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Archive for March, 2003


Category: science/fiction


My last movie at the bifff: Teknolust by Lynn Hershman with 4 times Tilda Swinton.
Fairy tale with 3 + 1 ladies: red, yellow and blue one, replicants of the biogenetics Rosetta Stone, who made her clones by a combination of her DNA and a mother board. She keeps her clones like oncomouses trapped in her laboratory, but dressed in colorful silk kimonos, being able to download from the internent and dvds whatever is necessary for their minds to become human. That’s the problem what is a human being: the movie tends to lead us to the conclusion: culture, heterosexual love and family defines what is human. So much imagination to arrive to that conclusion! That could have been more exciting threads to follow: could a human be virused by computer virus/bug (man contaminated by woman being the interface between flesh and code)? life should be patented? do clones exist really? do we learn love words from movies?

Suicide club

Category: science/fiction

“(…)elle n’est pas sur une rampe de lancement pour la vraie vie, (…) elle-même est une vie, à consommer tout de suite comme les groseilles.” Sans Soleil, C. Marker.

Again at the biff: Suicide Club a film by Sono Sion. Why quote ‘Sans Soleil’ then, because as a spirit, as a sigh it was haunting me during the movie, sometimes, as well as Lain by Nakamura, where teenage girls bear a secret, maybe before blood is coming from them. The 1st scene is highly symbolic: 54 schoolgirls throw themselves under a train, launching, blowing a stream of blood on the machine, on the crowd, on the screen. Then a roll of regular stitched bits of skin is found on the crime scene. Do they loose their virginity on the road to another world?
In front of them, a bunch of policemen: embodying the father, the lover, the cynical, … But how could they understand the world of teenagers full of sweet pop groups, fans, copycats, mobile phones, websites, following a fashion one day and leaving it the day after: today suicide is in fashion, let’s die together.
Today death is in fashion: let’s sell it as song, as gadget, let’s use it as a setting for a rock’n roll star.
Today suicide is just an image, a fact in a landscape, a data on a webpage,a family routine…
When the film stays on facts, on crowds in subways, it could have this melancholy or this gore-humor, but when it enters imaginary, it comes with old clichés, and girls are the first victims of these clichés.
Designated victims or mighty mistresses of images, mass cossumption, and death, who is afraid of teenage girls?

cabin fever

Category: Uncategorized

The first film by Eli Roth, produced by David Lynch, it’s a big success in all the festivals. So it’s a gore movie, with “nice” young people dying in horrible ways. What makes it interesting : the killer is a sickness, absolutely disgusting, its victims bleeding to death and falling apart. So our heroes aren’t afraid of a guy with an axe and a mask but of contagion. And the blood tends to appear between the legs of women, making obvious what’s anyway present in all good gore movies! It’s a lot of fun if you like that kind of things. (the image above has nothing to do with the movie)

dead or alive final

Category: Uncategorized

This week-end I definitely entered the “too many movies” zone so maybe I will not talk about everything i’ve seen but this one is really worth it, the third instalment in the Dead or Alive series by Takashi Miike. In the first one the two main characters were yakuzas. In the second, they were dead, going back home and turning into very beautiful and nostalgic angels. In the third, they are robots in 2342AD. One knows he’s a robot, the other is seemingly happily married and a father and he thinks he is human. This future society is ruled by a gay dictator who is trying to drug the people into not reproducing themselve anymore (it doesn’t work).

At the end, the two robots fight each other and become one giant robot with a penis-shaped head. Tetsuo territory alright but a lot funnier.

washing dishes at samurai steak

Category: Uncategorized

Through the Anime & Manga Research Circle, i stumbled upon this, the autobiography of Jan Scott Frazier, or the incredible road from being a depressive gun collecting radio shack salesman to being an ultra glamorous anime director and producer, via washing dishes in Samurai Steak, Tokyo, or how an american can make it in the japanese animation industry. He’s taking part in lots of anime conventions with presentations on various production related issues but says also he could be good as participant in a panel about “Gender, Sexism and Sexuality Issues in Anime”.
Also loads of links, the usual ones, but also stuff about the problem of japanese ultranationalism and about transgender issues.


Category: Uncategorized


Sad day, but lovely film yesterday night: Drive by Sabu. Also, beautiful website where you can drive along the movie. Asakura, Japanese salaryman, working for a pharmaceutical society, suffering from headaches, in love with a clumsy young woman with a red umbrella is taken as hostage by his fate, in his head and in his car. How you can fight your ghosts and your ancestors without blowing everyone’s head off.

volcano high

Category: Uncategorized

Second Korean film seen this year at the BIFFF. Brainless fun, with really nice and very plastic action scenes, and the most incredibles haircuts seen on screens since John Waters’ Hairspray (the photograph above doesn’t do it justice). Why teachers and students alike are fighting is completely irrelevant. Pure visual pleasure, and comedy scenes that my five years old nephew will love.

the eye

Category: Uncategorized

Yesterday I tried to see The Eye, by the Pang brothers, still at the BIFFF. There are two theaters where they show the movies. A small one (the Nova), with uncomfortable seats and a relatively quiet audience. And a big one (the Passage 44). It’s much more comfortable, you could sleep there (in fact, you do, a lot, at the end of the festival) but the audience is verrry noisy, screaming unfunny jokes. Screaming the kind of high-fat-humor remarks some people do at home in front of a tv movie (those people you never want to spend an evening with again in your life).
So that’s where I tried to see The Eye. It seems quiet good and frightening. I left after 40 minutes and it was not because of the film.


Category: Uncategorized

“You construct intricate rituals which allow you to touch the skin of other men” (B. Kruger)

Today under sunny sky, better said within dark rooms: Aragami by Ryuhei Kitamura. Yesterday leaving before the end Tsukamoto’s movie, pursued or pursuing the imminence of death or life, I was wondering what we were looking for in cinema.
So what makes you go back to movies: 2 handsome guys and the promise of good sword fights…
So, a languorous semi-god, a sensual zombie (can’t die, can’t sleep, can’t dream) with red hair, sexy legs, glittering kimono, waiting for the one who will be able…(may i say that) to finally penetrate him with his sword, ‘ saves’ a pony-tailed young samourai.
Follow conversations with a glass of wine or vodka. When the rituals of good old friendship between guys are over, serious things, meaning sword duels, can begin. The whole of it accompanied with a light and repetitive soundtrack coming out of an American soap.

a snake of june

Category: Uncategorized

Also seen yesterday, A snake of June is the new Shinya Tsukamoto movie. As I still don’t know what i think of it (my very slow brain still has to process it), here is what our friend Muriel Andrin had to say about it (in french):
et bien oui, contrairement à ce que j’aurais pu penser avant la vision de “Snake of June”, ce film m’a séduite. Je précise d’emblée que je n’ai vu que Testuo dans la filmo du réalisateur et que cette ‘expérience’ m’avait laissée perplexe: un film ‘trop’, dans tous les sens du termes…. Même s’il est difficile de passer au-dessus de toute interprétation (qu’elle soit féministe ou de manière plus générale, de l’ordre du ‘gender reading’), je vais tenter d’expliquer mon attrait qui passe au-delà de cette perspective. D’abord, l’attrait pour l’articulation visuelle et narrative, même si je regrette que l’équilibre des ‘chapitrages’ (féminin, masculin, hybride) n’y soit pas respecté. Difficile de dépasser le premier tiers de la vision, celle de la femme, qui semble rassembler un nombre de clichés voyeuristes impossibles… Pourtant, à l’apparition du signe masculin, la démultiplication s’opère – et une autre gestion se met en place, s’éloignant des clichés.
Mais ce qui m’a le plus fasciné – et qui continue cette entrée en matière sur l’articulation visuelle – c’est la variation proposée par Tsukamoto sur le processus photographique utilisé au cinéma. Habituellement cantonné à une figure – une perspective dans laquelle les personnages pris en photos sont inéluctablement condamnés à mourir -est ici à la fois confirmé et poussé au-delà des limites. La beauté du film réside pour moi dans la réflexion qui naît d’une situation pseudo-voyeuriste (le personnage étant, dans ces scènes, toujours partagée entre la violence du plaisir et de la douleur) pour évoluer vers une tragédie mortuaire qui est annoncée dès l’apparition du personnage dont le destin est fatal (le ‘cancer’ de la jeune femme n’est finalement ici que l’un des visages arbitraires de la mort) et qui se termine sur les pleurs du mari, dans un goût de ‘trop tard’ – puisque le ‘happy end’ est résilié par le plan sur le sein parfait de la jeune femme. Contrairement à ce que laisse penser le premier tiers du film de façon très provocante, ce n’est pas simplement la sexualité de cette femme que le photographe révèle mais bien sa mortalité humaine, sa fragilité. De plus, ce n’est pas un hasard si Tsukamoto se donne le ‘beau rôle’ de celui qui met en scène et ‘révèle’ aussi bien les photos que le plaisir, la souffrance et la mort – le tout parfaitement synthétisé dans cette image fulgurante où il développe 2 auto-portraits, l’un où il est présent, l’autre où il n’est plus qu’un fantôme, un espace vide.
Reste encore la magnificience plastique du film, des gros plans, des espaces investis par les personnages ensuite délaissés par une caméra déambulatoire qui bascule et laisse le vide s’immiscer.
You can also read an interview with Tsukaomoto about the movie on midnight eye