Wednesday, 27 March 2013


SOURCE: Wikipedia

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1963 - Japan (Daiei Studios)

DIRECTOR: Kon Ichikawa
SCRIPT: Natto Wada, Daisuke Itō
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Setsuo Kobayashi
MUSIC: Masao YakiTamekichi Mochizuki

     Like most proper gaijins, since I've seen a couple of Kurosawa films, went through manga and anime phase in my youth, and at least once in my lifetime bought a pack sushi from Tesco, I consider myself a bit of an expert on Japan. I mean, we've all seen Tom Cruise being the samuraiest of the samurai and we've made jokes about the size of Japanese men's... well, nevermind that, right? Okay, I'm kidding. I have done a bit more than that. I did try to learn Japanese for a little while and I did do some post-diploma Oriental studies. Which (combined) achieved only as much as making me painfully aware how ignorant in this field I had been before and how not much wiser I have become after. So, not an expert then. Still, I had just enough background to know where to go to start digging and believe me, dig you should, because the more you know, the more you will appreciate this unusual and strangely beautiful film. Or just read on. After all, I've done all the hard work already.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


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1997 - Spain (CANAL+ España, Las Producciones del Escorpión S.L, Les Films Alain Sarde) 

DIRECTOR: Alejandro Amenábar
SCRIPT: Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil
MUSIC: Alejandro Amenábar, Mariano Marín

     As it happens I am now currently watching the whole run of Twin Peaks on DVD and I can't escape the feeling that those posts of mine here, on this blog, seem to be falling more and more into the Log Lady Intros pattern. Unclear message, vaguely relating to the reviewed film, a bit of a drivel, really. And that's on a good day, otherwise it's just a repetitorium of 'my expectations against reality' routine. I guess there is only as much originality in the world and most of it is elsewhere anyway.

And so, this time...

                            ...we'll go all over it again. But at least I've got an excuse. First, I don't like Spanish cinema that much (not from what I've experienced of it so far) which, admittedly, has a lot to do with  overreacting women shouting a lot, because Pedro Almodóvar told them to. And second, I have already seen one Amenábar's film and absolutely hated it (how lucky, how very lucky of us that THE SEA INSIDE did not make it to the book!). So, as you can surely appreciate, the forecast was not so good. On the other hand, I was desperate to finally find a Spanish film I would actually like (unless we 'forget' that PAN'S LABYRINTH is a co-production and call it Spanish) so I think it is fairly important that I do stress, that my prejudice in this case was not taking over. It was there, true enough, but I've done the best I could not to cloud my vision. Which doesn't matter anyway, because it is a good film and I'm always willing to give credit where credit's due. Not as good as many critics would have you believe, but I'm happy to announce that finally I've found a Spanish film that I like. There. I said it.