Wednesday, October 8, 2008

1 Litre of tears / Ichi ritoru no namida (Japan, 2005)

‘One of the most sad series ever made.’ When you search the internet for 1 litre of tears, this is a sentence you will possibly see for many many times. It is easy to call a serie ‘sad’, but is it really true?
Well to be short: yeah it really is, but I don’t really know if it will be the most sad series ever. Maybe the Korean ’Snow Queen’ got me even more emotionally moved.

The first episode of 1 litre of tears not yet captured me completely. I am used to watching Korean series and differences with Japanese series are very big. In the beginning I did not like the acting very much, the camera work did not convince me either. But, after I watched 2 episodes I got used to it and became more attracted to this series.

The story is a bout a girl who has an incurable degenerative disease. It starts when she is 15 years old and will only get worse. At first she will just fall down sometimes but slowly also gets problems walking, speaking and swallowing food. The brilliant thing about this series is that it focuses on the problems in this girl’s life. Like problems with going to school, different situation in the family, not being able to fulfill your dreams and knowing that your condition only will get more serious.
The story focuses on this girl ‘Aya’ but also on her friends and her brother, sisters and her parents. When I watched it, I felt the pain a bit as well.. the pain of feeling bothersome to others, the pain of not being able to help others.
The acting of the main actress Erika Sawajiri is really fantastic! The music also adds some depth to this production, it is well done. The fact that it is based on the diary of a girl who suffered this decease makes it even more realistic.

A series that will have a huge emotional impact but also makes you appreciate life more.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunflower / Haebaragi (South-Korea, 2006)

Sunflower is a Korean film about revenge. This genre seems to be pretty popular in Korea, according to the releases of movies like the revenge trilogy by Park Chan Wook and A bittersweet life. It is also a gangster movie and not the only one in 2006, also ‘A dirty carnival’ has been released.

Sunflower is not focused on its action though, it is more about feelings. It is dealing about a guy who wants to start a new life after coming out of jail but again gets in touch with the world of organized crime. So far, so good but the story doesn’t sound very innovating. Well maybe the story isn’t but the movie is really different from other ‘crime’ films.
The pace is really slow and won’t be too attracting for western audiences. This is also a Korean phenomenon, a rather calm story which often ends in the worst possible tragedy or most bloody massacre.
The scene were a girl is being hit on her head with a stone, by a guy on a motor who is driving by, is really horrific. And yes, it ends in a big fight, but in fact this is a pretty stylish fight. Especially good for those who love Korean revenge movies.