Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Films Make A Post: Half-man half-beastbird... swooping on his human prey... drinking blood... mutilating flesh!

Blackaria (2010): This is the other low budget homage to Italian horror cinema and the giallo by French directors Francois Gaillard and Christophe Robin, but where Last Caress was mining the totality of the giallo and Lucio Fulci-style horror, this one is a love letter to Dario Argento from Deep Red to Phenomena. Unlike Last Caress, this one also has an actual plot, but given the roughness of the script, the - how shall I say? - problematic intelligence of said plot, not to speak of what I can only read as its rampant misogyny, that's not necessarily a good thing. Again, you'll also need a high tolerance for amateurish acting and a non-professional feel, but just might be compensated for your patience by the film's cheap yet loving art direction, the excellent editing and a lot of style. This is clearly again a film made by fans of Italian horror for other fans of it exclusively, so you'll probably already know if Blackaria is for you or not.

Gun Crazy: Episode 2 - Beyond the Law (2002): Atsushi Muroga is one of the better directors of Japanese 90s/00s direct to video action fodder, and while this concoction about a cute, idealistic female lawyer (Rei Kikukawa) finding herself trying out the at first rather more simple seeming law of the gun isn't exactly a hidden gem, it's among the more watchable films from this part of the Japanese movie industry. The problem with these films is often that they're produced so cheaply they can't actually afford all that much action - which is a bit of a problem in supposed action films - and have to replace it with weirdness (if you're lucky), melodrama, and empty warehouses. Muroga generally knows how to handle these things with a certain degree of style, and here avoids the genre's all too typical boredom by judicious application of slow motion, entertaining pseudo-philosophy, and choice moments of leather and guns porn. It's not great filmmaking, but it's entertaining enough.

Cosmopolis (2012): Not to sound like one of those people who hate any movie with intellectual ambition, but nearly two hours of expressionless puppets declaiming stiff (I'd bet taken one to one from DeLillo's novel) dialogue that confuses depth and obtuseness are nothing to endear a movie to me, particularly when nothing the film has to say is all that complicated or deep. In fact, I can't help but suspect this is a case of a film hiding its lack of intellectual rigour behind gestures to suggest DEEP ART. My disillusionment with Cronenberg continues apace. At least the soundtrack is pretty great.

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