Three Extremes

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Let's start with a hearty NOT recommended for the weak of stomach or heart, nor for those not into Asian cinema and fairly graphic and gritty horror. The second segment of this three segment film (one each by a Chinese, a Korean, and a Japanese director) is by far the weakest and oddest. The third segment, directed by Takashi Miike (of The Happiness of the Katikuris and Audition fame) is remarkably understated for one of Miike's work. Subtle and twisting, it is a full movie in a short space and might be unpacked in many interesting way. Miike is one of those to watch to get a sense of the new Japanese cinema and the new Japanese aesthetic.

The segment most worthy of mention, however, is the one directed by Fruit Chan, called "Dumplings." Problem is, that it can't really be discussed without giving away everything and so I'll have to stick to a couple of generalities.

Upon first watching, once again, as with the book discussed previously, I had no idea what to make of it. But I've come to the conclusion that like F. Paul Wilson the road Chan is leading us down here is remarkably pro-life given its Asian origin (not generally a pro-life group of societies--never have been). When I thought about it at length, I decided that "Dumplings" was a modern-day "Modest Proposal" combined with an atomic blast indictment of the society and the people we have become.

Problem is, is what I'm seeing in the film, or am I reading it into the film? Did the author mean for me to come out with this idea, or was he simply playing with an idea and I've made of it something that was the farthest thing from his mind.

I'm not certain it matters ultimately. If some good may be derived from it, then I will take the good. But will I claim that it is good--there's the problem.

Anyway, I don't expect very many of you will see this any how and so my question will probably never be addressed.

And now I'm off to read my way through a Chinese Ghost movie that sounds rather like Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. Title--My Left Eye Sees Ghosts. I can't wait for Linda to Get home so I can stop reading my movies.

Coming up Krzysztof Kieslowski's White, Blue and Red along with The Decalogue, The Gospel According to Matthew and a few others that have been on my list for a while.

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I'm interested to hear your reaction to Kieslowski's three colors trilogy, which has been a favorite of mine for a while.

...brace yourself for Kieslowski's Decalogue: brilliant but pretty bleak and, at times, horrifying. But worth it!

Dear Darwin,

I saw Blue with Linda and we both enjoyed it. But Linda doesn't much care for reading films, so I've never had the opportunity to see the other two. That will be exciting.

Dear Thomas,

Thanks for the warning. Given that Blue was fairly gritty and bleak, this comes as no surprise--but it is useful to know.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 23, 2006 9:25 PM.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress was the previous entry in this blog.

My Left Eye Sees Ghosts is the next entry in this blog.

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