Although I’ve had no Internet connection over the past week due to my remote location in the Yorkshire Dales I still managed to stuff the hard drive on my PowerBook with a load of foreign movies that I hadn’t seen. I ended up watching 5 of them and have written a short review of each below (In no particular order). In case you wondered I didn’t go on holiday to watch films but instead primarily to go walking and managed to clock up around 40 miles over the week – I think my legs are ready for a service now!
Sound of Colors (Chinese) – 8/10
Most people would probably describe this film as being a bit arty and it basically deals with what its like to be blind, hence the title. The plot is pretty basic and follows a lonely blind woman who helps a man who looses his sight in later life learn how to live again without it. The film is shot beautifully with some haunting moments where the screen is completely black when looking at things from the perspective of a blind person and all you can hear is sound – something which is surprisingly scary. Defiantly worth seeing if you don’t mind films that are all narrative.
Audition (Japanese) – 9/10
Those who have seen Audition understand why it is regarded in the upper echelons of notorious films. The premise is simple – a middle-aged man whose wife dies is looking for a new one but things don’t turn out as planned. Explaining why it is so notorious would give too much away but sufficed to say I would suggest that this is not a film for most people, especially if you want to get any sleep for the rest of the week! Aside from this the films cinematography is excellent and the acting impeccable, especially notable is the female lead who you will never forget!
Slashers (American) – 4/10
I guess you could never expect much from a low (and I mean LOW) budget yank film by the above name and you’d be right. Slashers rips of ideas from a heap of other films, most notably Battle Royale (now where have I seen those neck collars before?!) but it does have a certain originality. The whole film is basically shot as a sick pseudo tv game show called ‘Slashers’ where contestants get placed in a big set with a load of psychopathic killers and whoever makes it out after the allotted time wins. On one level it works very well but with poor sets and even poorer acting this isn’t going to be wining any prizes soon! Interestingly the whole thing appears to be shot in real time without any cuts (something which I doubt) so it wins some points there but overall it comes off as a fairly cliched student film whose audience is probably the same.
Victim (Japanese) – 6/10
Victim is a fairly run-of-the-mill detective story with a few paranormal goings on thrown in for good measure. The story is a bit convoluted and from what I gathered it has something to do with a man who looses his job and get in trouble with loan sharks for failing to pay them back. The film is still enjoyable and well acted although its probably not one you would watch twice.
Zatoichi (Japanese) – 7/10
With another excellent performance by Beat Takeshi Zatoichi is a pretty cool film if you like a good bit of cool Samurai fighting. The film is set in traditional Japan with rival gangs fighting each other over who owns what and people with deep rooted grudges against each other out to make trouble. Things kick off when a homeless blind person with particularly sharp reflexes and a gambling habit enters a small prefecture, stirring things up. Proceedings eventually come to a head and a blood bath ensues with interesting consequences. The film is presented in a sort of washed out appearance with everything looking very earthy and brown giving it a look of being aged. Definably worth watching if you like that sort of thing.