Friday, May 23, 2008

Legendary Courtesan Hwang Jin-Yi (South Korea, 2007)

The movie I just saw was Hwang Jin-Yi by director Yoon-Hyun Chang.
I had this movie for quite a while at my place but just never seen it yet. I had some feeling like, well a movie about a courtesan for more than 2 hours and 20 minutes seems a bit long. I didn't thought it could keep me interested but dear God, I was completely wrong!

It's a film about legendary Courtesan Hwang Jin-Yi in 16th century Korea. She grows up as a member of an aristocrat family but after some hidden secrets were revealed she lives her life like a courtesan (a Gisaeng, Korean version of a Geisha). It's a love story and a drama which setting is in ancient Korea.

The scenes and art direction are brilliant, all praise to the director and camera team. The colours and clothing are great as well... together with a really interesting story it easily becomes one of the best movies I saw in a while. To be clear about it: it's sad and really heartbraking, not the joyful Hollywood production. A beautiful but sad phrase:

"If I die, bury me in the streets so that people may tample all over me"

And then the actress Hye-kyo Song , wow, she was not only too beautiful but she acted so great, I was almost blown away by her beauty and skills. It wouldn't suprise me when she becomes famous really quickly.
It seems like I watched an unknown masterpiece today!

And just one more time the actress:

Storm Riders / Tian Xia (China, 1988)

Well just a very short post about this one!
Storm riders is an enjoyable movie to watch! With good acting of Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng and Sonny Chiba it really was worth more than 2 hours of film.
So when you wanna watch a nice adventure movie with pleny of martial arts, this one is good for you, but don't expect an innovating movie. In it's kind, it satisfies greatly! It's martial arts at is best!
I have to warn you to watch the version which runs for 2.07 hours. There is another shorter version of this movie to but you won't understand the story if you watch that one!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Salo, or the 120 days of Sodom / Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Italy, 1975)

In 1975 a movie emerged that shook the entire filmworld. For over 30 years it was sealed away, forbidden in most countries, people forgot about it but now it is in the world again. I even heard abour people that buy copies of this movie for about 600 dollars.
What movie am I talking about? 'Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom' by director Pier Paolo Pasolini.

A movie that shows northern Italy in 1944, where there is a small area that hasn't been liberated yet from fascism. In this period the elite brought man and woman to their homes for their enjoyment, their pleasure. Pleasure in the most cruel ways imaginable. In this film you will see some of these masochistic games. It really hurts your soul when a girl screams 'God, why has thou forsaken us'.

This film is highly disturbing! Showing the darkest of minds and make you really hate humanity. It is no ta movie that should be seen by many people, it's too heavey too cruel, I guess your experience an ill stomach after watching it. I already seen some sick movies, but this one is different. Not only for its shock effect but also to show the sickest things people are being capable of. It makes you really lose faith in this world. In one way you want to turn it of for every second but in fact you just can't, it's kind of intruiging and you just have to keep watching. Even when you know it will only be more cruel.

It isn't a bad movie, not at all but it's only watchable for a very few and in the end nobody can say they enjoyed this one. You are lucky when the scenes only haunt you for a couple of days, so really you should only watch it when you have very strong nerves.

I won't see this one ever again but I am glad I had the chance to see it to come to this conclusion.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Le violon rouge (The red violin) (Canada, 1998)

The red violin or le violon rouge by Francois Girard stars Samuel L. Jackson for one of the many characters.

It's a journey through history and time, a journey of the red violin. It starts in Italy and we'll see it move through Germany, Austria and China. In fact it is not just one storyline but about four storylines which show the history of this violin.

It's very calmy paced and I think it can be best described like an historical drama. One of the things I liked about it was the spoken language. The director doesn't make the mistake to do it all in English so you will face German, French, Chinese and English language which for some people might be a bit difficult so switch (for the people who say they don't want to read a movie).
The music in it is very great, very strong and emotional. So prepare yourself for a travel through music and history!