Author Topic: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 284746 times)

oldkid

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2440 on: November 25, 2017, 11:36:18 AM »
It's two g's all the way back.  You guys just decided to drop one. :)

From Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare (“to heap up, increase, enlarge, magnify, amplify, exaggerate”), from ex (“out, up”) + aggerare (“to heap up”), from agger (“a pile, heap, mound, dike, mole, pier, etc.”), from aggerere, adgerere (“to bring together”), from ad (“to”) + gerere (“to carry”).
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Teproc

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2441 on: November 25, 2017, 11:43:46 AM »
It's two g's all the way back.  You guys just decided to drop one. :)

From Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare (“to heap up, increase, enlarge, magnify, amplify, exaggerate”), from ex (“out, up”) + aggerare (“to heap up”), from agger (“a pile, heap, mound, dike, mole, pier, etc.”), from aggerere, adgerere (“to bring together”), from ad (“to”) + gerere (“to carry”).

I see. So the answer to "who hurt you" was the Romans, of course.  ;D

Yes, yes, in actual truth it was us in the first place (Hastings #NeverForget), and in this particular case you stayed better Latinists than us. I'll withdraw my complaint, but can't answer to futher omissions of that g nonetheless.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 11:48:35 AM by Teproc »

Teproc

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2442 on: December 17, 2017, 12:07:29 PM »


Hana-bi
(Takeshi Kitano, 1997)
Round 1 review by Gobman
Round 2 review by tinyholidays
Round 3 review by Bondo
Round 4 review by BlueVoid

               VS               


Ai qing wan sui / Vive l'Amour
(Tsai Ming-liang, 1994)
Round 1 review by edgarchaput
Round 2 review by BlueVoid
Round 3 review by Jared
Round 4 review by PeacefulAnarchy




Hana-bi


For some reason, I didn't expect Hana-bi to be so similar in tone to the other Kitano film I've seen, A Scene at the Sea. I thought a yakuza film might have touches of that quiet, contemplative tone here and there but not much more than that. The lesson is: never doubt auteurism, I guess.

From these two films I deduce Kitano is not very interested in plot. That's fine, but if that's the case, I don't see the point of the non-linear storytelling here: I found it very confusing, to the point that it took me forever to understand that Kitano was an ex-cop as in a retired cop, not a cop-turned-yakuza, and that his friends that get attacked are consequently also cops. Not that it matters at all really, but it little things like that made it harder for me to connect with the film. I did, eventually, but in the end I feel similarly about it and A Scene at the Sea: that was nice, I guess. Now this does have some pretty graphic violence (weirdly homoerotic violence too), but... I don't find that it adds much to the main attraction, which is the general contemplative, peaceful mood. I suppose there is something there in the juxtaposition of that mood and the violence, but I don't think the film really makes these connections: the editing generally seems haphazard when it deals with plot.

The other difference is Kitano acting in the main role. He has an interesting presence, very much in sync with his directorial style, and I think his scenes with his dying wife were the highlight of the film. He succeeds there, but not as much with Kitano's friend who takes up painting: I like the paintings themselves, but I think Joe Hisaishi's score doesn't fully work for me here. Hisaishi is a composer who's always on the verge of being too saccharine, and he steps over that line a few times here. I suppose his Ghibli work is helped by the fact that there's a remove inherent in animation, so the score working a little harder doesn't bother me, I love it there even.

I did enjoy the film overall, but the ending annoyed me tremendously. It's a snide bit of ambiguity for the sake of it that only detracts from the film's emotional resonance for me.


Vive l'Amour


This being my first Tsai, I didn't know exactly what to expect, except that it would be slow. And slow it is indeed, which I'm generally fine with, though Tsai really pushes it like few filmmakers I'm familiar with besides Tarkovsky. And, though I liked this film quite a bit, his style certainly doesn't have that quasi-mystical quality that fascinated me in Tarkovsky, and I was at times quite - dare I say it ? - bored.

I don't think Tsai is going for "fascinating" though, so that's alright. It seems that alienation is a favorite theme of his, and certainly it is the main idea here: the high concept of three people living in the same apartment without knowing it (at least initially) could feel to heavy-handed, but I think Tsai's stylistic commitment makes it work. It's both immersive and hard to focus on, what little (very little) dialogue there is is almost entirely meaningless: Tsai isn't satisfied with depicting alienation in the modern world, he wants you to experience it.

The risk with that approach is that the mind can wander off, which kind of ruins the point of the exercise, and that did happen to me more than a few times... but then there are standout scenes that pull you back in (just when you thought you were out, one might say). It can be a character using a watermelon as a kissing partner then a bowling ball, or two characters trying to sneak off from under a bed (I actually laughed out loud at that, which I do think is the intention), or a sex scene.

There are two sex scenes in the film, and they're both highlights. The first one is very sensual and makes you feel as a viewer the same thing the characters do, in the sense that it is a distraction from the dreariness of their lives that they desperately need. The second one encapsulates the film's whole point in a nutshell, the longing for human connection and complete inability to do anything about it. IN a sense, the final fifteen minutes are all that's needed for Tsai to make his point, but I suppose they might not be as effective as they are without the whole package.



Verdict: Sorry 1SO, I'm going with Vive l'Amour on this one.

1SO

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2443 on: December 17, 2017, 05:34:05 PM »
What's interesting is that reading the reviews I expected you to go the other way.

Teproc

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2444 on: December 17, 2017, 05:43:17 PM »
Really ? I guess I must have undersold how great the great parts of (spoilering for pix) Vive l'Amour are. It was a harder watch, but not a particularly close decision.

Jared

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2445 on: December 18, 2017, 01:11:20 PM »
Probably the right choice in my opinion but I will be sorry to see either of these go. Both are probably in my top 10 of those remaining. Great reviews Teproc!

I need to get back on my matchup. I've been finishing up the TSPDT1000 (1 left!) and actually getting to the movie theaters regularly for the first time since the kids were born, but Brackets should always be movie watching priority number 1. At least until I've seen all the remaining films.