Friday, August 10, 2007

Asia Extreme Film thread

Okay, which of you maniacs likes Asia Extreme Cinema? I've only seen a few of these, but I'm not up for too much of this stuff! Aiyee!

I must admit, I enjoy the deliberate subversion of the "passive" Asian female stereotype, particularly in AUDITION, which is like something on LSD. (They even replay conversations two ways, like, how the two different people *heard* it.) A man is supposedly "auditioning" actresses for a movie, but in actuality, he is looking for a proper submissive wife, the "old-fashioned" type. He thinks he's found her, and well, he's in for a major shock. HAHAHAHA, serves him right!

I've seen others, but had to turn off SUICIDE CLUB because that roll-of-skin thing was just too gross for me. I'm a vegetarian!

Do you have recommendations? Go easy on me, please!


Elizabeth McClung said...

Well the original version of Pulse I love - as well as Cure by the same director (both available here). Neither have too much "ick" but a lot of "I'm going to play with your mind". Other good ones are Premonition. Also Thai film The Eye, Korean Film: Memories of Murder and the new Korean film just out now on DVD is The Host which is fantastic (really super) - if you like it try finding The Quiet Family - another Korean black humor film.

Daisy said...

Thanks! That's exactly what I'm looking for!

OLD BOY (Korean) was, well, something else. Have you seen it?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Yes - if you don't like so much um......cutting things off, you might try Lady Vengence, the third in the series - about a woman who was sent to prison by a man who killed her child, and she wants to get together all the parents of the children he killed to have vengence - so yes, a bit icky, but with a good moral!

Cassandra Says said...

I'd second the rec for Lady Vengeance. If you dig back through the archives on my blog there's actually a review of that one.

Also, I recently saw a brilliant movie which was actually a compliation of three short pieces called Three Exremes. The first piece was by Fruit Chan, the middle by some Korean director whose name I can't remember (but the movie was good), and the last piece was by Takashi Miike.

Speaking of which...well, you've already seen Audition. Miike is sort of a demented genius. He's brilliant, but disturbing at times, and the fact that he started doing schlock exploitation flicks shows through occasionally. I'd recommend Ichi the Killer as a starting point.

However...note that Audition is probably one of the least violent things he's ever done. Some of his stuff makes Oldboy look like The Care Bears.

If you can find it one oddity I'd highly recommend is The Great Yokai War. So yeah...what happens when Miike makes a fantasy adventure movie for children? It's wierd, but brilliant and oddly moving. And much less bloody than his usual stuff.

Also if you've never seen the original of the Grudge (Ju-on) it's worth checking out and much better than the American remake.

Oh, one more...a Thai movie called Shutter. It has sort of Ring-like overtones but it's interesting in its own right, and the ending is unusually well executed. Advance warning though - nasty violent rape scene in the middle.

drakyn said...

I liked Old Boy a lot. Though someone spoiled me for who that girl actually was.
Did anyone here see the Japanese Grudge? Juu-on is how it is spelled I believe. Maybe it is because I've been to a place where really bad things have happened (old mental hospital, it was once the largest in the US), but that movie is the scariest I have ever seen. I saw it a few years ago and I still look around dark corners with fear.
The American version was a joke.
Battle Royal is also good. It's about an alternet Japan where every year an 8th grade class is chosen at random to compete in a 'game'. The last student left alive on an island is the one that gets to leave. The manga is a bit more in depth and I've heard the book is better, but the movie is good and not too gory.

Victoria Marinelli said...

Related not to film whatsoever but simply to delicious subversions of passive Asian female stereotypes, I must recommend The Big Bad Chinese Mama.

More later in reply to the Southern post and whatnot, when I'm not utterly weary from hours of self-defeating behaviors in the form of tirelessly researching a piece ("Your Silence Will Not Protect You") on the present matter of harassment of feminist bloggers, which I will probably never get around to writing anyway.

Aurgh, my brain hurts.

Sorry for rant, really, do check out the above-referenced site.

kactus said...

If you can find it one oddity I'd highly recommend is The Great Yokai War.

Netflix has it.

kactus said...

Ok, just popping in a few days late to say that I rented Old Boy from the recommendations in these comments and WOW. There are no words.

So, Daisy, I guess I'm saying, "See it!" There is violence, I'm not gonna lie to you, but the violence isn't the shocking part. It's the psychology, see?


Daisy said...

Oh, I did see OLD BOY! Yeah, I did like it!

SUICIDE CLUB is the one I had to turn off.

Daisy said...

BTW, fans of Asia Extreme might want to check out Snowblood Apple, a blog all about Asia Extreme Cinema.

kactus said...

oh yeah, silly me I reread the comment thread and saw that you mentioned seeing it.

Anyway, what a great movie, just great, just...well...great. It sent me reeling.

I liked Suicide Club mostly, but didn't really understand it very well. Plus the copy I had was edited, so one of the more infamous scenes was missing (no, not the first mass suicide, one later). Oh well, guess I can live without that particular visual in my brain ;0

Daisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy said...

The blood sloshing up the subway platform in the first five minutes of SUICIDE CLUB lets you know that Toto, you ain't in Kansas anymore. I thought, AIYEEEE! And of course, I was right. :P

The loneliness that is dramatized in OLD BOY is the most intense I have ever seen; the hallucinations brought on by loneliness seemed very real and terrifying.

Because of that movie, I am more dedicated than ever to abolishing death row, where people die of punishing psychological isolation years before their physical death. Right after I saw OLD BOY , I saw a show about death row, where one inmate was asked if he was afraid of being executed. He replied that he had already died a long time ago.

I thought of OLD BOY immediately.