CiCi's horror reviews!

→ in
Tools    





Survivor 5s #2 Bitch


My second Argento review and this one was always going to happen sooner or later, I mean the main character is in my avatar!

However, Suspiria is undoubtedly the reason as to why I fell in love with Argento's (early) films, for me, it is the perfect horror film, and I doubt any other horror film will surpass my adoration that I'll probably always maintain for this film. As a bit of a warning, expect pictures and videos aplenty, for this is a film that can only be rationalised once you see it in one way or another.

The plot follows an American ballet dancer, Suzy Banyon (Jessica Harper), who travels to Freiburg, Germany, in order to attend a prestigious dance academy that is run by Madame Blanche (Joan Bennett) and the chief instructor, Miss Tanner (Alida Valli). However, upon arriving, Suzy begins to notice that several members of the academy keep vanishing without a trace, and she begins to suspect that her school is run by a coven of witches...

Positives
Vampires, werewolves and zombies have been done to death within this genre, and it's hard to distinguish between many films belonging to each of these categories. However, this film is probably the first (if not only) film to successfully tackle a plot revolving around witches without descending into something boring, tacky, or camp. So in this aspect, the film is extremely original, for a minimal amount of films prior to the late seventies had extensively explored witches in an immensely dark fashion, and as a result, it allows Argento to deliver and explore one the most prominent and apparent themes within his films...

Feminism. Literally every character of any significance here is female (with one exception), and they retain every fraction of power here, and they thoroughly exercise it, brutally executing people who were only a slight annoyance to them and their disguised existence. However, the protagonists, namely Suzy Banyon, is also a delicately crafted and empowered figure whose capabilities are realistic. A major complaint people have with this film is that the ending is brief and a bit anti-climatic. However, had there been a massive show down between a teenage, American girl and a coven of witches who dedicate all of their time into killing women just like herself, then it would have been idiotic to say the least to have Suzy emerge victorious, so even within Argento's fantastical and bizarre world, he always remains very aware and perceptive in regards to the intelligence and expectations of his viewers.

As per usual, Argento's direction is nothing short of superb and masterful. The rich palette of colours on offer ensure that every scene always remains beautifully entrancing, enchanting, and captivating. And once again, Argento's philosophy of using a moving camera continues to prove that an animated and active camera is always better than a catatonic and static one, with point of view shots from the killers perspectives quite frequently sending shivers down my spine due to the tense and creepy atmosphere that is maintained throughout, due to a multitude of varying factors. He also uses the soundtrack to magnificent effect, and I don't think a more appropriate and fitting score has been constructed for any other horror film, possibly every other film as well. The English dub is terrific too, with Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett and Alida Valli all providing their voices for this version, and when you look at how awful some of his other English dubs are, I was quite appreciative when this one turned out okay!

Moving onto the death scenes, everyone who has seen this film always seems to remember the opening kill. Which, although it could well be the greatest opening death scene in any horror film, isn't necessarily the greatest. Argento maintains a consistent level throughtout every death sequence in this film. Every last kill is extended and maximised to its absolute potential (every death scene is a minimum of five minutes long), and every last one is memorable to say the least, all of them have created a lasting and apparent effect on future horror films too. For example, the barbed wire scene was referenced in Saw II via Amanda's pit needle trap, and the dog scene was apparently referenced by Wes Craven in the original The Hills Have Eyes too (some people credit it for inspiring Black Swan as well, although I'm not so sure). Furthermore, the score creates and enhances the impending sense of danger in store for each character, and I really just can't emphasise how terrific the score is. As a small side note, it was nice to see a male character being granted such a memorable death scene, considering the most brutal scenes are usually left for females. I'll leave it here, because I doubt I'm explaining how all these factors blend together so fantastically well:


What I love about this film as well, is how Argento managed to cast icons of both American cinema (Joan Bennett, who was cast because of her work with Fritz Lang) and European cinema (Alida Valli) and seeing them on screen together was amazing to say the least! Both of them deliver deliciously wicked performances as sinister witches, and Joan Bennett rightfully earned herself a nomination for Best Supporting Actresses in one of the first Saturn award ceremonies. Nevertheless, I felt as though Alida Valli was better, and a scene between her and Flavio Bucci (Who I thought was Argento himself somehow when I first saw this! ), was the highlight of the acting abilities this film offered to us. Jessica Harper herself though was terrific in creating a Snow White like figure, and this scene was perhaps her greatest, quickly shifting from looking intrigued, to shooting icy glares and looking so fatigued and ill by the end.


And finally the score! I've already gone on about it, so I'll try and keep this short and sweet, but it was magnificent, and an Oscar nom was truly robbed here. The theme, and every last piece of music was so fitting and emblematic of the wider context surrounding the events. I'll put it here, but I think it works better when you hear it within the film itself!


Negatives
The plot is simplistic. I think it was IMDb, but it was probably somewhere else, but anyway, it told you to try and explain the plot of this film to someone else without making it sound awful... and it's difficult to say the least! It's straight forward, but, if anything, it emphasises Argento's skill and creativity, for it takes someone extremely talented to take something so simplistic and make it into a masterpiece of cinema.

Conclusion
It contains some flaws, definitely. However, the score, acting, directing, cinematography, and dubbing work fantastically together to create something so gorgeous and memorable. I wouldn't call this film terrifying, but it's always creepy and tense, and it sent shivers down my spine quite a few times. The mise-en-scene is quirky too, all the door knobs are shoulder height, because originally these girls were meant to be 12 and not 20, and Argento wanted to emphasise their youth and naivety (this explains why the dialogue can be a bit child like at times as well!). Anyway, I adore it, but I don't think it's for everyone. But I'd be foolish to give this nothing less than:




Definitely better than The Beyond, that's for sure, right Swan?

Dario Argento is the real master. I like that one critic who calle Lucio Fulci "a poor man's Argento". Very true.

Haha anyways, this film nails the atmospheric horror for me and there is no other film like it out there.



I like that one critic who calle Lucio Fulci "a poor man's Argento". Very true.
That's a bullsh*t statement said and repeated by people who clearly have no understanding of either directors work or style. They both have entirely different aesthetics.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Definitely better than The Beyond, that's for sure, right Swan?

Dario Argento is the real master. I like that one critic who calle Lucio Fulci "a poor man's Argento". Very true.

Haha anyways, this film nails the atmospheric horror for me and there is no other film like it out there.
I still need to see a Fulci film and I totally agree Med, there's nothing else out there quite as atmospheric as this one!



That's a bullsh*t statement said and repeated by people who clearly have no understanding of either directors work or style. They both have entirely different aesthetics.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Today I'm going to review a film that (in the least soppiest way possible) has permanently and profoundly moved me in so many ways, although, admittedly, the book contributed just as much. It's called Battle Royale.



In an alternate reality, modern day Japan has collapsed, the job market is desperate and disillusioned youths rebel against their elders. In an attempt to get their citizens to conform, the government issue a drastic solution. Every year, they select a random class of 15 year olds, send them to an island, give them basic supplies and a random weapon (ranging from a pot lid to a machine gun) and tell them to kill one another until only one of them is left alive... sound familiar? It probably will, but don't even get me started on that just remember that both the book and film of this came first

Positives
The characters. Every last, single character felt so fleshed out, authentic, and so incredibly real. The vast majority are deeply tragic, and having left secondary school not so long ago, these characters represented the vast majority of people frighteningly well, and considering Japan and England are very different places, I guess that just emphasises the ability of the writer, Kenta Fukasaku, in creating youths who we can all identify and empathise with (although on the other hand, teenagers probably encounter similar problems regardless of location), it probably impacted on me so powerfully as well, because I personally found school to be like the seventh circle of hell on so so many occasions, and one character's loneliness and desperation to fit in really hit home, and I don't think a film has related to me in such a personal way ever before. Also, some of the characters, namely the girls in the lighthouse, were almost exact replicas of my closest friends at school, and so witnessing what happened to them was probably more hard hitting than it would be for some, so in some aspects, my adoration for the crafting of the characters is very subjective.
However, the dialogue felt like how teenagers talk, the way they hint at their feelings towards something without explicitly stating it, the way some of them were hopeless romantics despite the dire circumstances, the extremely high paranoia some experience, the way some of them refuse to participate and remain blissfully unaware of what's happening around them, it was all so accurate. Basically, they created realistic teenagers and the way all of them behaved and attempted to survive and fight never felt exaggerated or ridiculously far fetched. I'm also going to praise the concept of the entire film, it's an extremely frightening thought to think that this could become a reality, although similar situations have been exemplified throughout history, so this really isn't too far removed from our reality, and that has to be one of the more disturbing elements of this film.

The direction by Kinji Fukasaku, whom Quentin Tarantino adored and dedicated Kill Bill to, was terrific. I think what makes this film so shocking is his handling of the violence. A lot of other film makers would probably gloss over the violence and only imply it (*cough* Hunger Games *cough*) because it's against minors, but Fukasaku treats the violence here no different to a confrontation between people twice the characters ages, and, therefore, his depiction of violence is authentic and a shockingly real depiction of its nature. I mean, very few films would dare to show a scene of teenagers committing suicide, yet this film did more than once, and that was brave to say the least, and was probably why the Japanese government wanted this film to be prohibited, like the did with the book, which only backfired in the end in both cases.

Anyway, the acting was terrific, considering about 40 cast members were only in their mid teens and were making their debut into acting. In particular, Ko Shibasaki's portrayal of the sexually abused and neglected juvenile Mitsuko Souma, was perhaps the highlight of the performances, although I previously explained why I probably felt it was better than most people. Nevertheless, it isn't difficult to realise why Tarantino desperately wanted her to play Gogo's sister, Yuki Yubari, in his own film. Gogo herself (Chiaki Kuriyama) was also offered her role in Kill Bill because of her performance in this, and in a film full of violent sequences, her was perhaps the most brutal. Aki Meada was excellent in embodying all of Noriko's sweet and sensitive traits, that excellently allows us to understand why Shuya (Tatsuya Fujiwara) falls in love with her and why Kitano continuously persists in ensuring that she emerges from the program as the victor. And finally, Takeshi Kitano was terrific as usual, but you wouldn't expect anything different from him though!

The soundtrack was surprisingly excellent too, I hadn't heard anything about it when I decided to watch it, so I was pleasantly surprised but how much it added to the overall experience of the film, especially the lightouse scene. In regards to that, I'm just going to state that that scene is one of the greatest scenes I have probably ever seen, although when Tarantino took inspiration from it for the bar scene in Inglorious Basterds he probably outdid it, in all honesty

Negatives
Not many of these, although it did exclude some interesting scenes in the original novel either entirely or it only showed the aftermath of them. I didn't care for the added Kitano-Noriko sub-plot either, and is probably a prime example of why books should attempt to stay faithful to the novel.

Conclusion
I probably didn't sell this very well, but this is certainly one of the greatest films, and certainly book adaptation, that I have ever had the fortune of seeing. With the vast array of characters, I can guarantee you will find at least one character who deeply relates to you and your experiences; like how I did. Every moment is electric and fantastic, and with the infamous flashcards stating how many students are left to go, you'll constantly be guessing who is going to be bumped off next. This is a modern day parable and a far superior version of the Americanised The Hunger Games. Undoubtedly:



Also, if you were in this situation, what would you do? And for fans of the film, I urge you to go and read the book, it'll explain several things and goes into far more detail regarding each and every character. The manga is pretty good as well, if not a bit gratuitous, but still worth checking out!



I like Battle Royale. I used to have a Battle Royale shirt I wore all the time.



Master of My Domain
Battle Royale is f*cking amazing! Top 50 movie for me.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
My first ever Studio Ghibli review I know this isn't horror, but I often feel as though this film is always over looked, so I thought I'd try to give it a little exposure and also because it's one of the few Ghibli gems that I've seen in both English and Japanese.



From Up on Poppy Hill follows a teenage girl named Umi (Sarah Bolger) who struggles to cope with the death of her father, who perished in the Korean war. However, when her school's clubhouse is threatened with closure, she decides to assist her peers in cleaning it up, but along the way, she meets Shun (Anton Yelchin) and the two slowly fall in love with each other, but that is quickly threatened by a shocking revelation.

Positives
Once again, Studio Ghibli's attention to detail creates a sequence of visually gorgeous scenes that evidently have had many hours dedicated to them, and it's tiny effects like this that always complete their films, and makes them fantastic in every way, with this film being no exception whatsoever!

This film is also quite rare in that I honestly believe that the English version is superior to the original one, and I feel this way for numerous reasons. Firstly, the English version is accessible to any viewer regardless of their location, culture, country of origin etc. for in the beginning it gives a quick overview of Japan in the 1960s and the shifting attitudes possessed by their citizens, something that the original version fails to do. This seems a bit nit picky, but it's pretty pivotal. For only then can we witness this film and truly experience an overwhelming sense of nostalgia that this film commits a large quantity of time attempting to develop. I also think it's the first time a film has ever strongly provoked such a strong and specific emotion and feeling. I mean I was feeling poignantly nostalgic about a decade I wasn't even alive in and a country and culture I've had minimal exposure to! That was peculiar, but strangely beautiful too. The soundtrack also emphasised this effect massively, it's a small element of the film, but when it is used, it's used to its fullest potential.

Romance has always been an element that has been proficiently and masterfully tackled by Studio Ghibli on a very consistent basis. The romance between Howl and Sophie in their respective film was totally enchanting and you could fully comprehend why they fell for each other. This film replicates this, Umi and Shun are charming characters, who only become even more sweet and likeable when they're in the presence of one another, so basically, you end up rooting for these characters massively.

Studio Ghibli almost always allow Disney to do the English dubbing of their films, this time GKIDS took the reigns, but the result was fantastic, and regardless, they always manage to attract big names. For example, Christian Bale and Lauren Bacall (who were both in Howl's Moving Castle). This film is no exception, with Jamie Lee Curtis being amongst the ranks this time. However, the lead, Sarah Bolger, is actually pretty outstanding, she conveys such a wide spectrum of emotions with the correct amount of accuracy and precision. The scene in which Umi confesses her love to Shun was the most magical and heart warming scene within the film, although the direction (offered by Hayao's eldest son, Goro), was terrific too, especially within this particular scene.

This company are perhaps best known for their expeditions into fantastical and marvellously extravagant dominions that act as a form of escapism into worlds perhaps superior to our own. So to see them explore such an ordinary story about ordinary individuals was refreshing, but it worked amazingly well too. I certainly feel as though they represented us perfectly, the teenagers are full of wonder, optimism and a persistent urge to actively defend what they believe in. The adults are portrayed as knowledgeable, a bit distant at times, but fully empathetic as well, because they too were the same age as the protagonists at some point, and this is something I feel as though many films frequently forget. Anyway, the story was simple, but touching, and all of the sub-plots ended up tying together nicely, with no strings left unattended.

Negatives
The subbed version I saw almost scarred me for life! Basically, at one point, it is discovered that Shun and Umi are possibly half-siblings, that inevitably leaves them feeling quite perplexed and confused about how they feel for each other. In the English version, Umi gives a touchingly sweet but brief speech about how she loves him but knows there's nothing they can do about it, and it was my favourite scene of the film without a doubt. But the original version... well... she stands there next to Shun, grabs his hand, and tells him she doesn't care if they're siblings, because she loves him and knows that she always will which was quite touching, yes, but I could not get past the first bit! It was condoning an incestuous relationship between teenagers! Perhaps I am being a little dramatic, but I couldn't get over what she did, and it was a significant put-off.

The plot was perhaps a bit too simplistic. It was gorgeous, but when you realise what the writers at Studio Ghibli are capable of, I was guilty of expecting a little bit more. Shun also comments at one stage that the whole thing feels like something from a soap opera, and he's not exactly wrong. It was quite far fetched and it quickly resolved itself, so it wasn't too realistic. But, I still love this film without a doubt.

Conclusion
A foray into an often untouched territory for the masters on animation, that was magically nostalgic and completely mesmerising! Disney deliver an astounding dub as they always do, which ultimately allowed its version to become superior to the original, Japanese version. This is quite a tricky one, but I gave it an 8 on IMDb so I'll convert it and give it the equivalent:




cricket's Avatar
Registered User
I'm afraid that after 2 viewings, I'm not a fan of Suspiria. I appreciate it's unique style, but it doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Battle Royale was just ok for me for my one viewing. I plan on watching it again.

Poppy Hill is on my watchlist.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
I'm afraid that after 2 viewings, I'm not a fan of Suspiria. I appreciate it's unique style, but it doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Battle Royale was just ok for me for my one viewing. I plan on watching it again.

Poppy Hill is on my watchlist.
Yeah, although I liked it a great deal upon my first viewing, I totally fell for it when I watched it the second time, once I'd gotten used to the whole style of his films, because they're definitely different, and they're certainly not for everyone. I mean the blood alone was ridiculous

Battle Royale is a film that certainly works better when you've read the book if that helps? It just completes it, the manga is pretty great too in portraying the characters because it's so so accurate. I mean, they couldn't have got Mitsuko more right if they tried


I'd definitely check out Poppy Hill too! It's a great film



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Amazingly I've still never seen Supsiria, it's one of those films that is permanently on the radar yet always remains on the very periphery of actuality for me.

Battle Royale is a film I used to enjoy a lot but over the years it's sadly waned just a little for me on each subsequent watch. Still a fun film though.

I've no plan to see From Up On Poppy Hill despite your lovingly written write-up, the storyline just doesn't really appeal to me I'm afraid.
I'd definitely at least give a Suspiria a shot, it exceeded my expectations that were already pretty high for the film, and it's one of those film that just gets better every time you watch it!

Again, Battle Royale makes so much more sense when you read the book first, and the two compliment each other perfectly! The book is pretty big, but it's magnificent, and it's just been re-released under a new translation

And no problem, each to their own!



And here I thought that horror and anime combo was going to be my schtick. The sub/dub argument for this is a weird one. Like you said, in Japanese the incest thing is kind of disturbing, but in English they drop the whole subplot so quickly that if you haven't seen the Japanese version you would be confused why they're even related in the first place, because you could have accomplished the same effect in a much simpler way. The dub was actually done by GKIDS, not Disney (Disney only has rights to Hayao Miyazaki and 1900s Ghibli movies, the rest went to GKIDS), but honestly it's just as good as the Disney ones in voice talent and script. You brought up a lot of good points. I like the movie on its own merits, but Whisper of the Heart is a high school Ghibli romance and I enjoy that much more.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
And here I thought that horror and anime combo was going to be my schtick. The sub/dub argument for this is a weird one. Like you said, in Japanese the incest thing is kind of disturbing, but in English they drop the whole subplot so quickly that if you haven't seen the Japanese version you would be confused why they're even related in the first place, because you could have accomplished the same effect in a much simpler way. The dub was actually done by GKIDS, not Disney (Disney only has rights to Hayao Miyazaki and 1900s Ghibli movies, the rest went to GKIDS), but honestly it's just as good as the Disney ones in voice talent and script. You brought up a lot of good points. I like the movie on its own merits, but Whisper of the Heart is a high school Ghibli romance and I enjoy that much more.
So it was, thanks for clearing that up I never knew the bit about Hayao and pre-2000 Ghibli, so thanks very much! But yeah, they definitely managed to stay on par with Disney, it was terrific.

I agree with the subplot point too, I saw the English one first and I did have to remind myself of how exactly they were meant to be related, because like you said, they skim over that bit.

I've heard about Whisper of the Heart as well, and people only seem to have brilliant things to say about it, so I'll definitely check it out!

About horror anime, someone showed me corpse party? I think that's what it was called, and I simply couldn't, I felt ill for hours after watching just a few clips from it. Watching 12 year old girls graphically get their tongues cut off was too much I'm sure there'll be some good ones out there though



So it was, thanks for clearing that up I never knew the bit about Hayao and pre-2000 Ghibli, so thanks very much! But yeah, they definitely managed to stay on par with Disney, it was terrific.

I agree with the subplot point too, I saw the English one first and I did have to remind myself of how exactly they were meant to be related, because like you said, they skim over that bit.

I've heard about Whisper of the Heart as well, and people only seem to have brilliant things to say about it, so I'll definitely check it out!

About horror anime, someone showed me corpse party? I think that's what it was called, and I simply couldn't, I felt ill for hours after watching just a few clips from it. Watching 12 year old girls graphically get their tongues cut off was too much I'm sure there'll be some good ones out there though
Hayao and pre-2000 are blanket statements, because the rights are honestly a mess. GKIDS has the rights to movies that Disney hasn't released in 15 years (Which is why they've recently rushed out Blu-rays for some of the more obscure Ghibli titles, and why GKIDS is currently dubbing Only Yesterday), they had no interest in getting Earthsea because it's the bad one so that stayed with Disney even though it came out in 2006 and was directed by Goro, Arietty (2010 and not Miyazaki) was purchased on its own by Disney because it was deemed to be marketable to kids in a wide release, etc.

Watch Whisper of the Heart in Japanese. I'm usually good with either version for anime, but a major plot point in Whisper is a girl translating the song Country Roads into Japanese, which just gets butchered in the English dub.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Hayao and pre-2000 are blanket statements, because the rights are honestly a mess. GKIDS has the rights to movies that Disney hasn't released in 15 years (Which is why they've recently rushed out Blu-rays for some of the more obscure Ghibli titles, and why GKIDS is currently dubbing Only Yesterday), they had no interest in getting Earthsea because it's the bad one so that stayed with Disney even though it came out in 2006 and was directed by Goro, Arietty (2010 and not Miyazaki) was purchased on its own by Disney because it was deemed to be marketable to kids in a wide release, etc.

Watch Whisper of the Heart in Japanese. I'm usually good with either version for anime, but a major plot point in Whisper is a girl translating the song Country Roads into Japanese, which just gets butchered in the English dub.
that does sound like a complete and total mess and I've heard good things about Only Yesterday too, so I'll probably try and catch that when it's done. Still, you can't blame them for fighting over Ghibli

Thanks for the advice on that too, I'll be sure to catch that out. This film channel has Studio Ghibli seasons all the time and they always make sure they show both versions of the film, so I'll and watch it then



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
This'll be the last of my "nostalgia" reviews as it were. I'll be returning to my watch list and going through all of the films you all so generously recommended to me, and I'll take the opportunity to thank you all again for them all! However, tonight, I'm going to review Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood For Love.



The plot follows Su Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung) and Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung) a pair of lonely, isolated, and neglected individuals who both suspect that their spouses are cheating on them. After a series of small encounters, they realise their spouses are actually cheating on them with one another. Slowly, but most definitely surely, the two begin to fall in love with each other, but decide to keep their relationship platonic, to avoid stooping to the level of their spouses, with tragic consequences.

Positives
The acting was marvellous, and therefore heartbreaking. The leads, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, deliver subtle performances that are perhaps the most impacting, authentic, and completely persuasive performances I have ever witnessed. Their acting was consistent, and was absolutely superb throughout, I can't emphasise this enough! The chemistry the two of them shared was electric, and it was strikingly clear that they were totally entranced by one another. The awkward glances they trade, the extended stares they give one another, the small pinches of the arm they use in order to cope with the impending loss of their soul mate, every movement and every touch screamed how these two people wanted nothing more to experience happiness and bliss by being with one another permanently. Honestly, this is the most believable on screen romance I've seen due to the capabilities to these tremendous actors.
Tony Leung was even awarded with a Palme D'or, one of the very few awards in the acting industry that is perhaps as prestigious and more difficult to obtain than an Academy Award, and he thoroughly deserved it. Nevertheless, I preferred Maggie Cheung, her facial expressions magnificently portrayed precisely how her character was feeling, and her rapidly quick transitions from throwing a fake fašade of happiness into her true, devastated self, was so surreal, and every award that did not go to her in 2000 and 2001 were robbed.
One other member of the cast I'd certainly praise as well is Rebecca Pan, who plays Mrs.Suen, the landlady. Her scolding of Maggie Cheung for allowing her husband to forever stay away, but also because of her friendship with Tony Leung's character, something that was infrequent and not looked well upon at all during the 1960s within Hong Kong, created one of the most shocking and unexpected moments of the film, due to the brutality of her words and looks.

Moving onto the soundtrack, it was mesmerising and so intriguing, it made all of the scenes it was paired with extremely poignant and so prominent. It manages to emphasise the pain, depression, loneliness and love each character possesses to such an intense degree. It made for a surreal viewing experience that I won't be forgetting for quite some time.

I don't often comment on this, but in this film, it'd be a crime not to mention the costumes! Maggie Cheung's dresses were gorgeous (like the ones below) and were the most luminous and fluorescent object that the film managed to capture, and it isn't hard to understand why Tony Leung fell in love with her. William Chang (the costume designer) was also robbed of several awards for his brilliant contribution to this film, that has perhaps never been so intelligently used within film.


The direction was masterful. This is the only film by this acclaimed director that I have seen, but I will certainly have to check out his other works, because without a doubt, this is the most artistic and beautiful piece of cinematic bliss that I've had the pleasure of viewing. In addition, I liked how the spouses of Ms.Cheung and Mr.Leung always had their faces obscured, perhaps so that they were only designed to be a microcosm of these type of situations, or to emphasise how disillusioned the two of them have become to their spouses, and how they can't even recognise them or how they fell in love with them any more. But no matter of its true intention, it was a peculiar but wonderful touch to the film.

Some of the plot points were terrific too. They're so simple, but so inventive. For example, Su and Chow envision and enact confronting their spouses about their infidelity, which was quite an unusual element, but a fascinating one too. They also act out situations such as the last time they meet, as Su can't gather the courage to leave her husband, and these scenes were the most heart breaking. I rarely ever cry when watching films, but when Maggie Cheung breaks down in the street when Leung pretends to leave her, it left me sobbing, for watching such a beautiful and wonderful person be so devastated and despaired was extremely difficult to watch. The final scene was amazing too, and you can definitely see how it inspired Sofia Coppola in a much more iconic scene.

Negatives
I had to re-watch the last twenty minutes or so a couple of times so I could work out what had actually happened. Wong was rushed to produce a finished cut of the film in time for Cannes, which possibly explains why it's quite vague, and in all honesty, this is me probably being thick, so you probably won't encounter such an issue and difficulty should you watch this.

Conclusion
Every last element of this film was handled perfectly, and I can honestly say that this is the greatest film I have ever seen, regardless of location or genre. It was masterful, and a beautiful piece of cinema that I would classify as a piece of art.




Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
A film high on my watchlist... now higher. Only looked at the rating though, not going to read your review until I watch the film, of course.
It's one of my only reviews where I didn't include spoilers everywhere but I totally understand where you're coming from, I hope you enjoy just as much as I did!