Wednesday, August 18, 2004

FrightFest fare

It seems that M and C aren’t too interested in the offerings of FrightFest 2004. All I got was a pair of wrinkled noses when I uttered the words: ‘Horror’, ‘Psychological Thriller’ and ‘Suspense’.

Instead, I was told:

C: “Why don’t you ask THEM”

Me: (puzzled) “Who?”

C: “You know,” (gesturing to the computer with casual, practiced, mock distaste) “your fans.”

-The blog has a history of being somewhat of a persona non gratis in the household because it makes me sit at a screen for hours on end holding up my end of a conversation with half-muttered and occasionally inappropriate ‘uh huh’s. -

Me: “Ummm, that’s a little weird. Interesting, though.”

C: “You could run a competition…Win A Date With…”

Me: (interjecting) “…ahhhhh yeeeees, I see your point but I don’t really think that people are going to enter a competition to sit next to me at a cinema.”

M: (seemingly from nowhere) “You never know.”

Sweet. I suppose that’s why he’s my husband – he actually thinks going to the movies with me is like a prize. Unless, of course, it’s a horror flick, in which case wrestling with some Linux flavour named after a hat is a damn sight more interesting. I suspect, therefore, that I'll be going alone.

So why see a dark, malevolent, violent movie? Firstly, the good guy sometimes does win. Secondly, I like movies that make me think. Hollywood fare is becoming barer and barer when it comes to story and more and more full of cheap laughs, cheap shots and cheap shock.

These films are usually made by directors who bring the tapestry of their own culture to bear on the storytelling. The ensemble cast is also usually international in flavour - something that gives characters more facets than (again) standard Hollywood fare.

It's also rarely a boy-meets-girl flick. Why is it that every movie nowadays has to have some romantic storyline woven in where it patently doesn't belong? Sometimes a film is just all about action or a concept or a time or a place. Yes, people meet and are attracted to each other in all kinds of absurd situations...but why must it always be the male and female lead?

I'm counting on the fact that these films won't be predictable, that I'll be remembering elements for a long time to come (whether good or bad) and that they'll be visually stunning (especially 'Casshern').

So these are the ones I'm considering:

Casshern - "Based on a 35-epsiode Japanese anime series from 1973 (Casshan: Robot Hunter), top music video director Kazuaki Kiriya's visually arresting epic science fiction odyssey"

Oldboy - "Taking the revenge movie to a whole new surreal and sadistic level, the Cannes 2004 sensation from South Korean director Chan Wook Park will blow you away stylistically, emotionally and intellectually. 'Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance' was only an appetizer for this breathtaking example of how edgily provocative, aesthetically nihilistic and utterly original new Asian cinema can be."

The Tesserract - "An ace solo effort from Oxide Pang, who directed the FrightFest favourites The Eye and its sequel with twin brother Danny, The Tesseract is a quite stunning adaptation of Alex (The Beach) Garland's labyrinth film noir book about colliding destinies."

This last one is a bit of a maybe - has anyone seen these films already?

Should any of you be in London, be at the (one and only) screening of any of these movies, be looking across a crowded foyer and spot someone that looks faintly like me...come up and say 'hi'.

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