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Amy's in the Attic (2011)
Short, sweet and effective.
I was at the premier of this wonderful short film at Cinema Du Parc in Montreal in 2011. I was invited being told that this is a throw back at old Italian exploitation movies. I was not disappointed.
The movie is set at one of the swinger's house where a few couples are having drinks and trying to set the mood for a "fun" evening. When the party seems a little dull, the ring leader, Alucard (played by Matthew Saliba) suggests that they play a game to spice up the evening. They put names in a hat and whoever is picked, will be the slave of everyone for the rest of the night. That person is Amy (played by Kayden Rose, which I saw in Tanatomorphose two years after). From there, we see that people can become totally desensitized as they make Amy do degrading things. They make her crawl naked and lick shoes and even "black face" her. By the time they are done with her, she seems hurt and only a shell of the women she was and you find out in the end that even after the evening is over, Alucard "stays in character" and keeps Amy caged, in his attic.
A few elements are done carefully in this movie to make the Italian exploitation aspect a success. First of, the grainy filter, which give it an old look. A bit of the dialogue cuts to Italian, something that happens often when watching translated Italian horror movies and spaghetti westerns. Also, it's short and effective in the sense that, you jump straight into the exploitive part. I have to make a mention to the choice of music. I especially loved the choice of Un Amico from Ennio Morricone. A very dramatic piece that works well with the picture.
I'm happy I took the time to take a look at this movie and hope to see more of the like from Saliba. Keep up the good work!
Worth your Hour
I have been a fan of Discovery and Daft Punk for years now. I finally took the time to take a look at this awesome little piece of animation and was extremely pleased with it.The animation is great and you can still make out each character's personality even without dialogue. Speaking of which, I'd like to address the folks that say that the plot and story are paper thin. It's not Why? Simply because this is an hour long movie with no dialogue and a lot happens in this hour...a lot. In a hour you see the world that they come from, the capture, the hero chasing them, the transformation, the new life as brainwashed musicians, the rescue partially foiled by the bad guy, the bad guy showing off the women and winning the award, the 2nd rescues, the chase, the love scene,the road trip, the burial, the discovery of the mansion,the back story of the bad guy and his ultimate goal, his final solution in progress, the foiling of his plans, the infiltration to get the data back, the realization of what the band really is,the world becoming aware of the bad guys plan, the help they get to get launched back into space, the final scare from the bad guy, the search for home, home finding them and finally..the conclusion.
All of this, without dialogue within an hour. One could agree that they had to simplify at some points but i feel it's never rushed and everything is clear. many movie have less content and story even with dialogue and exposition This movie is pretty much a long music video so the music itself does a lot of "talking", setting the right mood in general. The colours, the characters; the story, the music and the fact that its set in a sci-fi world make this experience very rich and entertaining. I even admit to having teary eye at the "Something Between Us" part. When a picture can make me emote in such way, it did something (many things in fact) right. If your open enough and you let it, it has the potential to make you laugh and cry. Also, as many reviewers mentions on this site, the throw back to the 70's 80's, Captain Harlock style of esthetic is a great choice and fits well with Daft Punk's multi-generation sounds. Worth the watch, highly recommended for any fans of Daft Punk and Japanese-animation.
Bad Film (2012)
Long and tedious.
The movie follows two street gangs in Koenji, Tokyo that are at constant odds with each other. One gang consists of Chineses while the others are local Japaneses. Both sides have ups and downs in the war but none are willing to give up their turf. At some point they try to put up a truce but the two gang's translators talk to each other and have sinister plans to keep the war going. At the same time, there is a sort of Romeo and Juillet plot going on with a Chinese girl falling in love with a Japanese girl.
Being a big fan of most of Sion Sono's work, I was very excited that he was able to patch up this long lost work of his into and actual movie. I also told myself that my favourite Sono movies seem to be the really long ones, so I had good hopes for the feature. Love Exposure and Cold Fish are long and very well stringed together. This one is long and very oddly put together. It's obvious that this movie spent a long time in the editing both since there are a lot of awkward cuts and scene transitions. The quality of filming could also be a element that some would find very hard to endure for two hours and forty minutes. But I will acknowledge that this was filmed in 1995 with a seemingly cheap camera. So this is one of Sono's earliest films. It was fine for me, but might be hard for others. I was also disappointed when I seem to recognize some music tracks from Cold Fish, on a few occasions by that. the movies still has it's great moments of dark humour and bloody violence like most of Sono's work but they are too many long and boring scenes in between them which almost killed the movie for me. So in the end, I had put my hopes up, and I got disappointed. This is not an actual bad film. It just needed to be edited more.
If this is your first Sion Sono, go take a look at Cold Fish, Love Exposure, Strange Circus, Suicide Club and Guilty of Romance to get a better feel of what his movies are all about.
Slow but very effective
Tanatomorphose revolves around young women(Kayden Rose) who is an unsuccessful clay sculptor living alone in her apartment. She date a jerk that come over only to have sex with her, and then leave. The one time she tries to have a few friends over, her landlord come in and kicks everyone out. She soon start having bruises on her face and body and when her friend ask her about it, she can't say where she got them. As the movie advances, the bruises turn into bigger darker spots and soon its covers most of her body. She starts having vivid dreams of rotting flesh and every time she wakes up, her condition is more advance than earlier. She herself is rotting from the inside out. Instead of going to the hospital, she totally shuts herself off of the outside world. She tries to find ways to keep her mind and body together as the condition gets worst
I went to see this movie at Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival in 2013 and this is the type of movie that caught a few people in the room off guard. I say this because there was a few laughs at the first gross out moments, something this movie have plenty of. As the movie progressed, the laughs were replaced by total silence. Who ever was laughing realized that it's not that kind of movie. While it does have a few very dark moments of humour, by the end of it, no one is laughing. I found the pace of this picture very slow which only made the level of disturbance higher. A few scene transitions are made of blurry images and heavy distortions, another method to make the audience feel even more uneasy. I tip my hat to Remy Couture(and team) for the special effects and the director, Eric Falardeau for making the atmosphere quite dreadful. All in all, I was very entertained by this movie, it achieved what it wants to be but it comes with a warning, not for the squeamish. A must for gore hounds. 8/10
Top of my list!
Oldboy is certainly one of my favorite films of all time. It is, in my own opinion, the perfect balance of brutality and drama. It shows that if a man is given enough reasons, he will see nothing but revenge.
As most of you already know, the story involves a man (Oh-Dea Su)being captured and held captive for unknown reasons. After 15 years, he is suddenly released and he only has a fews days to figure out who did this to him and even more important, why.
Sadly, this movie fall in the "less I tell you, the better" category but I will say this. While this is not a perfect movie (no movies are), I can honestly say that every aspect of this picture is done with care and with an almost flawless attention. Every shot is beautiful. All of the characters have good reasons and motivation to act the way they do. It is a violent film but there is a purpose to it all and in the end, it could move you to tears.
I want to take time and make a special mention to the soundtrack. A great example that powerful imagery can be amplified if you have to right track. It is simply awesome and make a good movie into a great one. The storyline is also worth a mention. It's very strong on its own but its the way it's told. Many questions are asked from the beginning and you get a good pace throughout to get all the answers you need.
Not an easy film but a very very enjoyable one.Highly recommended for anyone that like effective drama and/or violence.
À l'intérieur (2007)
A little gem for fans of the genre
Being a fan of horror and extreme cinema, "Inside" was a must for me. I sat down with it expecting to be grossed out of my mind. Did it ever deliver.
After surviving a car crash but,loosing her husband 4 months prior, Sarah spends a quiet Christmas eve alone in her home. She is pregnant and only days away from having the baby. She is then confronted by a mysterious women dressed in black who knocks at her door and refuses to leave. She starts to threaten Sarah and even stalks her. It is not long before we find out the the women is after Sarah's baby and she will go to extreme methods to get to it.
This is not a long movie and it's made this way to be even more effective. You get a few minutes of exposition at the beginning and its not very long before the tension starts to build. Some scenes are very well shot. I have one in mind when Sarah is still being stalked. You can see the women directly behind Sarah but she doesn't have a clue and the way she just fades in the dark background is pure genius. Keep an eye out for that scene, it was quit creepy while being very subtle. That being said, the "creepy" factor soon turns to plain terror as the women come at Sarah with a pairs of scissors. A few peoples makes it to Sarah's place for various reason but all get ambushed with bloody results. The whole movie builds up to the scene you know is coming and if you had trouble getting through the movies, the climax might be harder.
"Inside" is very tense and very bloody. Every scene serve to add more tension. I've watched many of the recent french horror films(Martys, Haute Tension, Calvaire) and this is potentially my favorite of the bunch. The story is simple but it works. The cinematography is very good and you can see that the director loved what he was doing. A film made by a fan of the genre, for the fans of the genre. They don't make enough movies like this anymore. If you haven't guessed it by now thou, not for the squeamish. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a good and effective blood-fest.