Category: Pre-2010 Films

Documentary Review: Chris Paine’s Who Killed the Electric Car (2006)?

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After attending a mandatory course (to get my definitive Swiss drivers license) on how to drive ecologically and save a lot of fuel I was kind of confused. One of the instructors mentioned that the electric car isn’t actually as eco-friendly as you’d think. That was the first time I had heard someone say that. It seemed counter intuitive to what I thought to be true, so naturally being a film buff the logical reaction was to seek out a documentary that would discuss the issue in a more sensible and in-depth manner, so I decided to watch Chris Paine’s Who Killed the Electric Car?  Continue reading

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Review: Yamamoto Masashi’s Creepy, Funny & Sexy Stalker Romance Thriller “Man, Woman & the Wall” (2006)

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Ryo (Ôno Keita) just moved into a new apartment. Satsuki (Aoi Sora) is his hot neighbor, so hot in fact that he gets off just by listening to her taking a bath or showering. Ryo starts an unhealthy obsession with Satsuki, which is okay because her boyfriend Yuta (Kato Hiroto) is an even creepier stalker. Unbeknownst to her, Satsuki starts a relationship with two weirdos at once. What will happen when she finds out that she’s been spied on by the two men she’s been dating? Why does Ryo prefer masturbating instead of having sex with Satsuki? And why doesn’t anyone call the police?  Continue reading

Review: Sono Sion’s Experimental Film “I Am Keiko” (1997) is Almost the Opposite of Entertainment

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Suzuki Keiko is turning 22. Her father died of cancer and she manage to secretly steal some of the remaining bones from the crematorium. Keiko is alone and thinking a lot. In three weeks she will be 22. She decides to chronicle these three weeks. She decides to chronicle every hour, every minute, possibly every second. Time passes. Time passes as she speaks. She speaks of time passing. She counts the seconds as they pass. Her 22nd birthday is nearing. Time is still going. She can say or do whatever. Time doesn’t care, it just goes on, with the same exact, precise, boring rhythm and pace.  Continue reading

Review: Ryu Murakami’s Tokyo Decadence (1992). More Than Sex, S&M and Bondage. But That Too.

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*Ookite Kudasai: NSFW*
Ai (Nikaido Miho) is a timid college girl by day and an escort pretty much anytime she’s not in school (which seems to be like… always!). She specializes in satisfying the wealthy business men, which mostly means a lot of S&M or weirder stuff. Deep down Ai just wants to be happy. But she can’t. The man she loves married another woman and now lives in London with his son. Ai goes from one client to another, but the more she sees of this dark world of sexual perversions, the more she feels empty and alone.  Continue reading

Review: Catherine Breillat Pulls a Chantal Akerman in Her Masteriece Fat Girl aka À Ma Soeur (2001)

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*Les Spoilèrs*
Anaïs (Anaïs Reboux) and Elena (Roxane Mesquida) are two sisters on holiday with their parents in their vacation home in the French rivera. Anaïs is Elena’s younger sister. She is fat, complexed and angry. Boys don’t like her. Elena is beautiful, fun and more open. Boys definitely like her, especially this Italian guy Fernando (Libero De Rienzo) they randomly meet at a bar. Like every guy, Fernando has only one thing on his mind. Elena is not ready to lose her virginity, but Fernando gradually talks her into it. Did I mention that Anaïs and Elena share the same room? Awkward!  Continue reading

Review: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) is the Ultimate Arthouse Jesus Film

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Mary (Margherita Caruso) is pregnant. Joseph (Marcello Morante), her fiancé is worried, because they’re not married yet. God sends His angel (Rossana Di Rocco) to reassure him: She is still a virgin. The Lord himself made her pregnant with His Son, Jesus (Enrique Irazoqui). Flash-forward thirty years: Jesus is now an adult. He is preaching the Lord’s word to the people of Israel, gathering followers, healing the sick and making, casting out evil spirits and doing all kinds of miracles. Most people seem okay with that: But not the pharisees. He’s taking away their power, so they want him dead.  Continue reading

Review: Japanese Auteur Sono Sion Smoothly Transitions to American Cinema with His Poetic Crime Film Hazard (2005)

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Shin (Joe Odagiri) dreams of bigger and better things. Japan makes him sleepy, yet restless at the same time. He’s so bored. He wants something more, but what is it that he wants? Maybe it’s an adventure. He decides to go to the US: The land of opportunity. When he arrives in New York it all makes sense. He was looking for hazard. Not speaking one single word of English his stay in the States is immediately problematic. He gets robbed, but then he meets these crazy Japanese-American gangsters: Lee (Jai West) and Takeda (Fukami Motoki). They become great friends, but their criminal lifestyle is bound to get them all in big trouble.  Continue reading

Review: A Moment to Remember (2004) Fully Commits and Embraces its Melodramatic Nature

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*Attention! Spoilers*
Kim Su-jin (Son Ye-jin), a gorgeous, young woman is stood up by her lover (Baek Jong-hak), who was supposed to pick her up at the station. Heartbroken and tired, she walks into a random convenience store, buys a coke and decides to walk home. A couple seconds after she leaves the store, she realizes that she forgot her coke inside the store. At the door she meets a handsome, rugged young man (Jung Woo-sung) holding a coke in his hand. She just assumes it’s hers. He opens the can. She takes the soda from him, chugs it down her throat and burps in his face: It’s the beginning of a beautiful love story.  Continue reading

Documentary Review: Helvetica (2007) and the Importance of Fonts

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Fonts are part of our everyday life. Whether we pay attention to them or not, they influence the way we read and perceive texts. The Helvetica typeface is the single most widespread font family in the Western world. It’s everywhere. Street signs, logos, flyers, magazines, posters, the internet: This very blog is written in Helvetica. How did it became so popular? Where does it come from? Is it really the ultimate font? Can it be improved? Where is graphic design headed in the 21st century? And why do some people dislike it so much?  Continue reading

Review: Kim Ki-duk’s Samaritan Girl (2004)

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*Spoiler Alert*
Yeo-jin (Kwak Ji-min) and Jae-yeong (Han Yeo-reum) are two South Korean teenage girls. Best friends forever. They’re trying to save up money for a trip to Europe. To raise enough money Jae-yeong is prostituting herself, while Yeo-jin acts are her “pimp”. Things start to get out of hand when the police raids the motel where Jae-yeong is entertaining one of her clients. To escape the police she decides to jump out of a window, against her better judgment and Yeo-jin begging her not to do it. As Jae-yeong lays dying on the hospital bed her last wish is to see one of her clients.  Continue reading