My Week In Film (5/4 - 5/10)

Fulltime Killer (2001)
(Directed by Johnnie To + Wai Ka-Fai)

Andy Lau is kind of awesome. Seriously, that devilish grin as he cops his routines from his favorite movies and then reenacts them is awesome. That motherfucker is cocky as hell and even when the film assigns him some ridiculous weakness, he stills comes out like a badass. The style is kind of all over the place and typical but it complemented the actors/story pretty well so I didn't mind and I really got into those over the top kill scenes. The film loses me at the end when it goes meta as hell as Yam tries to give these weirdo characters their own ending but can't seem to make up his mind. That stuff is good but really I just want Andy Lau smiling like crazy son of a bitch.


The Boys From Fengkuei (1983)
(Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien)

Movies are good. Yep.

It broke my heart! It's pretty typical in its concerns of growing up, moving apart, etc, and that was bothering me earlier on but late in the film there comes a point where my heart is broken as the emptiness of where someone once used to be comes into place as deep into the frame there is a link to the past which is acting on the same plane as the present. It's weird. I'm not sure if I imagined it or not but it really killed me. And, you know, there's the whole part about these sort of films that touch you in the greatest ways, getting jobs, watching your friends move with their lives, getting drunk and seeing the girl of your dreams be with some other guy and there's that one fucking scene where you watch the most important thing in your life leave it. These are the essentials of life.

Also, that one scene where they go up to the 11th floor and see a wide vista of the city is such a fucking perfect metaphor for Hou's cinema that it blows my mind at how it works as a subtle joke and a beautiful metaphor at the same time.


Where is the Friend's Home (1987)
(Directed by Abbas Kiarostami)

What a beautiful film. At first, it's kind of annoying with the classroom cuz the teacher's a hardass in all the worst ways but soon it becomes something so startlingly simple and direct. A kid simply tries to take a notebook to his friend so he can do his homework. This means defying his mother and his grandfather to just fulfill this simple task. However, this means going to the neighboring town, searching around, asking people, being the cutest kid in the world. The ending is so sublime, too, with its confirmation of beautiful friendship, ending on a beautiful gesture that, well, yeah. Simple, direct, beautiful. Best Kiarostami I've seen so far.


Wendy and Lucy (2008)
(Directed by Kelly Reichardt)

Has a script. Not a great one by any means but it does have one. I like the sort of distanced and yet still entirely personal way that Reichardt finds to present Wendy. I'm kind of an asshole since I hate dogs so I honestly didn't care much about Lucy (plus Lucy is out of the way in like 15 minutes anyway hence no chance for me to care about her) but I like how Lucy is pretty much the only thing that keeps her afloat. How she is the one link she still has to... I don't know. Things are strange at roujin mansion. Williams is pretty great and I always felt her performance in all the ways that matter. I don't think it's a masterpiece or anything but I do think claims that "nothing happens" are completely unfounded. I mean, the entire thing is almost nothing but incident! Anyway, the recession is real! Cash Rules Everything Around Me


Lola (1961)
(Directed by Jacques Demy)

Puts a spring in your step! It really does. I was kind of disappointed halfway thru cuz I wasn't liking it that much but then I started noticing how it's sort of a precursor to Rochefort in a way that it handles all its different narrative threads with people bumping into each other, people from the past popping up, all that good stuff. By the end, I was pretty happy/sad in all the good ways. I expected to love Anouk cuz she was so incredibly beautiful in that Fellini movie (boo!) but I found her kinda... I don't know. She's a weird presence for me. Kind of overwhelming. Not sure my weak roujin heart can handle that much woman... Anyway, everything else was pretty good. I'm kinda laughing to myself thinking about how many sailors are in Demy's movies :lol:


Make Way For Tomorrow (1937)
(Directed by Leo McCarey)

This is an often beautiful film but... I don't know. It feels really old-timey in that annoying way that certain people think when they refer to "old movies," you know? I almost never really feel that or, if I do, I kinda laugh about it. But it was kind of hard for me to swallow it in this movie. Also, I don't know, the parents were almost exaggeratedly "old" which is a tough concept to explain to the uninitiated so I won't bother with it (something along the lines of having obvious markers and situations that place them as Old and Unwanted). Whatevs. I kinda wish the movie was just like the last 15 or so minutes cuz that's all incredibly beautiful and moving in all the ways that count. I understand how everything else sets it up and how there's a beautiful and quiet resignation to the tides of life and that resonates deeply with me but... there's always a but with me.


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... The Boys From Fengkuei

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