Archive for pulp

Bellflower

Posted in Strange Love with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2011 by Cristina Blackwater

Bellflower – 2011

plot: Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. Literally all their free time is spent building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang “Mother Medusa”. While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.

Let me start off by saying words can hardly explain how much i loved this movie. so pardon me if this will be perhaps yet another very partial pretend-review of a movie, but after all, this is my damn movie blog so you guys deal with it or leave now. Bellflower is up there in the top 3 movies i have watched this year, next to Drive and I Saw The Devil. it touched me in so many ways. so many real, raw, visceral ways. but let’s start with a little back story.

Bellflower is an indie 2011 movie written and directed by Evan Glodell, who is also the protagonist of the movie. it’s essentially, at the poster says, a love story. of many kinds. first and foremost we have Aiden and Woodrow (Evan Glodell), two best friends who move to LA from Wisconsin, with a common passion for Mad Max and homemade pyrotechnics. they are set on building their own homemade flamethrower and a replica of the Medusa car, in the hope that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang

in the meantime, you know, they’re just boys being boys. there’s lots of partying, laughing, fighting, and especially drinking. tons and tons and tons of it. then there’s the girl. there’s always a girl, isn’t there? Woodrow meets her and instantly falls for her, and then shit starts hitting the fan. you could very easily compare her to a Fight Club’s Marla of some kind, or even better, to an Eternal Sunshine’s Clementine. the girl is wild and young and carefree and  nutty on the side. the two of them, on their first date, decide to go on a spontaneous road trip to Texas, and are pretty much inseparable since.

this seemingly strange but mostly romantic movie turns progressively (MUCH) darker as their relationship crumbles, and the rest is a voyage that takes on surreal, truly apocalyptic notes that more than one reviews rightly describes it as a generational statement. the people in the movie try to find themselves, and try to find something bigger than themselves, something to believe in even in a post apocalyptic fucked up world that seldom offers means to grab onto reality.

and what a grand journey that is! Evan Glodell worked on this movie for years, shot it with a non existing budget and a crew of 11 dedicated people and built most of the props, including the flame throwers and muscle car. also, at some point in the movie he grows a beard and is a total fucking babe. but i digress. Glodell not only wrote, produce, directed, co-edited, and starred in his movie, but he also built a custom camera for it, a “Coatwolf Model II digital cinema camera who looks like a steampunk wet dream, from the old-school bellows on the front to the hand-machined nameplate on the side”

what more do you need as an invitation to hurry up and watch this? how about a hot beard picture?

alright, i lied. that wasn’t for you. it was entirely for my pleasure.

seriously though.. this movie is awesome. i hope this is the start of a very long, brilliant career for this young director who managed to make yet another indie gem out of virtually nothing. and to hell with the huge hollywood blockbusters.

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A Bittersweet Life

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2009 by Cristina Blackwater

A Bittersweet Life – Dalkomhan insaeng – 2005

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A Bittersweet Life is the movie that inspired me to open this blog. I tried to briefly explain it all in my first entry, and then for some reason, i just never got back to it. You know, they say things always happen for a reason, and so after stalling for so long waiting for the right moment  to share this with you, something (or should i say somebody?) happened and made me change my mind. And so here it goes:

A Bittersweet Life is a 2005 movie by Kim Ji-Woon. It tells the extremely intense story of Kim Sun-woo, an enforcer and hotel manager. His mobster boss, Mr.Kang, has to go out of town for some time and asks him to look after his little girlfriend Hee-soo, jealous and afraid she might be seeing younger men while he’s away. Hee-soo does in fact have a boyfriend, but when Sun-woo finds out, he surprisingly shows mercy on her. This results into an act of betrayal towards his boss, and that’s where everything starts going extremely wrong.. Mr Kang is determined to kill him. Sun-woo is determined to fight for his life. and so a big masterpieced path of revenge is set.

This movie is undeniably inspired by Oldboy. It’s about vengeance, about somebody who has to go thru a lot of violence to save his life, about tragedy and betrayal. The protagonist is Lee Byung-hun, that we have seen before in Cut and Joint Security Area (also from Park Chan-wook).

It is also about preciousness in a world that is cruel, and wrong, and those little special happy moments that make it worth it.  Sun-woo is alienated from society, and falls in love with the thought of a woman who he’s only met for one day. He never sees her again, but in order to preserve her beauty he is determined to fight everything he has ever known, and sacrifice himself. There’s so much violence and blood combined with a sense of distant poetic tragedy, and Kim Ji-woon does an immaculate job at showing it. All topics that deeply influence and touch me.

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If i had to pick only one word to describe this movie, it would definitely be: INTENSE. Absolutely a must see. Especially if you have somebody in mind..

The Chaser

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , , on February 4, 2009 by Cristina Blackwater

The Chaser (Chugyeogja) – 2008

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Wow. Just wow. sometimes i don’t even want to say anything when i come across such awesomeness.

The Chaser is a 2008 movie directed by Hong-jin Na and tells the story of a corrupted cop turned pimp, and being in financial trouble as his girls start disappearing leaving him unable to pay his debt. His old detective skills tell him something’s not right and as the story unfolds, you find out that they have all been called up by the same client, who is a torturer and a psycho serial killer.

I don’t wanna go into details too much, but just know that this movie is absolutely fantastic, incredibly violent, and throws a few strong hints at how corrupted and incompetent the Korean police system is.

And just to add a little personal note:

koreans covered in blood, holding a hammer as a weapon, always make me happy:

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(Lesson well taught, Oh Dae-su)

thank you so much to my friend Yoon Lee for telling me about this movie!!! it was too good!