Tagged: Hwal

What Movies Did You Watch Last Week?

Some weeks I just don’t feel like watching a whole lot of movies. Last week was one of those rare weeks. What happened? Nothing. I was feeling a bit sad for whatever reasons, so I didn’t feel like watching movies. Yeah, I know that sounds weird. Also I started the week off with a bad film and then tried to watch something else, but didn’t even finish it. Oh, and I also started watching Krzysztof Kieślowski’s The Decalogue, which I highly recommend. So anyway, here are a couple thoughts on the three films I watched.

This Girl’s Life (2003) – 5 (IMDb 5.7) – Drama (USA)
this girl's life
Sometimes a movie misses the mark by so much it’s not even funny. This film was supposed to be about a porn actress and her life. As thrilling as that may sound the movie is devoid of anything titillating, sexy or even vaguely entertaining. There’s no real story, which is not a problem per se, but if you don’t care about the main character it can become a bit boring. James Woods is the only good thing about this film. His performance is so charming, but not even he can save the film from its unfocussed and convoluted storytelling. What else can I say? I was let down by this film. I was expecting a critical look at the porn industry, instead this film almost glorifies the business. I’m sure if you’re a huge porn star you have more autonomy and “choice”, but to make it seem like it’s all roses and flowers is a bit too naive for me. In short: This film is a waste of time. Lots of unnecessary subplots that lead nowhere, no balls or sense of ethics and zero idea of the concept of artistic integrity.

Identification of a Woman (1982)
– 7.5 (IMDb 6.8) – Drama, Romance, Criterion (Italy)
identification of a woman
Much like with Federico Fellini, my favorite Michelangelo Antonioni films are the black & white ones (though Red Desert of course is fantastic). Of the later half of his career though I have to say this is probably one of his best works. The film is about a director who falls in love with a woman, but someone doesn’t want them to be together. Just like most of his films stuff doesn’t get resolved. Everything remains a mystery. Who threatens them? Why? Who is this woman? I really liked this film. It’s gorgeous to look at, like every Antonioni film. It has a splendid cast, like every Antonioni film. And it’s deliberately paced, just like every Antonioni film needs to be. Once again it’s one of those movies you can’t really explain to people, you have to see them, experience them, live them. The best part about this film is the very ending. I always admire a bold ending and this one is definitely one of the best endings I’ve seen in a long time. It’s enigmatic, quiet, yet so incredibly powerful. Highly recommended.

The Bow (2005)
– 8.5 (IMDb 7.1) – Drama, Romance (South Korea)
the bow

Kim Ki-duk’s The Bow (2005)

the bow
A sixty year old fisherman (Jeon Seong-hwang) lives on a boat in the middle of the ocean with an almost seventeen year old girl (Han Yeo-reum). The old man has been raising her for ten years. She has never left the boat ever since he found her. The old man plans to marry her on her seventeenth birthday, which is only a couple months away. Everything seems to be going well for them. They make a living by renting out their boat to fishermen and telling their fortune in a rather risky ritual that involves a bow. As a matter of fact this bow turns out to be a very useful tool and not just to for fortune-telling, but also as a musical instrument and to deter pervy fishermen to touch the girl. One day it all changes. Harmony is broken. A young student (Soo Si-jeok) steps aboard and steals the lovely girl’s heart. Consumed by jealousy the old man tries to anticipate the wedding to avoid losing the girl. Destiny however has something else in store for them.  Continue reading