Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Very far from "Mirindas asesinas" and "El día de la bestia"
Along this week I have heard by several Spanish media how wonderful will this TV series would be. They told we would enjoy the best Álex de la Iglesia, the director whose film "El día de la bestia" and short "Mirindas asesinas" made me discover a new dimension of sense of humour and irony. But "Plutón BRB Nero" is very far from that, at least its first chapter ("El origen de Roswell"), so I hope the series improves in the next episode. In "El origen de Roswell" I have found a very easy humour, almost childish. It intends to be a parody of science-fiction cinema and a way to critizice some aspects of 21st century reality towards a story which happens in the 26th century... But the real thing is that de la Iglesia does not get any of his purposes: I can't see a real denounce of the dark side of the 21st century, and not a brilliant parody of futurist films. It was a very absurd story that fortunately it just took 35 minutes.
La soledad (2007)
Pure life, with no additives
It has been a nice surprise for me to see such a wonderful movie and I recognize that I would not have seen it if it had not been prized with three 2008 Goya Awards (including Best Film and Best Director ones). Of course, Spanish media did not talk too much about it because I can imagine they have not any economical or political interest on it. That is the way they do it.
But it is a delight that those kind of films are still done in 21st century, so simple, with no music and not dramatic special effects, with unknown but credible and natural actors and actresses. This film is an effective portrait of the Spanish society today with all its problems and all its virtues, with no typical images for tourists nor false features to sell a brilliant and fiction image of a Spain that does not actually exist.
I love the calmed atmosphere that wrap the scenes and the usual division of the image in two halves that let the audience have a double perspective of the scene. The static cameras and the frontal shots make me remember Yasujiro Ozu's style, so I like this film even more.
Finally, I must say that this is a film which proves that an excellent film can be done with not big amounts of money: an example to be followed.
A must see
I really enjoyed that film. Maybe I am under family influence, because my wife was born in Japan Kagawa prefecture, where this film were made, but I think it is a film that describes perfectly the life in a small Japanese rural area and how passionate Japanese are for food subjects. I saw in "Udon" many influences from Juzo Itami's "Tampopo", another food comedy, that proves that Itami is an undervalued director by both critics and audience and his influence will be seen in 21st century film makers. Despite it is a long time, you never find boring scenes and the action is intense and attractive, so you always find interests to watch the film. I'm sure that "Udon" will be one of the films that will "survive" and will still talk about it in the next decades.
10's for Borat? Did the world become crazy?
I can't believe what I can read. 40% of people voted 10 for Borat! Do they actually consider this film as a masterpiece? Must "Borat" be considered in the same level as "Potemkin", "Citizen Kane" or "The Godfather"? This is incredible! Are the film likes of people really going down, up to the point of considering "Borat" one of the best films of the history? Must be IMDb considered as a serious website to learn about cinema and know more about films from serious opinions and scores given by the audience? Is the world in a really bad social and health situation than an insane racist and sexist film can be considered as a must see film? Aren't there better movies over there? In addition, the horrible and rude script is not the only bad point of this movie: technical aspects, like photography and music, help to make this film be one of the worst I've ever seen.
Kiraware Matsuko no isshô (2006)
It is a real tragicomedy! This film is about cruel facts, but under a musical comedy appearance. It is a movie that made me cry, as if I still were 15 years old. And I cried because what is told in the film can happen... And unfortunately it actually happens everywhere and everyday. It is a film that has made me believe again in the Japanese cinema. In this movie I have seen a Kenji Mizoguchi's spirit revival, because of the way it describes the life of a woman who is mistreated by everybody and whose life is irremediably ruined. Doesn't this story remember Mizoguchi's "Oyu-sama"? I also saw some Akira Kurosawa's influences, like the colorful shanty dwelling Matsuko lives in during the last years of her sad existence: aren't they close to the ones Kurosawa showed in "Dodeskaden"? According to my point of view, this is the best Japanese film of this still young 21st century.
Sanxia haoren (2006)
A monument to photography
The comment which was written before mine gives a great and brilliant explanation of the social problems and facts that involves this film, so I am not going to repeat it. I prefer to talk about another one of the most relevant aspects of this movie: the photography, magisterially directed by Yu Likwai. Sometimes one can have the impression to be watching a photo album, further than a movie. There are no bad or ugly photo-grams in this film. Every image contains a really fine sense of photography as an art, including superb landscapes, exiting colors, and intelligent compositions with everything and everybody in the right place, without unaesthetic gaps. A pleasure for eyes and soul.
Gokudô kuroshakai (1997)
When yakuza becomes global
I have to say that this time I enjoyed a Miike's movie (and that is not too usual on me, because, to be honest, Takashi Miike is a director that sometimes is difficult for me to understand). I loved the story, because it shows the world of yakuza into today globalization (it is the story of a Japanese yakuza, Yuuji, who has to run away Japan and get a refuge in Taiwan and get on business to Taiwanese triad societies). That is the same Takeshi Kitano did some years later in his famous "Brother" (2000). But, better that Kitano's movie, this Miike's film shows a more real yakuza atmosphere, with sad stories and broken lives within the frame of Taipei low depths, and not those Kitano's Armani-dressed yakuzas that make violence something symbolic and aesthetic. I insist that broken lives is the most emotive point of this film: not just the main character (Yuuji, played by Sho Aikawa), but whoever is sentimentally linked to him: the little son he had with a Taiwanese woman and the prostitute who finally helps him when his life is in danger). The end is probably the best of the film: when one can believe is going to see a not very original and foreseeable Hollywood-style end, suddenly things change...
Nijûshi no hitomi (1954)
An interesting description of Japan rural society
It was a pleasure for me to see this lovely movie, a film I've really wished to see in the last four years but I couldn't do it until today. I heard about this movie when I lived in Japan and visited Shodoshima island, where "Eiga Mura" (Cinema Village), the place this film was made, can still be visited and the atmosphere of the past can be enjoyed. To be honest, I must say that "Nijushi no hitomi" wasn't for me the "exceptional film" I expected to see, but anyway it has been a pleasant experience. The life of the rural teacher, from the start of her career (in the mid 20's) to the time she retakes her teaching position after having become a widow (in the 40's, after the end of WWII), is an interesting guide to discover the traditional life and mentalities in the small islands of Seto (Japan Inland Sea). A good point for this film: it is usually said that this is an "anti-war" film. Well, it is true that the teacher shows a clear position against the wars Japan was involved (the war against China and the later Pacific War against the USA), but this film mustn't be considered as a pacifist pamphlet: the honest position of the teacher against the war is just one more detail in this complete description of how life should be in rural Japan during those difficult prewar, war and postwar years. A film that should be shown in every school around the world.
Minbô no onna (1992)
I have been so happy and satisfied to watch that Itami's movie. I have seen so many yakuza films, from the best contemporary directors of the gender (Fukasaku, Kitano, Miike), but maybe this is the first time I had the feeling of watching a real approach to yakuza's reality. Many books and studies on Japanese cinema says that the so famous Fukasaku's "Battles Without and Humanity" gives a more real image of what yakuza is, where traditional gentlemen behaviors are substituted by more rude and bloody ones. And it's true, but anyway Fukasaku's films still provided a very unreal image of Japanese gangsters, who spread their deaths in thousands of litres of blood. Itami's "Minbo no onna" goes further and shows reality, the dark reality that yakuza does not want to be known (and because of it, Itami was attacked by some yakuza members). This movie shows us that yakuza is not another dimension of Japanese society, but it is actually a dangerous and active part of it. "Minbo no onna" is a very iconoclastic film too, because it definitely breaks the romantic image of the Japanese criminal societies and shows all their bad points: cowardice, lack of honor (they just appear to be interested on it, but they actually have no honor), pure interest on money... 100% reality. Not to be missed.
Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru (1960)
One of Kurosawa's best
I am watching Kurosawa's full collection and the more I watch, the more I love the art of "The Emperor". And unlike many Kurosawa's fans, my preferred films are those that talk about the time Kurosawa lived, not about the samurai ages. Again, Kurosawa uses the literature classics (for this film, Shakespeare's "Hamlet") as a source for his stories, proving that the subjects they talked about are still modern. Anyway, the genius of Kurosawa is quite big to make their film be not just a cinema remake of those texts, but an original, exciting plot. And again, Kurosawa gives us a film with a clear and worrying social message, a denounce to a serious problem (company and state corruption that even today still darkens the image of a "100% legal" Japan). A film to enjoy and film to learn about Japanese society and life in a general way.