Saturday, December 29, 2012

Some things I experienced from 2012...

I typically  don't do lists of "best of  the year" though perhaps I could.  I just don't get out enough.  Beyond that though, people generally don't experience things linearly.  So here's some stuff. Experiences:

Movies (4 of which are kind of sort of new in 2012, and of those new ones, all were actually better than Argo, which was the best Hollywood film I've seen of this year):

1. Outrage: Way of the Yakuza.  Though critics derided the violence in this movie, its intricate tale of a Yakuza on the downfall was so representative of the zeitgeist (see I can use those words too!) of Japan of late, even though it is a more complex retelling of Sonatine.  Nobody in the US can make a movie that is this kind of crime movie so beautiful.

2.  Argo.  Commercial appeal.

3. The early Stephen Chow movies. 

4. Dragon.  Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro made this movie what it is, which is a kind of mash-up of a film-noir with a martial arts movie, though intelligently made and performed; it asks  the question, "Can people really change?"

5. Hara-Kiri Death of a Samurai.  Takashi Miike's remake of Masaki Kobayashi's (1962) Harakiri is, oddly, more faithful to the original than we've come to expect from remakes of Hollywood movies, which is a tremendous compliment to Miike actually.  Miike's films are noted for over the top violence and horror, but this one has very little of that.  Instead this is a must-see film to watch about the demands of honor, loyalty, and what those with power and authority owe the powerless in their charge.  I once saw the crucial (and most violent) scene in Japan in the mid-90s,  and am glad this film was re-made.   It is a tremendously sad film, but well worth your efforts to see.  


I'm still getting through Hsu Yun's work.

Maybe more stuff.

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