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Trying to finish the remaining films I have to watch in the next two days so excuse the incoming spam.

Black Rain (Shohei Imamura, 1989)

Probably says more about me that it does the film but this didn't land for me at all emotionally. For one, "based on true events" type films do typically fall flat in this regard for me, as a dramatization of an awful tragedy usually feels faker than a fictional tragedy, on film at least. The film also seemingly can't decide if it wants to be a character study on Yasuko or the whole community and unfortunately it doesn't give enough time to either. The filmmaking is extremely impressive as far as recreating the vibe of films from the 40's/50's, probably the strongest example of it I've seen in fact and while the film mostly plays if straight there's a few visual flourishes here and there that are really tasty. That being said, as impressive as it is to copy this older style perfectly, I'll always take something that feels a bit more genuine over it, and its a bit shocking coming from Imamura because from what little I've seen from him he's certainly a bolder filmmaker than this would lead one to believe. It's clearly not a bad movie at all, just not for me I suppose.




Tears of the Black Tiger (2000)

I really liked the actress, Stella Malucch, to me she made the movie....but gosh I wish I just hadn't read about her. Geez, I'm a little stunned now so I'm just going to say this was a really neat nom...(I just managed to say gosh, geez and neat in the first paragraph, ha). I liked the romance part and Stella Malucch really poured her heart into it. I get the spaghetti western parody, which was well done, as a parody. Mostly I loved the colors and the Thai countryside.

Sorry about that pic, I couldn't find the image I wanted that wasn't blurry.
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Mother (Bong Joon-ho)

Perhaps the least thrilling thriller I've ever seen. Nothing is ever tense, the plot is never intriguing and none of the mysteries are ever solved in a satisfactory way. And its a shame about the plot having nothing to offer because its the only thing the film is really offering you for pretty much the whole film. There's no real character building, no time for introspection or reflection between plot points, the film is just stuff happening and that's my least favourite type of film unless its in like a dadaist way. Technically the film looks pretty good, but the good shots never evoke anything, never feel like anything and though the film does manage to tie itself together with a decent moral quandary to end on, it doesn't excuse me being mindlessly bored for over an hour and a half beforehand.




Drunken Angel

Kurosawa is one of the directors I am most interested in seeing everything he/she has done. I've seen Sanshiro Sugata, his debut, but this is the second earliest of his films I've now seen. He is already supremely talented, but it also seems clear that as an auteur he still had room to grow into himself. The only reason I feel comfortable saying that is because I have the ability to see what he became, I wouldn't have been able to imagine that had I seen this in real time. This film seems to lack the scope of Kurosawa's classics, such as Ikiru or Ran, though I do favor Kagemusha over Ran personally. I don't mean what I am about to say in a disparaging way, but I also think this film is much simpler than a lot of the later Kurosawa films I have seen.

The one thing that is clear, however, is Kurosawa was already a stylish motherf*cker. I am a big fan of the way Kurosawa played with shadows to make everything murkier, darker, grittier, grimier, tighter, tenser, dirtier, and less hopeful. The swamps and puddles littered with trash and discarded bicycles showing up over and over again along with the film being about a bacteria chewing through someone's lungs, really paint a different picture than the ones Kurosawa would later do.

A familiar Kurosawa element started in this film: Mifune. His turn in Yojimbo will always be my favorite, there is too much of a personal attachment to that film that I have for that to ever change. This might be my second favorite. His performance in this film is the carrying force. It's a big performance, it's loud, it's theatrical, but he is like a supernova. He goes from howling like a cartoon wolf, slapping around the doctor to looking like Cesare from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, stumbling through angled doors. All leading to a final fight scene that seems subdued and over the top at the same time. There is something very poignant about this fight scene and the way they fought all over the room to the hallway to Mifune opening up the window in such a dramatic way.



@Allaby @ueno_station54 @CosmicRunaway

I see you're just about done and Cosmic is done...don't send your voting list to me, until I've posted on the 1st post that I'm done and have finalized my own voting list. I should have all the noms watched soon.



@Allaby @ueno_station54 @CosmicRunaway

I see you're just about done and Cosmic is done...don't send your voting list to me, until I've posted on the 1st post that I'm done and have finalized my own voting list. I should have all the noms watched soon.
Okay.



Paprika (Satoshi Kon, 2006)

Paprika is a film I've known and loved since it first came out and I have a bit of nostalgia for it (even though I was 15/16 when I saw it) as its a piece I watched a lot when I was first really exploring film as it were. At the time the visuals and (especially) the music were unlike anything I'd ever experienced. Since then I've seen films with stronger visuals in this vein and have certainly seen better "dream logic" type films but no one can touch Susumu Hirasawa's absolute god-tier music, in film or just on record. Tragically my DVD copy only has 5.1 sound which meant the music got buried coming through my stereo set up but its OK since I know these songs like the back of my hand. All the best tracks in Paprika have better versions on Hirasawa's album Byakkoya (White Tiger Field) and honestly I'd pick listening to that album over watching Paprika any day of the week (not a terribly relevant point, just want to push people to listen to Susumu Hirasawa records they're all incredible). Anyway, nowadays I'd say Paprika is good across the board. Visuals are good, story is good enough for what it needs to be, just solid all around and it has a couple little heartfelt moments that give it a bit of a boost as well. I feel like Kon was a great filmmaker that never quite reached his full potential, with all his films being quite good but just kind of missing something and I think Paprika, while perhaps not his overall strongest film (idk its been awhile since I've seen a lot of his stuff) I think its the one that leans into his strengths the hardest while not feeling too hollow as a result (this is of course excluding his series Paranoia Agent, which rips). Would have been nice if Madhouse honoured the man's dying wish and finished Dreaming Machine. Who knows what could have been.



Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsao-hsien, 1986)

It's wild how so many movies look so bad when Hsao-hsien and/or his DP can seemingly just point the camera at the thing and it looks incredible every time. Obviously when you have scenery this gorgeous it helps a lot but I'm still so impressed by the seemingly effortless beauty on display. The visuals paired with the quiet bleakness of the plot is such a mood added to by the almost complete absence of music, though it would have been nice if the music that did show up wasn't incredibly lame. The bittersweet acceptance of a cultural it-is-what-it-is-ness really hit home for me and feels like something that will always be relevant. Thoroughly enjoyed this even though I did have a hard time following it at points, though admittedly the copy I drudged up from Russian internet had some awful subs.

And now, I've officially finished my first HoF. Clap plz.



And now, I've officially finished my first HoF. Clap plz.
Congrats! It was nice to have you, and I hope to see you in future HoFs as well! I don't think there's a clap emoticon, but you can have a high give instead:




We now have two people finished, Cosmic and Ueno...Like Cosmic just said it was good having Ueno join us and hope to see him in some future HoFs.

I hope to be finished by next week myself.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?

Drunken Angel

Kurosawa is one of the directors I am most interested in seeing everything he/she has done. I've seen Sanshiro Sugata, his debut, but this is the second earliest of his films I've now seen. He is already supremely talented, but it also seems clear that as an auteur he still had room to grow into himself. The only reason I feel comfortable saying that is because I have the ability to see what he became, I wouldn't have been able to imagine that had I seen this in real time. This film seems to lack the scope of Kurosawa's classics, such as Ikiru or Ran, though I do favor Kagemusha over Ran personally. I don't mean what I am about to say in a disparaging way, but I also think this film is much simpler than a lot of the later Kurosawa films I have seen.

The one thing that is clear, however, is Kurosawa was already a stylish motherf*cker. I am a big fan of the way Kurosawa played with shadows to make everything murkier, darker, grittier, grimier, tighter, tenser, dirtier, and less hopeful. The swamps and puddles littered with trash and discarded bicycles showing up over and over again along with the film being about a bacteria chewing through someone's lungs, really paint a different picture than the ones Kurosawa would later do.

A familiar Kurosawa element started in this film: Mifune. His turn in Yojimbo will always be my favorite, there is too much of a personal attachment to that film that I have for that to ever change. This might be my second favorite. His performance in this film is the carrying force. It's a big performance, it's loud, it's theatrical, but he is like a supernova. He goes from howling like a cartoon wolf, slapping around the doctor to looking like Cesare from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, stumbling through angled doors. All leading to a final fight scene that seems subdued and over the top at the same time. There is something very poignant about this fight scene and the way they fought all over the room to the hallway to Mifune opening up the window in such a dramatic way.
Loved reading your perspective on, not only Drunken Angel, but of the "stylish motherf*cker", Kurosawa.
__________________
What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsao-hsien, 1986)

It's wild how so many movies look so bad when Hsao-hsien and/or his DP can seemingly just point the camera at the thing and it looks incredible every time. Obviously when you have scenery this gorgeous it helps a lot but I'm still so impressed by the seemingly effortless beauty on display. The visuals paired with the quiet bleakness of the plot is such a mood added to by the almost complete absence of music, though it would have been nice if the music that did show up wasn't incredibly lame. The bittersweet acceptance of a cultural it-is-what-it-is-ness really hit home for me and feels like something that will always be relevant. Thoroughly enjoyed this even though I did have a hard time following it at points, though admittedly the copy I drudged up from Russian internet had some awful subs.

And now, I've officially finished my first HoF. Clap plz.



Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsao-hsien, 1986)

It's wild how so many movies look so bad when Hsao-hsien and/or his DP can seemingly just point the camera at the thing and it looks incredible every time. Obviously when you have scenery this gorgeous it helps a lot but I'm still so impressed by the seemingly effortless beauty on display. The visuals paired with the quiet bleakness of the plot is such a mood added to by the almost complete absence of music, though it would have been nice if the music that did show up wasn't incredibly lame. The bittersweet acceptance of a cultural it-is-what-it-is-ness really hit home for me and feels like something that will always be relevant. Thoroughly enjoyed this even though I did have a hard time following it at points, though admittedly the copy I drudged up from Russian internet had some awful subs.

And now, I've officially finished my first HoF. Clap plz.








Snake in the Eagles Shadow (1978)


As the person who nominated a Kaiju film I don't want to be to critical of peoples choices but with this one I don't get it. I guess this is a parody of kung fu films, or an intro to Jackie Chan as his first major break through but for me this was a narrative mess.



It's not a bad film, the humor is solid and really the strongest point of the film. The fight scenes are well shot and choreographed well...though really silly. Chan is sympathetic as a janitor and the dojo has some quality elements to it. I just couldn't keep track of the villains, the purpose of the villains. Also a number of characters seemed to leave the story and I had no idea what happened to them. It was just a whole lot of setting up for the next action sequence and it really didn't work for me.



I watched Drunken Angel, which I had seen once before. I feel about the same as I originally did. This is a fine film, but not one of Kurosawa's best. I liked the performances of both Takashi Shimura and Toshirô Mifune. I thought the screenplay was pretty good, but not exceptional. The score was effective and I thought the cinematography was good. This film shows some of Kurosawa's potential and is definitely worth seeing. My rating is a
. And with that I have completed the Asian Hall of Fame. It's been swell, friends.







Drunken Angel (1948)



Drunken Angel tells the story of a hoodlum diagnosed with TB in post war Japan. Kurosawa directs the film and it's stylish but for me I left the film feeling somewhat empty. The problem I have with early Kurosawa is that the budget doesn't exist so the story lacks. A film like this really needs to move out of second gear but it just sort of meanders for most of the second and third acts. The choices of shots are really good and score is solid.


You also have a fairly bad gender imbalance with this one where Okada and Miyo are really just background pieces...prizes for the male leads to win. I also don't know if Kurosawa who the lead of the story is...is this Mifune's story or Shimura's? For me the viewer it just makes me feel disconnected and I didn't really care about any of the characters.