Archive for January 28th, 2006

Asian Cinema

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Recently, a lot of Asian DVD’s have become easier to obtain. There is a small selection at a store in Markville, and, I discovered a rather well selected collection at Starstruck in Square One in Mississauga. One of the movies I bought called “cafe LUMIERE” was a nominee — Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. I agreed with the French documentary filmed in Taiwan about this Japanese-language film with English sub-titles when they mentioned that no American movie about Asia ever “get’s it right” about Asia. Further the documentary described “cafe LUMIERE”, of course, and I did actually “get” the movie.

Whoa. It set a new record for me, I fell asleep 4 times and a 5th during the documentary over the course of 4 nights trying to watch it. The concept is that it is like a silent movie, but not total silence, just reduced dialog. Budding film-makers might want to watch it. I have personally made home-video, which except for not being shot from a tripod mount, is exactly like this movie.

Its more powerful than a narcotic at knocking you out. I had to watch the first 25 minutes 3 times.

Basically its about modern life in Japan for this one young woman. It struck me as a simple life. Anyway 9/10 as a cure for jet-leg, 8/10 for artistic merit, and er, 4/10 for gripping dialog. Try “The Negotiator” for an interesting modern movie about Japan with transportation as a theme 6/10 for slickness, 10/10 for subway-excitement and 8/10 for showing how a 3rd world country’s subway like Toronto’s compares to people who know how to do it right.