Claire’s Camera (2017)
Director & Screenplay: Hong Sang-Soo
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Kim Min-Hee
Review: The story for this movie is extremely simple. A French woman randomly meets a few Koreans (a man and two women) in Cannes during a film festival and finds out they know each other. Gradually their connections are revealed as she encounters each one multiple times and take polaroid photos of them believing that people change after she takes their photo.
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Le festival du nouveau cinema from October 4-15, 2017 will be screening films from all over the world at various theaters in Montreal. There are some recent movies from Japan such as Beat Takeshi’s Outrage Coda (the final installment of the Outrage trilogy) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Before We Vanish. Films from the past such as Takashi Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django and several gangster films from the 60s by Seijun Suzuki. There’s also an intriguing stop motion animation short film by Takeshi Yashiro called Norman the Snowman. From South Korea there are a couple of recent Hong Sang Soo films and from the past, a Korean western by Kim Jee Woon. There’s a movie from Chinese born but Montreal based director Xiaodan He called Un Printemps d’ailleurs. There is also a Vietnamese horror movie called KFC.
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I didn’t even think cafes with raccoons and meerkats existed anywhere. One of them even has a capybara. These look like some fun places to visit in Seoul, South Korea. Then he eats some food later in the video, of course.
Fantasia 2017, total films seen: 22
This was an okay year overall. Last year wasn’t necessarily that much better but it had some super memorable screenings while this year there weren’t any films that wowed me or had the audience go super crazy. Granted, I missed some South Korean movies I really wanted to watch like A Taxi Driver and A Day. Only three films were labeled recommended this year. This isn’t the worst year as far as outright disliking films but the number of films that I enjoyed or liked a lot this year was lower than previous years. I am starting to wonder if my interest in East Asian cinema is waning.
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Mini reviews of Free and Easy, The House of the Disappeared, Shock Wave, The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue, Napping Princess, Love and Other Cults, Rage, Extraordinary Mission, Night is Short Walk On Girl.
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Split / 스플릿 (2016)
Directed by: Choi Kook-hee
Written by: Choi Kook-hee
Cast: Yoo Ji-tae, David Lee, Lee Jung-hyun
Review: Chul-Jong (Yoo Ji-tae) A former bowling champion after injuring his leg is reduced to using his skills to hustle money to survive and also help his broker Hee-Jin (Lee Jung-Hyun) get back her bowling alley. He discovers an autistic young man Young-Hoon (David Lee) who is able to bowl strikes extremely consistently by employing an unorthodox technique. They become a team and eventually become involved in a high stakes better game of underground bowling.
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Confidential Assignment / 공조 / Gongjo lit. Cooperation (2017)
Directed by: Kim Sung-hoon
Written by: Yoon Hyeon-ho
Cast: Hyun Bin, Yoo Hai-jin, Kim Joo-hyuck, Lim Yoo-na
Review: This is a buddy cop type action movie with mismatched partners, one a North Korean special forces officer, Im Chul-ryeong (Hyun Bin), and the other a South Korean street detective, Kang Jin-tae (Yoo Hae-jin). They’re forced to team up to catch a defector who killed some officers and stole money counterfeiting plates. The defector and his band of mercenaries have fled from North to South Korea. It sounds serious but it’s just a setup for the action and comedy.
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The Senior Class / 졸업반 / jol-eob-ban (2016)
Directed by: Hong Deok-pyo
Written by: Yeon Sang-ho
Cast: Lee Ju-seung, Kang Jin-ah, Jeong Yeong-gi
Review: This is another mature animated film from South Korea. Although it’s a coming of age love story it has some explicit nudity and brief sex scenes. At art school, a young man becomes intrigued by a fellow female classmate and begins to like her. By chance, he discovers a secret of hers but when it gets spread and distorted, jealousy and stupidity lead to grave consequences.
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