Archive for August 15th, 2012

by Jaime Grijalba.

You have to give it to Woody Allen, he is an infatigable director, he always manages to have one movie a year, most of the time decent, some times great, very rarely bad, and that’s something we should admire in him, even if he doesn’t think much of himself, as he has always repeated in interviews and his own writing, that he has never done any masterpiece and that he will always be forgotten when looking at the history of cinema on the light of filmmakers like Fellini or Bergman (two of his favorites), that also happen to be two of the most revered directors of all time… so, Woody, you don’t think you’ll ever be put side to side next to those two directors… well, I don’t think anyone would ever imagine to put Woody Allen on a list of the best 10 directors of the history of filmmaking, I mean, as much as you love him, you must admit that it’s always his screenwriting labor that takes place above all in his films. But I wouldn’t hesitate one bit to put him in a list of the best comedy directors of all time alongside Charles Chaplin or Buster Keaton, and it is with those two that he found his biggest inspiration for this particular film, that was always planned and envisioned (in its initial stages) as a silent film that took place in the future (he was going to say that people weren’t allowed to talk due to an oppresive regime, and so giving it a reason for it to be a silent comedy), and even if that idea didn’t actually realize, the spirit of both is present in many ways that you can feel as the biggest and most beautiful tribute, as well as one of the most visually attractive films from the entire career of Woody Allen. (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Jaime Grijalba.

(North Korea, 95 min.)

This is by far one of the weirdest finds I’ve ever had in this year of focusing on asian films so far. It’s a north korean documentary that has no credited director that I had the luck of seeing thanks to today’s technology and youtube. The presentation is, of course, not perfect, but the story behind this documentary is quite intriguing (I shall leave you with the statement from the uploader shortly) giving the film a tone of urgency and at the same time certain fear of what it really aims for. It is a north korean film that uses snippets from tv commercials, films, tv series and other audiovisual material (most of it from the United States) to try and proove a point: modern society is a dumbed down due to the power of these pictures of violence and commercial enticement. Nevertheless, the film does go in a certain aspect that I found to be a little hypocritical: democracy, but I still thought that it was worth watching for a lot of reasons that you can find out if you watch it after the jump.

For now, I leave you with the statement made by the uploader of this film:

On a trip to visit family in Seoul in April, I was approached by a man and a woman who claimed to be North Korean defectors. They presented me with a DVD that recently came into their possession and asked me to translate it. They also asked me to post the completed film on the Internet so that it could reach a worldwide audience. I believed what I was told and an agreement was made to protect their identities (and mine).

Despite my concerns about what I was viewing when I returned home, I proceeded to translate and post the film on You Tube because of the film’s extraordinary content. I have now made public my belief that this film was never intended for a domestic audience in the DPRK. Instead, I believe that these people, who presented themselves as ‘defectors’ specifically targeted me because of my reputation as a translator and interpreter.

Furthermore, I now believe these people work for the DPRK. The fact that I have continued to translate and post the film in spite of this belief does not make me complicit in their intention to spread their ideology. I chose to keep posting this film because – regardless of who made it – I believe people should see it because of the issues it raises and I stand by my right to post it for people to share and discuss freely with each other.


Read Full Post »