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Tennen kokekkô (2007)
Adorable, (less is more) film-making.
This film takes you back to the basics of life. It re-teaches one the values of friendship through the simplicities of serene country living.
The small country village where the film takes place is very charming. It has a school that has only 7 students, and they are almost all in different years.
When a new boy comes to the village he is welcomed with love from the children, and the eldest of the group 'Soyo' is simply captivating in her curiosity towards 'Hiromi'; the handsome boy from Tokyo. Soyo struggles to find a balance between the excitement of falling in love for the first time, and holding on to her precious connection with her village and the other children.
This is a very uplifting film, and the characters make it so. A graceful, heartwarming and inspiringly told story; in my eyes, and those who find themselves sometimes wishing for 'a simple life' should enjoy it just as much as I did.
Wo de fu qin mu qin (1999)
Heart in Mouth!
A peaceful jerking of tears; a humane and tender film that captures the slow process pending a loved ones funeral arrangements.
Returning home after his fathers death, Luo Changyu reflects on the deep belonging his parents shared. As he traces the past, his mother's disciplined desire towards his father plays out like therapy for the heart.
Zhang Ziyi; the actress more commonly known for her Martial arts adventures shines as the obituarist and adorable love interest of the shy Luo Changyu in this meaningful love story.
Zhang Yimou (the director) is a rare individual, its hard to believe the same mind brought us the amazing 'House of Flying Daggers'.
Banlieue 13 (2004)
That did NOT just happen!
I don't know quite what I just saw. I'll have to watch it at least a few more times before I make a proper review, but for NOW, let me just attest that the action was so intensely awesome that I forgot to breath; I actually found myself short of breath more than once just from watching.
I have followed eastern action cinema for years, and have been continuously intrigued and impressed with their inventiveness and physical expression, but without a doubt in my mind I have just sat through a film that has raised the bar for the entire Action Movie genre.
The stunt work is flawlessly executed, and utterly amazing.
These guys are insanely talented, and whilst they do what they do best, you just cannot but sit in awe.
I was so excited after watching this film I felt sick!