Friday, May 9, 2008

'My way' in Korean movies

Last weekend I watched some films and there was a strange coincidence! In 2 movies I heard Koreans sing Frank Sinatra's 'my way'. As well in 'Shallowtail butterfly' as 'friend' the song appeared.
Ofcourse it's a legendary song that has been used in many films, but I never seen Koreans sing it really... well it was hilarious cause of the accent. I know the lyrics well but if you don't it's difficult to learn them from these movies, the pronouncation is often a bit funny!
Wondering in how many movies this song is used....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Friend / Chingoo (Republic of Korea, 2001)

Friend, directed by Kyung-Taek Kwak and starring Dong-Kun Jang (the promise, brotherhood) as the most known actor, is a movie about friendship between four guys when they are young. By making their own choices when they grow up they don't see eachother too often anymore, but still stay friends in some way.

Two of them end up in gangs and from this point the story becomes more dramatic, you know the ending won't probably be too good.
A great story about growing up and friendship. In Korea friendship between guys is a very strong relationship (loyalty and sacrifice), and this is what the movie nails perfectly!

The action is very well done, not too much but it keeps the movie together in a way. It's a mustsee when you enjoyed Korean movies like 'a bittersweet life', 'A dirty Carnival' and 'Sunflower'. Most of all it's a movie about the passage of time between friends.

Zhang Ziyi at the Metropolian museum

Zhang Ziyi poses in a fantastic dress at the Metropolian Museum (New York) at of Art Costume Institute Gala, "Superheroes: fashion and Fantasy".
She looks stunning as always!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tempting hearts / Sam dung (China, 1999)

Tempting hearts is directed by Sylvia Chang and stars Takeshi Kaneshiro and Gigi Leung.

It's a nice and simple lovestory between Sheo-Rou (Gigi Leung) and Ho-Jun (Kaneshiro) for three decades. A story about a love that never can be, and how this love will chase you for the rest of your life.

When the parents of the girl forbid her to see her boyfriend the film came a bit too close to my own life, it really hurts when you yourself had a love which just isn't meant to be. Ot ro be said more tragic but so real: It's the love we've lost that haunts us.
I guess some people would say this movie is a bit boring (I have to say, some scenes could have been left out...they really slowed this movie down) but when you have been in love before yourself it's definitely worth watching. The ending is just very very good, you will remember it forever.

Abandoned / Torzok (Hungary, 2001)

Abandoned, directed by Árpád Sopsits, is a very harsh Hungarian movie about a boy who is takeb to a reformatory school/orphanage in communist Hungary in the sixties. Interesting is the fact that it is based on the childhood of the director.

It's a very cold and dark coming of age movie. The cruelty of the staff makes you feel bad yourself. The orphanage is more like a prison, and the only way to escape seems to be the universe, the stars.

This movie is abou tthe beauty of childhood, the beauty of innocence. On the same time it;s about the hatred of the director, the despair of a teacher and the ending of most hope. It seems to be a reflection on good and evil. It's a bit the same like a dictatorship, it works the same way. It is usually invisable to people who are not closely connected/affected by it.

The quality of the movie is great, the music fits extraordinary well. But it's not happy at all.....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hana and Alice / Hana to Arisu (Japan, 2004)

I believe it now! I believe that there are movies that will get a smile on your face, and will stay there for more than two hours. Even when life is a mess and awful things ruin your existence, you will just feel good after seeing this movie!

Hans and Alice, directed by, shunji Iwai (which makes it his third film I watched of him this weekend after: 'Swallowtail buterfly' and 'all about Lily Chou Chou. I guess he can be added to one of my favourite filmmakers), is a film that deals about groing up and the friendship and drama between two girls. When one of them falls in love the friendship seems to be over.

The story is really great. Hana, which is secretly in love with a guy sees a guy hit is hit. What an opportunity it is!! She tells him he has got amnesia and that he forgot they were lovers. And yes, he believes it but the story becomes even more wonderful. This story has to be a bit more believable so Alice agrees to act like his ex-girlfriend which makes this boy even more insecure and confused. Why did he ever broke up with Alice?

Together with beautiful sidelines dealing about storytelling and ballet the story is just perfect. the music seems to be written for every scene, it just does match perfectly and together with the stunning acting it makes it a memorable film! It will put a smile on even your face!

And the final phrase: Oh no, a mosquito.......

Journey from the fall (Vietnam, 2006)

Journey from the fall is directed by Ham Tran, in my eyes an unknown director but that is not so weird due to the fact that I have never seen a Vietnamese movie before.

It's about people who try to survive after the fall of Saigon, people who wanna get away from communism that takes over and reforms the country and its people. The story circles around a family who are ripped apart during this time. The dad is send to a re-educational camp, while the grandmother, mother and son want to take their chance to go as refugees to America.

It can be guessed, it's a very emotional drama. But, it is a very good one too! You'll see the madness of thes re-educational camps were 'prisoners' try to escape everyday and are being shot like deers. Where people accidentaly step on land mines, which are never cleared. The fear of people who get stuffed into a boat to get to the States, I guess these scenes can be very emotional for people who actually survived this way. The heat, small room and the fear of pirates (for those who immediately think of pirates from comics or Pirates of the Carribean, please grow up) and the worries about your family can't leave no mark on human soul.

And this is exactly what we see in the third part of the movie. To try to start a new life in a new country, which isn't as easy as it sounds. People try to forget their past, but it's never good to forget your past cause it eventually will lead to individual crisis. Who am I?

It really is a strong drama about the effects and insanity of a civil war which doesn't only rip the land apart, but as well the people in it.