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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Got Nothing Coming

Hello.


Thursday night I went to see Wolf and Cub live at The Toff. I've been to the Curtin House building before but mostly for the Rooftop Bar. A friend of mine invited me to the show but I hadn't heard of the band beforehand so I pretty much went into the gig blind. Hadn't been at an actual live show in a long time so it was good to be out hearing some live music again (the MSO performance a few months back doesn't count!).

I liked 'em for the most part - their sound reminded me of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. But I preferred the opening act, Machine much more. They were just two guys who performed an entirely instrumental set that was so amazing - really hypnotic and atmospheric. They're much better live than they are on their actual EP, I found, but that doesn't matter. If you want to give Machine a listen, just head on over to the link provided.

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Wednesday night was the public screening of my documentary which was good fun. It was great to see and hear the doco in a more social environment as opposed to a serious discussion/critique environment in class. I'm thinking of maybe uploading it and sharing it but I don't have a hard copy of it myself and am hoping someone in my group has one. Afterwards, a friend and I rendezvoused to another bar and we had a nice time catching up over drinks.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

I really wanted to be able to have a week of just Takeshi Kitano / Hirokazu Koreeda films but I had a lot of things get in the way of it. I was able to watch two of the six planned films though but if this is indicitave of anything, it just means that I'll probably have less time to watch films even during the holidays as well. I certainly hope this isn't the case but we'll see.

Now as much as I'd love to write up a fully-written review of the following films, I'm just super tired writing this right now. It'll take me forever to actually be able to articulate myself so I'll just leave it in dot-point form.

  • Another fantastic film by Hirokazu Koreeda, one of Japan's best directors working today.
  • The film follows a group of people who every year visit the forest in which their loved ones inhabited while they were in a cult to honour their loved ones' memories and reconcile. 
  • Deceptively misleading in the beginning, the film's first half hour feels like a horror film but once it dips its toes into the second act, its smooth sailing from there.
  • I think this film, moreso than his other films, really hammers across his signature style - the marriage of documentary filmmaking and fiction filmmaking. 
  • It may be a bit alienating for first time viewers but as someone who really appreciates his method, I have to say that I thought it added some gravitas to the film.
  • Especially when there is little to no narrative in the film.
  • For me, this film was about the mysteries and unanswered questions that our loved ones leave behind once they pass away.
  • In some ways, its quite similar to Maboroshi no hikari, Koreeda's debut feature film, as this film also explores how death affects us and how people may respond to it.
  • Beautifully shot and superbly acted, Distance is another triumph for this Japanese director. 

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  • I personally think that Violent Cop hasn't aged all that well but it's still a rather enjoyable film.
  • It's Kitano's debut feature film and it's always interesting to see the first film in what would become a legendary film career.
  • Sure his style hasn't been fully developed but it's certainly there.
  • There are a few problems that the film encounters in terms of its narrative but Kitano's bravura performance as Azuma is not to be taken lightly.
  • Would you able to categorise this as a noir though? It certainly has elements of it.
  • And correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this is the first film where the Japanese were taken back by Kitano's ruthlessness in the film because they were accustomed to seeing him as this jovial comedian on television.
  • Anyways it's a great debut for Kitano as he would pretty much cement himself as a badass in his later feature films.
  • Comparisons between this and Dirty Harry are pretty much spot on though.
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I'll leave out Tidbits of Film News this week as I can't recall there to be much happening this week. Anyways, this blog post's title comes from Wolf and Cub. Enjoy and have a cracker week ahead.


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