Tag Archives: foreign

AMAD-Horror Edition: Kwaidan

10 Oct

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October 10th, 2009–

Would you like to hear a ghost story?

 Look around; the days are soon to shorten, the leaves to color and then fall, and the chill of winter is already intruding. There is really no better time for one. And this one, I promise, you will like. It’s a story you have probably heard before. But not like this. Never quite like this. Continue reading

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AMAD-Horror Edition: Eyes Without A Face

5 Oct

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Oct 4th,2009–

cinemagrade A-I’m a little surprised that I never saw Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face before this. With its French art-house sensibilities and Universal horror movie tropes all jammed together into a crusty old shell of pulp contrivance, the movie is a monster mash gone wild. Rejected by the snobby French critics of the time and dumped over here in the U.S. to double-bill with The Manster, this psychological thriller was far ahead of its time. My wife and I were legitimately shocked by how graphic the surgery sequences are and how stately and poetic the rest of the film is. The movie hides its madness underneath  a high-class painterly veneer but make no mistake–it delivers a wicked jolt. Continue reading

AMAD:The Silence of Lorna

28 Sep

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September 26th,2009–

cinemagrade A-I love the work of the Dardenne brothers. The Belgian siblings responsible for films like The Son, The Child and Rosetta specialize in quiet, close-quarters observations of human behavior. While their pictures can occasionally be  slow and methodical, they are full of rich characterization and a stark sense of reality that drive home the moral implications of the narrative. They are not often easy films to watch, as much for the pacing as for the less than savory choices made by the characters central to the story.  The Silence of Lorna  follows these same guidelines but ventures from the path by expanding beyond the claustrophobic camera work and micrcosmal drams to present a compelling portrait of a woman struggling with the consequences of her actions. Continue reading

Friday Flicks: New to Theaters 09/25/09

25 Sep

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It’s another jam-packed movie weekend in Baltimore and the fall season is off and running. There’s a really great selection of films opening today and I’ve currently only seen one of them. With the four (count ’em–four!) new movies debuting at The Charles and three other high profile pics opening everywhere else, there’s more than enough to go around. Add in all the films already playing and it’s a smorgasbord of choices. Continue reading

Fantasia 2009 Review: ‘Daytime Drinking’ Without the Hangover

24 Jul

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Daytime Drinking (NR) 116 min. Written and Directed by: Young-Seok Noh Starring: Kang-Hee Kim, Sam-Dong Song Cinematography and Original Music by: Young-Seok Noh

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 After seeing so many of the Fantasia Fest entries this year (and I’ve got a ton of reviews on the way) one begins to notice the overarching differences between the various strains of Asian film. China seems to still be primarily focusing energy on martial arts and historical action pictures; Japan is all over the wacky place with some really bold dramas and alot of comic-book fueled madness; Thailand is mostly concerned with how to actually kill its stuntmen during filming; and then, there is South Korea. In the past five or six years Korean film has leapt to the forefront of the cinematic landscape. Producing work both provoking, artistic and just plain-out entertaining, Korean filmmaking is in the midst of a significant evolution forward. When I look at movies like Oldboy, The Chaser, or the work of Kim Ki-Duk, what I see reminds me of the artistic explosion that occurred in the film world here in America during the 1970s. That era bought about a new viewpoint through which artists considered the opportunities the medium of film afforded. Continue reading

Fantasia 2009 reveals complete updated film schedule!

3 Jul

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July3rd, 2009–

If you are a genre fan, and if you are here at this blog you probably are, there is no bigger or better cinema event than Canada’s FanTasia Film Festival.  Since 1996( halting only once in 2002 when the fest was canceled), over 70,000 festival attendees travel every summer to FanTasia to take in the latest and greatest of independent, irreverent, and imaginative cinema from all over the world. As the title suggests, the festival’s original roots were in programming little-seen asian films, showing mostly Hong Kong actioners, martial arts pics and Japanese giant monster movies in their first year. Continue reading

Now Playing: ‘Big Man Japan’ trades zero for hero

29 Jun

 

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 Giant monsters tromping around wrecking cities sounds like alot more fun than it actually is. I’ve been listening to nearly every beleagured friend who has seen the new Transformers movie complain; ‘it’s just giant things punching each other–that’s it!’ Well, duh. In their case, though, I have the perfect remedy; Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Dai Niiponjin, or the english translation, Big Man Japan. Continue reading