Archive for August 31st, 2010

Guess the pic

Courtesy of Troy Olson

The winner can submit their screen-cap to movieman0283@gmail.com. Do not include film title in file name so I can participate as well! (Give a day or two for the new picture to go up)

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by Allan Fish

(Serbia 2010 104m) DVD2 (from October 2010)

Aka.  Srpski film

A kind of cartoon for grown-ups

p  Srdjan Spasojevic  d  Srdjan Spasojevic  w  Aleksandar Radivojevic, Srdjan Spasojevic  ph  Nemanja Jovanov  ed  Darko Simic  m  Sky Wikluh  art  Nemanja Petrovic  cos  Jasmina Sanader

Srdjan Todorovic (Milos), Sergej Trifunovic (Vukmir), Jelena Gavrilovic (Marija), Katarina Zutic (Lejla), Slobodan Bestic (Marko), Ana Sakic (Jecina Majka), Lena Bogdanovic (Doctor), Miodrag Krcmarik (Rasa), Lidija Pletl (Jecina Baka),

Imagine yourselves in the arms of Morpheus, drifting as if unconsciously like Jean Marais in Orphée, guided by one’s own Heurtebise, like Virgil guiding Danté through the seven circles of hell.  This is not just any hell, however, but cine-hell.  We pass the forbidding antechamber labelled with a garish picture of a toilet.  Through that door we pass into the realms of cine-excretion, films so unpardonably puerile and amateurish, the dross of the mainstream, that to watch them in perpuity would be a special form of hell.  My guide would seem to have something less flimsy in store for me.  We walk on, through the concentric circles of this inferno, past a room devoted to the depiction of it in film, past the doors to which lead the extremities of the cinematic art, from Irreversible to Baise Moi!, from The Image to Inside, and finally wound up at a truly forbidding entrance.  To the side of the door, a sign, in some form of Slav language, with what looked to be a picture showing some form of orphanage or care home.  Above the door, the forbidding words, in Latin, well known to many, Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate.

            Spasojevic’s apocalyptic vision details a retired male porn-star who has financial worries and sees a way out in the form of an artistic porn film offered to him by a shady businessman called Vukmir, but who refuses to tell him what it’s about and what will happen over the course of a shoot.  We’re instantly alarmed, images of snuff movies circulating in our heads, visions of pubescent girls put before the protagonist.  This could be a hairy road, we think.  Suffice it to say that nothing can prepare you for what follows, but rather it needed someone to come out from behind the curtains to give a pre-credit warning, like Edward Van Sloan at the beginning of Frankenstein all those years ago.  I remember his words, “…it may shock you…it may terrify you.”  (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(Japan 1937 73m) not on DVD

Aka. Koi mo wasurete

Keep your stinky perfume

d  Hiroshi Shimizu  w  Ryusoke Saito  ph  Isamu Aoki  m  Senji Ito, Akiyasu Ozawa  art  Kotaro Inoue

Michiko Kuwano (Oyuki), Tomio Aoki (Kotaro), Bakudankozo (Haru), Shuji Sano (Kyosuke), Fumiko Okamura (Madam), Setsuko Shinobu (A-ko), Hatsue Gion, Man Ikebe, Mary Dean, Kenji Oyama, Mitsuko Mito, Kazuko Kumaki, Koichi Ito,

There was a hope that, with the release of two excellent Hiroshi Shimizu box sets to DVD, other classics of his oeuvre would surface.  Sadly, it was a forlorn hope, and though grateful for what we had, we still await the likes of Seven Seas, Silver Stream and Eclipse, all regarded as the cream of his early thirties output.  Myself I have only seen a couple of Shimizu films outside the eight released in the box sets, but one of them finds itself worthy of inclusion here.  The print quality is mediocre, taken from an actual film reel, with burnt in English subtitles and timecode.  It covers the sort of plot the Ozu made his own earlier in the decade, yet there’s something a little different to Shimizu’s handling that marks him out almost as the forerunner of the modern masters. 

            In a Japanese port town, Oyuki works at a hotel bar as one of the girls employed to encourage patrons to drink.  She hates the job, but does it because she has no other way of supporting her young son Haru through school.  There are problems at work because the Madam who runs the hotel refuses any of the girls’ just demands, refusing to give them shares in the beer money that other hotels do, insisting they buy their own food and clothes and put up with any abuse, physical or otherwise, meted out to them by guests, not least passing foreigners.  Haru meanwhile has his own problems, the other kids, invited back to Haru’s house, eat him out of his candies, then seeing his mother’s expensive perfume, bandy it about that she works as a woman of ill repute and bar him from their games.  Oyuki finds out and does her utmost to take him to another school, but even there he is ostracised and, eventually, seems ashamed of his mother.  After one fight with the other boys, he catches a cold and is ordered to rest, but in his desire to stand up for his mother, he gets out of his sick bed, beats up the perpetrator, but collapses and dies soon after of pneumonia. (more…)

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