Lady Vengeance – Kicking Ass All Summer Long!

March 15, 2006 at 12:00 am (Other Films of Note)

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance
(South Korea – 2005)

Director:
Park Chan-wook
Screenplay: Seo-Gyeong Jeong
along with – Park Chan-wook
Cinematography: Jeong-hun Jeong

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“Stylishly confusing, enchantingly dark, breath taking finale to an equally vexing trifecta of masterful films.”
~ Gaijin Otaku Gundan – Cinema Detachment
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Deftly weaving a unique, undeniably human tapestry from the dark humor, disturbing violence and striking imagery of its predecessors ‘Sympathy For Lady Vengeance’ is a meticulously crafted, intense and thought provoking film – one that beautifully brings the Chan-wook vengeance trilogy full circle.

Though I’m looking forward to seeing both ‘Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance’ and ‘Oldboy’ on the big screen, I have a really bad feeling about the forthcoming US theatrical release of ‘Lady Vengeance.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarin Happy Guru: Totally Whacked!

January 17, 2006 at 7:33 pm (General Belly Aching)

Asahara not fit for trial: psychiatrist
Japan Times – January 17, 2006

Note: A comprehensive collection of articles detailing the full scope of Aum Shinrikyo and Shoko Asahara’s crimes is available for download at the end of this post.

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“Headgear to tune cult members into his own brainwaves, production of nerve gas, automatic weapons, manufacture of LSD for the Yakuza, wholesale brainwashing of thousands of his disciples and industrial sized microwaves to dispose of murder victims. Let’s see, did I miss anything? Oh wait – that whole sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system back in ’95 too… and you mean to tell me the guy might be a little off ?!” ~ 72HW
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The Japan Times announced yesterday that according to his lawyers, Shoko Asahara is unable to stand trial because of a ‘confused state of mind.’

OK, for one this is a guy who founded the Aum Shinrikyo specifically so he could bring about the end of the freaking world! What’s more, he wasn’t content to wait for Armageddon, oh no: instead he ordered members of Aum to release sarin on the subway system beneath Tokyo in 1995.

(FYI: Sarin is a nerve agent many hundreds times more powerful than mustard gas, one so nasty and inhumane even HITLER REFUSED TO USE IT!)

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BBC 4: Jonathan Ross’ Asian Invasion – Japan

January 12, 2006 at 6:23 pm (J-Movies, Other Films of Note)

Must See TV this aint, but not Must Miss either…

A three-part series that follows the host to Japan, Hong Kong and Korea as he claims to explore the world’s most innovative cinema.
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“Nice eye candy, though far from authoritative. Even far from comprehensive. Heck, might as well just say it: If you want a decent intro to Japanese Film you better look elsewhere.” ~ 72HW
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As charming as the show’s “Lunch with Ryuhei Kitamura” and all to brief Miyazaki interview segments are, the remaining 90% will be of little use to anyone familiar with Japanese cinema except for possibly the otaku set.
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SAMBOMASTER: Like Hearing God Play J-Rock

January 11, 2006 at 1:55 am (Soundtrack Of My Life)

Just a quick rant about my latest fanboy obsession…

Sambomaster Is:
Lead Singer & Guitar God: Takeshi Yamaguchi
On Bass & Backing Vocals: Yoichi Kondo
A Skin Pounding Madman: Yasufumi Kiuchi
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“I love music more than just about anything, but am very particular about what I listen to. If I happen across a band with whom I can groove, that’s cool, but when I discover a band like Sambomaster they forever become part of my soul.” ~ 72HW
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Some say I tend to go a tad overboard when I find a band that hits all the right chords – they probably just want me to stop giving them CD’s and shut the hell up long enough to talk about something different for five minutes. For the past 12 months its been Japanese film and culture I’ve been running my hole about, but over the past few weeks the dead horse I’ve been beating repeatedly goes by the name Sambomaster who play an exquisite hybrid of jazz, punk and power pop. So pow, how you like me now! One might think the people in my neighborhood would welcome a change of subject when they speak at me, right? Only problem is, you guessed it – Sambomaster hail from Tokyo. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shimizu and Ichise At It Again

December 27, 2005 at 2:43 pm (J-Horror, J-Movies)

Dark Tales of Japan
(Japan – 2004)

Producer: Ichise Taka

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“J-Horror Anthology done the amusing, highly watchable beer drinking movie way! Well worth a spot on your list of future rentals. ”

~ Gaijin Otaku Gundan
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Ichise Taka – a name that commands respect from some J-Horror fans for his part in the ‘Ringu’ and ‘Ju-On’ franchises, while it rouses snorts of disdain from others who blame him for making Hollywood aware of the ‘Ringu’ and ‘Ju-On’ franchises. (That screwed up their private ‘cool kids only’ happy fun time club see.) Whatever your take on the guy, he’s done a lot of amazing work over the years and there’s no arguing the name lends authority to any project he produces.

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Clown Prince Of All Cinema

December 26, 2005 at 11:00 am (J-Movies, Kitano Takeshi)

Takeshi KITANO

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“For my money, only two directors alive today consistently produce films that I consider flawless: Scorsese and Bito…”

~ 72HW

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Into a very poor Tokyo family on January 18th, 1947 came a boy who would be plagued with hardship, self doubt and detached indifference even after becoming a household name, loved by millions all over Japan. First winning fame as a stand-up comedian, then a wild TV host and finally for violent Yakuza films he directed and starred in – the meteoric rise of “Beat” Takeshi would nearly come crashing down. In 1994 a drunken motorbike ride found its end wrapped around a rail-road barrier, seriously injuring the star and paralyzing the right side of his face. Many predicted he would never again return to the spotlight, but from the introspective convalescence which followed, ‘Bito’ would emerge utterly transformed.

Infused with intricate symbolism and singular subtext, the films he began to make would instantly transcend all previous accomplishments and earn prestigious, winning nods from Cannes, Venice, Toronto and Tokyo film festivals among many others. Perhaps more importantly the sweeping vision and stunning beauty he found within himself resonated with movie goers around the globe – many of whom openly worship the man they have lovingly proclaimed Kitano: God Of Cinema

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Agitator, madman or stunning genius?

December 26, 2005 at 10:50 am (J-Movies, Miike Takashi)

Takashi MIIKE
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“In my opinion, he represents quite possibly the single greatest directorial talent ever unleashed upon the world of cinema…”

~ 72HW

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Born on August 24, 1960 on the outskirts of Osaka in a small town called Yao, Miike was a young teen when his father took him to see his first movie: Steven Spielberg’s Duel. From there he later developed an avid admiration for Bruce Lee, the only person of which he professes being a true fan, and thus began young Miike’s journey into motion pictures. After trying on many different hats for size he enrolled in a Yokohama school of broadcasting, later stating about the decision “It really sounded like the ideal chance to escape home and do nothing.”

At first working only on TV productions, he eventually found opportunities to join film crews and eventually came under the wing of Shohei Imamura in 1987 where creative urges began to take shape. Four short years later the headstrong, now very motivated upstart had clawed his way to 1st Assistant Director and caught the attention of Toei studio heads who gave him a shot directing a title for their emerging V-Cinema product line. This straight to video marketing strategy would quickly prove to be an unprecedented money machine and Miike would fast become its bleeding edge poster boy.

In the 16 years since his V-Cinema debut Miike has directed a whirlwind over 60 films ranging from shockingly violent to serenely beautiful, clinically coherent to nightmarishly discordant and everything in between. A large number of which have won praise from all quarters, earned him a ravenous cult following and not only changed the shape and texture of Japanese film, but arguably the entire industry around the world.

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Award Winning Thai Film ‘Nang Nak’

December 26, 2005 at 9:16 am (Other Films of Note)

Nang Nak (1999 – Thailand)
Director/Producer: Nonzee Nimibutr
Screenplay: Visit Sartsanatieng
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“An awesome, lushly crafted and immersive introduction to the world of Thai ghost stories that should by no means be overlooked .”

~ Gaijin Otaku Gundan
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Much more so than Bangkok Haunted or Lhorn which are both mildly entertaining but un-scary and nearly devoid of any true cultural significance – “Nang Nak” provides an awesome introduction to the world of Thai ghost stories and is simply a beautiful film to look at. Read the rest of this entry »

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Edu-tainment the GOG Blog way!

December 26, 2005 at 1:27 am (Documentary Film)

The below is a regularly updated list of documentary and educational films which all deal with, you guessed it – Asia and/or Asians!

Further information on each title can be had simply by Googling the name in most cases and as you can see, the list is broken down into Country and when it makes sense, broken down further into specific areas of focus.

NOTE: All below listed titles will be hotlinked with short reviews once available Read the rest of this entry »

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