Archive for December, 2008

Cut

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , , , on December 23, 2008 by Cristina Blackwater

I talked before about the awesomeness of Park Chan Wook.

But nowadays it’s all about short comments and pictures, isn’t it? This should do the trick then:

cut

Once more, with feelings:

Plot: “a successful filmmaker arrives home to find that a disgruntled extra has taken over his home, and fastened his pianist wife (Kang Hye-jun of Oldboy) to the grand piano. The madman threatens to cut off the wife’s fingers, one by one, unless the director strangles the helpless child he’s tied to the couch.

Cut is a segment of the omnibus movie Three… Extremes a collective of 3 segments from 3 of the most relevant asian “horror” directors:

  1. my man Park Chan Wook for Korea with Cut
  2. mr. Takashi Miike for Japan with Box
  3. Fruit Chan for China with the segment Dumplings (which was later released as a full lenght movie)

Every segment reflects the directors native country’s culture in it’s own way, other than bringing a personal, original intakes on the subject of horror. You will definitely like Cut if you liked Funny Games (not the crappy remake) and David Lynch‘s Darkened Room and don’t even get me started on the vampires subject in the first minute of the movie.. but too many words already. ok back to pictures

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Yummy Brains

Posted in Zombie Bakery with tags , on December 22, 2008 by Cristina Blackwater

WANT.

zombie baking by xsomnis

Park Chan-wook

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , , , , on December 20, 2008 by Cristina Blackwater

South korean cinema is one of my favorite things in the world.

In a time in history where every single movie is a copy of a copy of a copy (and don’t even get me started on the whole “remake” bullshit) filmakers of this country definitely stand out loud, and if you can go past the subtitles deal you will instantly fall in love with it.

If you, like me, grew up watching horror movies, if you like flicks of strong imagery and subjects that really hit you in the face and make you think, south korea is going to become your best friend, and will provide you hours of entertainment, laughs, and even tears.

Now, to really really get started, you definitely have to become familiar with filmaker and screenwriter Park Chan-wook.

Not only because he’s my favorite and i love him to death, but also cuz he gave all of us precious over precious little masterpieces of absolute perfection. He is the kind of guy that knows how to shove a very hard to swallow subject like incest down your throat, mixing strong imagery, violence, compassion and bright colours, mixed with a topping of the perfect sountrack, for both of your eyes, brains, and ears’ delight.

Accoring to Wikipedia “His films are noted for their immaculate framing and brutal subject manner. Despite extreme violence in his films, Park is regarded as one of the most popular film directors in Korea, with three of his last five feature films gathering more than 3 million spectators. This makes Park the director of three films in the thirty all-time highest grossing films in South Korea

You get the idea.

I instantly became obsessed with every single one of his movies, going crazy to find even the little short movie that no one has ever heard about, interviews, making-of-s,  and honestly i would even read about what he eats on a regular basis if i could.

Why?

Mainly because he gave birth to Oldboy, which is my favourite movie EVER. But more on that later.

He grew up in Seoul and originally wanted to be an art critic. Then something happened, and after watching the movie Vertigo he decided to become a filmaker. Thanks Vertigo, we will all sincerely thank you forever for that.

I have been lucky enough to watch his entire filmography, which is not a real easy thing to accomplish, since its early work didn’t get that much positive response and is for that reason extremely hard to find (hence you won’t find it on dvd or on the internet, you have to either pray for a future release or find an old vhs at your korean neighbor’s yard sale), and i learned to appreciate every single one of his brain children.

But you don’t necessarily have to become as obsessed as i am. So i wrote down a list of his best movies that i hope will be interesting enough to make you even just a little curious about it, and decide to check it out. I promise you despite my dubious ability to write reviews or to write at all, it’s 100% worth it. And if you don’t trust my judgement, let me just tell you that another big fan of his work is mr.Quentin Tarantino, nonetheless.

So there you go, here is my Park Chan Wook Zombie Cupcake recipe:

  • THE VENGEANCE TRILOGY

The Vengeance trilogy is a name given to his 3 most popular movies. The plots are not related to each other, but they all focus on the revenge theme, hence the name of this spectacular trilogy.  The movies are:

  1. Sympathy For Mr.Vengeance (2002) about a guy named Ryu trying to earn enough money for his sister’s kidney transplant, but everything goes terribly wrong, and so you’ll follow him through his subsequent path of revenge
  2. Oldboy (2003) About Dae-Su, a shallow drunk who is  suddenly locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing his captor’s motives. When he is finally released, Dae Su finds himself still trapped in a web of conspiracy and strangeness. His own quest for vengeance becomes tied in with romance when he falls for Mido, a cute sushi chef he meets right after he is released.
  3. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005) about Lee Geum-ja, an apparently reformed prisoner convicted of murdering a young schoolboy. Lee Geum-ja is innocent of the murder, confessing to the false crime by order of Mr. Baek, the real killer who threatened to murder her newborn daughter if she refused. Her own path of revenge revolves around finding and killing Mr.Baek.

The Vengeance trilogy is considered his masterpiece.  But mr Park is not only good to tell us about vengeance, he is equally amazing when it comes to horror stories, and even romance..

  • CUT (2004) the second segment of the Three…Extremes horror movie. “Cut” is about a successful film director and his wife kidnapped by an extra, who forces the director to play his sadistic games. If he fails, his wife’s fingers will be chopped off one by one every five minutes.
  • I’m  a Cyborg but that’s Ok (2006) about romantic love in a mental institution between Young-goon, a girl who believes herself to be a cyborg and refuses to eat, and Il-sun, a young male patient hospitalized for anti-social behaviour and schizophrenia, who believes he can take other peoples souls.

This is just a short, on-the-go guide to Park Chan Wook’s best movies,  I will soon provide extensive reviews for each one of them, in the meantime, here is where you can find the dvds:

Park Chan Wook on Amazon

Park Chan Wook on Ebay

This is definitely an alternative to every crap remake horror movie that has been released in the past years, so hurry up and watch them now, before they get ruined by, say, jerks like Steven Spielberg and Will Smith. Oh, wait… too late for that. it’s already gonna happen. You still have a few months before it will be ruined forever.

Hurry up, the clock is ticking..

-C

baking Zombie Cupcakes

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , on December 18, 2008 by Cristina Blackwater

This journal entry was copied and pasted from a different place, and it’s the explanation and the reason behind Zombie Cupcakes.

,

“A few nights ago, on one of my countless sleepless nights, i was glued to my laptop watching one of the latest Kim Ji Woon movies, and i got inspired and excited to put a few words down. Let me give you a little background about me, ’cause i feel like it’s necessary. As most of you already know (and if you don’t, just look at my profile and you’ll figure it out) i’m from Milan (Italy), and i moved to the US about two years ago.

And what a fucking challenge that was.

See, when you move to a complete different country, sooner or later you realize that starting a brand new life leaves you only a little-if any-time left for your good old passions.

But that was not the point of my entry.

The point was:
To tell you about my forever strongly passionate appreciation for oriental cinema.

Cyborg “i have to create myself in a new country” Cristina reset on her own and re-ashed this amazing interest and oh boy, what a happy moment that was. nevermind i now mostly watch movies in korean, or japanese, with english subtitles that in my head are automatically commuted in italian, so that my brain automatically translates and processes words in 3 different languages simultaneously (sounds scary? maybe one day my head will blow up on its own). it still is my most up to date favorite thing to do.

I always thought my “mission” in life was to make every single one of my human fellas watch OLDBOY. And it still is, but i decided to put a few additions to it and go a little bigger, and a little deeper.

I stuck up for that movie for years and years, like a preacher with his bible, and i never ever left it behind. i was so goddamn attached to it that it literally saved my ass about 7 or 8 months ago, because it was the last and only thing i was holding on to.

Now you get an idea of my of obsession behind it.Do you love that movie as well? What if i told you that somewhere in south Korea somebody gave birth to its twin brother? And what if  the director was also one of  mr.Park Chan-Wook best friends?

The movie i’m talking about is called A BITTERSWEET LIFE and the genious behind it’s (hence the beginning of my entry) Kim Ji Woon.

If you knew me, this would be a good enough reason to hurry up on your ass and fucking watch it, since such perfection on film is so rare nowadays..

But if that’s not enough, let me throw in a “hot ass yakuza guy kills and tortures everybody in a magnificent spur of revenge triggered by falling in love with a girl only seen one time for 10 minutes”

Still not attractive enough?
IT’S THE SAME DIRECTOR OF “A TALE OF TWO SISTERS”, only he made a better movie.
You didn’t think it was possible, didn’t you?
Neither did i.

I have a few more gems that i’m gonna share with you at a different time.
Maybe one day i’ll just write a real review about them.

For now, i just wanted to share my excitement.”

To make it simpler and shorter.. Hello, and welcome to my blog.

-C