An ordinary man with an ordinary life joins a mysterious club. The membership lasts for one year only and there is one rule: no cancellation under any circumstance. The man enters into a ... See full summary »
In his first documentary, Nestler uses a rather unconventional way of telling the story of a small Northern German seaside village. The protagonist and narrator is an old, worn-out dike ... See full summary »
Shot a few years after the first mining pits were closed in the Ruhr area, Nestler takes his audience on a journey through mining pits, coal heaps, cold stores, and to workingmens settlements and pubs in the city of Mulheim.
Director Chris Marker begins by recounting his childhood dream of visiting the city of Peking, a city he was once only able to admire in books. The viewer is taken on a journey through this... See full summary »
A succinct short tackling gentrification and social cleansing in Britain. Following three disadvantaged youths through areas and imagery which reflects the background of the young women but... See full summary »
In this adventurous experiment in storytelling, secret identities, missing persons, lost treasures, exotic beasts and desperate criminals are only a few of the elements woven into a grand tapestry of mysteries.
In a Polish sports center a man tells his friend about an odd dream, which begins an unusual reaction in which many member of the sports club begin recounting similar dreams with only slight deviations.
An eccentric man aged about 40 lives alone in a decrepit house in Tokyo. He periodically transforms into a giant, about 30 meters tall, and defends Japan by battling similarly sized monsters that turn up and destroy buildings. The giant and the monsters are computer-generated. Written by
Hitoshi Matsumoto is one of a rare breed of comedians with a special gift. Tommy Cooper had it, Billy Connelly has it sometimes - the ability to make you laugh the moment they appear on stage. I've followed Matsumoto and Downtown since 1989, when I first encountered them on the sketch comedy show Yume de Aetara. A lot of his experimental comedy on the small screen since then has been outrageous, cerebral and/or scatological. It is almost always riotous, and for that reason I was expecting more of the same here. Part of Matsumoto's genius is in how he reigns in his basic instincts, creating a tension for domestic audiences, while also fashioning a clever narrative with universal appeal. That tension makes for a glorious release when classic Matsumoto moments do appear, such as standing in front of giant purple underpants, or the edit to his pixel-ated daughter in a bunny hat declaiming her indifference to her father, in contrast to the sentimental speech on her he has just given.
Many Japanese geinojin seem fettered by the jimusho system that controls their creative output, and you feel sympathy for the truly talented ones who seem capable of so much more than the usual prime-time foolishness (Takuya Kimura, take note). I always had a sneaking suspicion Downtown's Hamada-san could rise to a serious dramatic role if given the chance, so it is a pleasant surprise to be blind-sided by Matsumoto here. Understated, even moving in places, with a wonderfully comic climactic scene where the 'traditional' Matsumoto surfaces, Big Man Japan is a refreshing addition to Matsumoto's array of comic talent. Small mention to Ua as the mercenary manager, a cold-blooded portrayal. Was Matsumoto having a sly dig at his Jimusho's creative accounting? Matsumoto bites the hand that feeds here, but then feeds them in turn with the grosses this film has earned. The man is practically re-inventing the term irony, in art and in his life. Genius.
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