film starts strong with a woman in her car stuck in the snow having a conversation with her husband when a stranger comes by to help her with the car. After politely refusing his offer and ending her conversation with the husband the stranger suddenly attacks her before eventually torturing and killing her even as she begs for her life and that of her unborn child inside her. As the story develops we find out the stranger turns out to be a serial killer that targets young women but unbeknownst to the killer the husband of the woman he killed at the beginning is a highly trained secret agent. The husband played by Byung-hun Lee distraught from his wife’s death uses his skills and connection to high tech resources to track and seek revenge on his wife’s killer. The rest of the movie plays out as a battle of the wills between the secret agent and the serial killer. Considering the buzz around the film and I had high expectations that it would be a great one but after a very strong first half the film quickly descends into a state of pure over the top madness and is ultimately a disappointment albeit an impressive one. The high level of violence in the film also can be enough to turn your stomach especially a sequence involving the beating of a man with a barbell. On the positive side the fight sequences are without a doubt impressively staged and shot with vivid intensity and style. The performance by Min-sik Choi, the actor who plays the serial killer in the film is simply amazing and terrificly menacing with each scene in which he appears you can feel your jaw tense up as you are nervous about what he might do next. Although overall the film does not in my mind touch greatness it has aesthetic and artistic merits that most films fail to reach.
I have never cried more for a film than I did on Tuesday the 25th 9pm. That was when I saw How to Die in Oregon, which I knew was going to be sad but never expected the waterworks it brought about. This beautifully made film, directed by Peter Richardson, speaks about the Death With Dignity Act currently passed in both Oregon and Washington State. The Death With Dignity act allows for medically assisted deaths if a patient with a terminal illness decides that is how they would like to pass on. This film follows the lives of people affected by this law in both positive and negative ways. (more…)
I Saw The Devil, directed by Kim Ji-woon, is a Korean horror film about a husband’s determination to get revenge against his wife’s serial killer/rapist. I’ve been known to enjoy Asian horror films a lot and this movie was awesome; however I thought it dragged on too long. Basically Joo-yeon, the husband, hunts down this serial killer after finding his wife’s head in a river. Joo-yeon makes a vendetta to his late wife that he will find the person who did this to her and make him feel the same fear and pain she went through. (more…)
On the way to seeing Dreaming Of Lucid Living I arrived at the New Frontier Theater a lot earlier than I anticipated so I took a look around. I had never been to New Frontier before but I had been to other venues such as the Library Theater and Prospector Square Theater so I was expecting something similar to those—it is nothing like that. New Frontier consists of three buildings, the main red one in the center and a blue one and a green one off to each side. The Blue House was where I had to go to see Dreaming of Lucid Living, but due to the amount of time I had to wait I decided to explore. I found my way over to the Green House where there was some event going on, all I heard was they were having some Q&A about something, I had no idea what for or who was talking. It was cold though so I went in to see what was going on. Apparently you had to have an invitation to be at the event, but I sat in and wasn’t asked to leave. (more…)