Tuesday, February 23, 2010
4 out of 5. ONIBABA by Kaneto Shindô was one of the first Japanese films I ever saw. I remember the photography and use of cutaways of the tall grass, luring you into a seduction of safety. It twists and turns and gets really creepy as samurai bodies pile up under the terrible hands of mother and daughter. This is the kind Japanese horror film that I like. Great execution!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
4 out of 5. I'd never seen Almodóvar's work but since watching VOLVER, from now on I will continue to seek it out. To say that it has heart might sound a bit schmaltzy but his characters feel like you've known them for years. Regardless of language barriers you understand their plight even if it is as crazy and fun as Volver. He captures the sweet-sexy cuteness of Penelope Cruz that I've yet to see an American director bring out of her. If you like unpredictable funny mixed with a cocktail of crime and mystery and a dessert of great character development then this is the feast for you.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
3 out of 5. CUBE is a great example of how a smart director like Vincenzo Natali can make the best use of his art skills with so little. Like PRIMER the concept is deceptively simple and yet highly believable in the context we're given. It's a great little thriller/horror film that is clever and smart without being overly aware of itself. I like these kinds of films because when you pull back to see the larger picture there is an even bigger story at hand.