Saturday, October 24, 2009

3 Films Make A Post: A New Beginning

Taste of Killing (1966): Tonino Valerii's Spaghetti Western about a bounty killer (Craig Hill) protecting a load of gold from the bandit (George Martin) who once killed his brother starts out promising enough and looks quite stylish throughout. Alas, it also suffers from a script that permanently brings up enticing details about its characters without ever making much use of them or finding a unified theme. As it stands, the film is a series of Spaghetti standard situations done well enough, but without the intelligence that makes the best part of the genre so interesting and without much that holds the single parts together.


Goemon (2009): Either I am finally getting too old for this shit, or this is the most horrible, candy-colored mess of a CGI fest I have seen in a long time. I found its director's Kazuaki Kiriya's other big CGI mess Casshern with its wish to be every possible film at once much more worthwhile than the critical consensus says it is, but Goemon is nigh unwatchable.

The insanely broad acting with human actors who are less subtle than your typical anime character alone would be enough to kill the film, yet Kiriya insists on adding the insulting dumbness of his self-penned "script" and the already mentioned terrible CGI. I don't know the words fit to describe this vortex of absolute suckitude.


Kakurenbo (2004): A bunch of kids from a future, retro-futurist Japan comes to a ghost "town" (we'd call it a city, I suppose) to play a hidden, secret game of hide and seek - some of them to find out where all the other children who have disappeared before them went, some of them just for kicks.

This digitally animated one-man project by Shuhei Morita is an exceptionally beautiful anime with a visual style that is at once based on traditional Japanese designs and symbols (the fox masks the children wear, the basic designs of the demons who hunt them) and part of an already aged and lost future. It's a truly inspired piece of work, with every scene hinting at the basics of the film's future without ever actually revealing them. I tend to find storytelling techniques like this highly effective, consequently I am quite awed by the film's perfect and personal style and Morita's choice to let the (at times very creepy) mood do the explaining.


No comments: