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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Les Yeux sans Visage (1959)

In Film on January 1, 2006 at 3:30 am

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Les Yeux sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face)
Directed by: Georges Franju
Release: 1959
Cast: Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob

More gothic gems~ Finally saw this legendary French arthouse horror classics Eyes Without a Face. The premise: a doctor’s beautiful daughter was disfigured in a car accident caused by himself. The title of the film refers to the iconic image of the blank, expressionless white mask wore by the disfigure daughter, whose pair of eyes shine through the holes of the mask. The guilt ridden doctor is determined to reconstruct his daughter’s face by kidnapping girls in Paris, then cut off their facial skins for skin grafting surgery.

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Peau d’âne (1970)

In Film on December 24, 2005 at 11:33 pm

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Donkey Skin (1970)

Directed by: Jacques Demy
Written by: Jacques Demy, Charles Perrault
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Marais

Finally get to see the 2004 digital restored version of the 1970 French film on DVD. Directed by The Umbrella of Cherbourg‘s Jacques Demy, it also starred the impossibly beautiful and elegant Catherine Deneuve~ It is a lovely, magical, innocent yet slightly wacky adaptation to the Charles Perrault version of Fairytale story “Donkey Skin”. It’s one of my favorite stories, particularly memorable because of the disturbing incest premise (errr…a much needed moral lesson for little girls back in the days?). There were about 4-5 song numbers, mostly fluffy love songs. The humor, the painterly floral set and the outrageous costumes just made it so much fun to watch.

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Picnic at Hanging Rock (1974)

In Film on December 23, 2005 at 10:06 am

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Picnic at Hanging Rock is a hauntingly beautiful, ethereal, atmospheric film directed by Peter Weir, it left me desperately intrigued and mystified.

The premise: Valentine’s day, 1900 – A group of students and teachers from an upper-class all-girl boarding school went picnic at the Hanging Rock, a landscape attraction in Australia. Four girls and one teacher went up and never returned. The search party’s efforts were fruitless, until days later they found one of the girls unconscious at the top of the rocks, who later recovered but seems to have lost her memory of the incident. The disappearance haunted those remained: fellow students, headmistress, police, strangers. They mourned, speculated and questioned…what happened to the other girls? what really happened up there?

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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

In Film on December 10, 2005 at 10:05 am

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Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964)
An absolutely lovely and eye-candy French musical by Jacques Demy. Music by Michel Legrand and starring the very young Catherine Deneuve. My god she’s so classically beautiful and full of graceful, innocent, youthful charm. Her perfect doll-like golden curls, pink overcoat, rosy cardigan, peach one piece dresses clothes, golden clutch, pastel purple poncho…it’s every vintage girl’s fantasy comes true. The entire movie is just the perfect romantic vintage-fashioned French dream. Everything is so stylized with very fashionable color palette: the wallpaper, the cute little teapot set, furnitures, little boutiques, miniature planes, umbrellas…etc. It could very well be called ‘Anthropologie: the movie.’ ^^;;

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Les Quatre Cents Coups / The 400 Blows (1959)

In Film on October 13, 2005 at 6:28 am

François Truffaut‘s Nouvelle Vague classics. I Love it~

Story: 14 year old boy Antoine Doinel is neglected and unloved at home and undermined at school. He skipped school with his best friend to have fun and engaged in petty crimes. When Antoine was caught stealing his father’s typewriter, he was sent to delinquent correction center…

The boys wanted to live their own life, but their striving for freedom only led to more constrains and confinement …bounded by responsibility, consequences and social labeling. This is classic teen angst masterfully done with class and honesty that just feel so personal and touching. The child actor Jean-Pierre Léaud is so wonderful~~ the anger, emotions and rebellion spirit are very subtly conveyed on his poker but solemn face, so rare to see such maturity and depth in a boy.

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Masculin, Féminin (1966)

In Film on May 24, 2005 at 8:08 pm

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Cute new poster illustrated by Keiko Kimura.

Riotto pictures is rereleasing Jean-Luc Godard‘s 1966 French New Wave classic Masculine Feminine at theater (watch the awesome trailer on the website) and we watch it at NuArt last weekend (showing from Feb 11 – 17 only). This rerelease has new print and new subtitle but sadly the sound is still very poor. But it’s cool to experience it on big screen. This is the first Godard film I watched and I love the The film starred the eternal boyish icon of French new wave Jean-Pierre Léaud (who was barely grown up here) and yé-yé girl Chantal Goya. The film is a zeitgeist about 60s Paris youth and their musing on politics (ranging from half-ass consciousness, complete indifference or feeble protest in form of prank), love, sex and pop culture…as if they are the only things that matter in lifes, which is pretty much the universally spirit for most youth in any generation.

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Tre Passi Nel Delirio (1968)

In Film on May 5, 2005 at 5:27 am

Tre Passi Nel Delirio (1968)

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Terrance Stamp (looking circa 1985 but it’s really the 60s).

Also known as ‘Histoires Extraordinaire‘ or ‘Spirits of the Dead‘ in US. This Italian+French production consisted of 3 seperate stories by 3 different directors and casts. All stories were adapted from Edgar Allen Poe. Starring bunch of good looking and cool people from the 60s: Jane Fonda, Alain Delon, Brigitte Bardot and Terrance Stamp. The first two have the standard awkward paced B horror movie vibe. But the third one directed by Fellini is way above the league in terms of style, pacing and visions.

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Don’t Look Now (1973)

In Film on February 2, 2005 at 7:46 am

What a coincidence, I watched 2 movies and finish 1 book on the same weekend that were all made in 1973. Don’t Look Now was a beautifully filmed British horror/thriller directed by Nicholas Roeg, based on a story by Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca, The Birds) and starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland (he has same magnetic deep voice as his son Kiefer). It was a well-made creepy film loaded with symbolism for someone who loves the feeling of getting lost. ^^;; It’s good for multiple viewings and film classes analysis.

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Thesis (1996)

In Film on January 25, 2005 at 9:22 pm

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We’re on a Spanish film binge recently :P. Thesis is a very entertaining mystery thriller from director Alejandro Almenábar, who’s known for directing + writing the brilliant Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) (original version of Vanilla Sky) and The Others. Thesis was his break-out first film.

The story: film student Angela (Ana Torrent, all grown up since Secret of the Beehive) was doing her thesis on ‘violence in media.’ Her professor died of heart attack one afternoon when reviewing a mysteroius video, which Angela found to be a ‘snuff film’ that depicts horrible torture and murder of a fellow female student who has disappeared years ago. Who made the video? Who was the executioner in mask? Why was it in the school archive? As Angela investigated she found herself attracted to this handsome student Bosco, who seems highly suspicious. Meanwhile, her geeky violent film collector friend, Chema, seems to have dark secrets of his own as well. Other suspect include the new professor and Bosco’s psychotic girlfriend. Overwhelmed by clues and puzzles that kept spinning around, she didn’t know who to trust (as both guys seems to be fallen for her) and found herself to be the subject of the next snuff film as she fell into the hand of the true villain…

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Bad Education (2004)

In Film on January 24, 2005 at 7:58 pm

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I really enjoy Pedro Almodóvar latest film Bad Education! I went into the theatre without knowledge of the plot, since the trailer is so short and ambiguous so I didn’t know what to expect other than a colorful Almodóvar treat. Turns out it’s a top-notched, carefully crafted Film Noir + Hitchcockian thriller (with tranny & homosexual themes). Unlike the many of his stories about women, this time it’s all male~ The first half introduces the reunion of two childhood friends who attend a Catholic boarding school back in the Franco 70s. Now in the early 80s, Enrique was an up-and-coming filmmaker, while the other, Ignacio, was a desperate actor who wrote a screenplay based on their childhood school experience. He hoped Enrique would film it and cast him as the lead.

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