Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

AsiaAICN: Godzilla; Misuzu; Returner; LivingInYourHeart; Rashk; Shaheed Bhagat Singh; VisitorQ; Jakarta Film Festival

Father Geek here with another Asia-AICN Column from Darius25 and pigmon... Buuuuuuut first here's some film info on a spot on the globe we seldom hear from... Indonesia!!!

Jakarta is finally having a decent film festival and this year they've improved alot. I'm really excited. Oh and Jafar Panahi (the circle) is coming.

Here are some of the movies:
  • The circle
  • The day I became a woman
  • Me you Them
  • Bangkok dangerous
  • Malena
  • The price of milk
  • The state I am in
  • The white balloon
  • The mirror

There is a whole kenji mizoguchi retro...

  • Sister of gion
  • story of the last chrysanthemum
  • The ugetsu story
  • Sansho the bailife
  • Life of Oharu
  • Osaka Elegy

Here's some more great films they are showing...

  • AMELIE!!!
  • Under the Sand
  • Beau Travail
  • The left side of the fridge
  • Dancer in the Dark
  • MIFUNE!!!
  • Free Dogme (documentary)
  • Time code
  • The puppet master
  • City of sadness
  • Fucking Amal
  • Before the storm
  • Together
  • Faithless

    A Bergman retro...

    • Smiles of a Summer night
    • Seventh Seal
    • Wild Strawberries
    • Fanny And Alexander

    Some other films showing...

    • The road home
    • my 1919
    • lotus lantern
    • sigh
    • love story by tea
    • memento
    • tigerland
    • deep end
    • Traffic (it never came on a mainstream run)
    • almost famous
    • before night falls

    Anyways, some of these movies are a bit old but its a triumph of cinema in a place like Indonesia.

    That's all for now, Oranje

    Father Geek back, this time with a review of a long awaited Anime feature...

    I haven't seen a review of this yet on the site so I thought I would send one. Spiggan began a limited run last weekend. Playing art houses in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston. It is also according to an article in the Houston Chronicle booked in theaters in Atlanta and San Francisco in the coming weeks.

    Produced under the guidance of Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and directed by Hirotsuge Kawasaki, Spriggan is part Raiders of the Lost Ark part Dark Angel part Mobile Suit Gundam. The story of Noahs Ark being an object of power from a lost civilization and the battle over it was quite good.The lead character Ominae Yu a genetically engineered superior fighter.(IE: the Dark Angel reference) is a young warrior for an organization whose job it is to keep these kinds of objects from winding up in the wrong hands. Having never seen this in its original Japanese I really dont have anything to compare the Dub to. But I didn't have a problem with it. The voice acting was good and the plot was solid. I didn't really get lost anywhere. I enjoyed the film quite a bit.

    If you get a chance to see it in your area I would recommend it. I don't know if it will get a wide theatrical release or not. A local company here in Houston AD Vision Inc.which specializes in releasing Anime for video did the translation and remix. Which is the only reason I got to see it. For a city of its size Houston is a cultural backwater when it comes to films. We hardly ever get any limited releases. But anyway if you like Anime this is a good one.Get out and support it and maybe we will get to see more Anime on the big screen.


    Yep, its Father Geek back yet again with a couple of other reviews I feel you'll be interested in if you're a regular reader of this column...

    I've never sent anything to AICN before but thought I'd give it a go:

    Considering the minor fuss that Takashi Miike's comic-book S&M action movie Ichi The Killer caused after it played in Toronto, I thought you might be interested in yet another new film from the prolific Japanese director.

    Visitor Q (2001) was shot on DV as part of the LoveCinema series of films (there's 6 of the overall). It played last night as part of the Raindance indie festival at the Metro Cinema just off London's Leicester Square and - like Audition and Ichi before it - left audiences stunned, shocked and laughing cautiously (except for one guy, who was enjoying it way too much).

    It's the story of a family that goes through extreme breakdown - father has explicit sex with his prostitute daughter in the first scene, son beats mother half-to-death with a carpet-beater, son gets mercilessly bullied by kids at school, mother shoots heroin into her groin and pays for her fix by turning S&M tricks in hotel rooms. Meanwhile, father has bought home a mysterious man named Q - who he met when Q bashed his head in with a rock! - and slowly but surely the family members begin to come to terms with their dysfunction. This is when things begin to get truly strange! Mother begins hyper-lactating and squirting milk from her nipples all over the house (Q has to carry an umbrella), son decides to start studying after being urinated on by the kids at school and as for dad...Well, I'm not sure if the rules of your site allow me to describe exactly what he goes through, but it takes ideas from movies like Man Bites Dog and even Mekromantik and takes them to extremes. There's rape, murder, necrophilia, coprophilia and a very awkward situation involving rigor mortis. Then there's a mass slaughter of the school bullies, as dad hacks through the kids screaming 'It's just like a festival!!!!'. No-one was quite sure what he meant by that. By this point the audience was by and large laughing, as you can't help but find something perversely amusing about Miike's desire to push things as far as they'll go and see what happens to his characters. Some of it's even quite moving, and it's hard not to respond to the director's curiosity about humanity in general.

    Ultimately, Visitor Q pushes things a little too far and I can't say I found it terribly rewarding. Pasolini did it better in Theorem, but at least it's better and more honestly rude and nasty than Ozon's Sitcom. Still, it's fast getting to the point where you can't miss a Miike film as he always has some new perversion or strange idea up his sleeve. For what it's worth, I thought Ichi was a terrific bit of exploitation cinema - full of energy and humour and moments when you're not sure if - when you open your mouth - you're going to laugh out loud or projectile vomit! However, I'd urge readers to try and track down DVDs of Rainy Dog and Ley Lines (both coming out as Region 2 discs in the UK next year but already available in Japan) as they reveal Miike to be more than just a provocateur but actually a highly skilled filmmaker capable of moments of great resonance and beauty.

    For the record, audiences in the UK are obviously down with this bad boy. The Metro screening last night was full to the last seat and I don't think there were any walk-outs - rare for a film that's this extreme. They showed three Bjork videos beforehand - one of which was brand-new and showed Bjork with CGI red ribbons coming out of her nipples and gradually wrapping her into a cocoon. Pretty neat!

    Later the same evening - about an hour after Visitor Q - the festival screened a Japanese horror/torture movie called A Living Hell (Iki-Jigoku), by director Shugo Fujii. A creepy old woman and a girl who's supposed to be her granddaughter come to stay with a family and everyone ends up mad or dead - or possibly both. The film begins with the 'granddaughter' eating a dead dog while her grandma sticks a bug in someone's eye - a charming little prologue. They turn up at the new family's house and the son - who's in a wheelchair - is quickly suspicious. Rightly so! They torture him while the rest of the family is at work - feeding him his dead bird, pushing his wheelchair down a hill, using him as a human dartboard, electrocuting him and extracting his teeth. Meanwhile, a journalist - who I think is played by director Fujii himself - is investigating the old lady and her granddaughter and uncovers a story about Siamese twins and medical experiments. The final twists reveals a whole family of nutcases, who gibber and giggle and scream throughout the protracted. Texas Chainsaw-like finale. There's some eyeball-eating and decapitation but really I wouldn't recommend this to anyone but hardcore Asian horror fans - and then only on a cheap VCD. Fujii has a bit of style and wit about him but he's got no idea about pacing and too many of his scare sequences are just people standing there and slowly...turning...their...heads...SO! THEY'RE! SUDDENLY! LOOKING! RIGHT! AT! YOU!!!! Scary once, boring for the 100minutes.

    Anyway, hope that some of this is of interest to you and your readers. Could go on at length about Sogo Ishii's Electric Dragon 80000volts, which screened at the ICA on Monday night as part of a Japanese season - but I'll spare you. Just to say that that film's star Tadanobu Asano - who's also in Ishii's Gojoe and Ichi the Killer - is going to be a huge worldwide star very, very soon!!! As for Electric Dragon - HE CONDUCTS ELECTRICITY! HE SPEAKS TO REPTILES! HE'S THE MAN!!!!!


    Now enough of Father Geek, here's Darius25 and the word from Bollywood...

    Asia-AICN #79

    Hey all, hope you’ve had fine week. We’re starting to bounce back from our constant state of slow weeks and we have some pretty cool news for you in this column. Included below are news on director Subhash Ghai’s new films, Rajkumar Santoshi’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh bio-pic, Takeshi Kitano’s new film, “Misuzu, and Takashi Miike’s new films. We also have some pics on the latest Bollywood release, “Rehna Hai Terre Dil Me (Living in Your Heart)”. Now here’s the latest from Asia.


    - Subhash Ghai has just announced two films that will be produced under his Mukta Arts banner. The first film will indeed star Govinda (surprise!) and Sanjay Dutt and will be directed by David Dhawan (just like the rumours stated). Its music will be conducted by Anu Malik while the lyrics will be penned by Anand Bakshi. The film will start production by recording its first song sometime this week.

    - The second film produced by Ghai will star Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor and will be directed by Satish Kaushik (oh no!). The film, which will be written by Rumi Jaffrey, will start filming in December. Both films are aiming for a summer 2002 release date.

    - Director Rajkumar Santoshi is gearing up for his planned bio-pic on the revolutionary freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Ajay Devgan was apparently locked in for the role but it seems that Santoshi is still deciding on who to cast as the main lead. The two main contenders are Devgan and Aamir Khan. While Ajay remains the director’s top choice, it is a well known fact that Aamir is a more popular draw (and a better actor) hence somewhat guaranteeing the film’s success. The issue of availability still remains an important factor in Santoshi’s decision as Aamir isn’t really available till next spring while Ajay is ready to allot dates from December. Another important thing to consider is that Aamir does tend to interfere A LOT in the production and his “perfectionist” nature often conflicts with many directors’ individual styles. Nonetheless, both of the actors seem more than capable on portraying the role (especially after seeing Devgan’s performance in Santoshi’s Lajja – Shame) and the film would be interesting with either one in the lead. Santoshi is just finishing up the script as we speak and the film is heading into production “real soon”.

    - Santoshi is also starting work on another film, this time titled “Rashk”. This is the same film that the director was about to start with Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan in the lead but which kept on being postponed due to the availability of both actors. As a result, Santoshi has decided to completely recast the film, with Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan gunning for the lead roles. If this is true, then expect the film to be not as good as originally planned.

    - Last week’s new release was producer Vashu Bhagnani’s “Rehna Hai Terre Dil Me (Living in Your Heart)”, a Bollywood remake of the South Indian smash hit “Minnale”. The film is directed by the original’s director, Gautam Menon, and marks the Bollywood debut of Tamil superstar R. Madhawan (the lead in Minnale), starring here with model Diya Mirza (also in her debut role), Saif Ali Khan, and Anupam Kher. Featuring a typical love story with a young cast, the film is still very enjoyable. Madhavan and Saif play Maddy and Sam, two extremely bitter rivals in college. Sam is suave and cool while Maddy is a punk and a rebel (!). After college, the two part ways swearing to meet once more to finish up their unfinished business (a fight just before graduation). Maddy falls in love with a girl, Reena (Diya Mirza), and pretends to be her fiancée (whom she’s never seen – it’s an arranged marriage thing). The two fall in love and things are going well when her real fiancé unexpectedly shows up (guess who). Things get pretty standard rom-com from here and I’m sure you can predict what happens next. Ok, so how’s the acting you ask? Well, both newcomers are fine in their respective roles. R. Madhavan’s native language is Hindi, so he has no problems with any dialogues and does not have a pronunciation problem either. His mannerisms were those of a typical Indian punk/brat and in this role, he was pretty convincing. He was a pretty childish yet we felt sympathy for him aswell. Diya Mirza is REALLY gorgeous to look at and so I wasn’t really judging her acting skills. She was extremely likeable and it’s not hard to say that the audience can fall in love with her aswell. She isn’t too good in the drama department but this is only her first performance, and as such, she was really decent in her role. Saif Ali Khan acted like a total asshole, which was supposed to be the point I guess. He was tolerable to a certain point but was fairly unconvincing as the “macho” boyfriend. He really doesn’t have the look to be a badass and he wasn’t really believable in his role (especially during the college “gangster” scenes). The songs were pleasant to the ears while the film’s pacing moved along quite rapidly. The direction was the standard for a Bollywood film – nothing way over the top, just some decent yet somewhat stylish shots. The art direction was really good with that urban/modern look common in many recent films. All in all, RHTDM is a decent romantic comedy that doesn’t fail to entertain. Worth buying on DVD, just for Diya Mirza!!

    Here’s a pic of Diya: Click

    And another one: Just Click Here

    And one with Diya and Madhavan: Go Here to See

    And final one with Diya: Click Now


    Here’s the latest report from “Pigmon”:

    - Takeshi Kitano ("Brother")'s new film title will be "Dolls". It is another Yakuza film.... Details should be following soon.

    - Director Takashi Yamazaki ("Jouvenile")'s new film will be another sci-fi adventure, titled "Returner". Starring internationally well-known Asian actor, Takeshi Kaneshiro, the film will start shooting in 2 weeks and will be at Japanese theaters next September.

    - Takashi Miike's two new movies will be showing at 2001 Tokyo Inetrnational Film Festival. The musical horror comedy,"The Happiness of The Katakuris" and Yakuza movie "The Agitator", will have special screening at the festival (not in competition). Amazingly, Miike directed 2 more films this year,"Ichi the Killer" and "Dead Or Alive: Final". Now he is shooting his 5th movie of this year, "Onna Kokushu ippatsu" in Kyoto. He will shoot one more film before the end of year! What energy!!

    - I just saw “Misuzu”, directed by Show Igarashi. The film follows the life of the talented young poet Misuzu Kaneko, who died in the 1930’s at the age of 26. It’s a good little art-house film and Miri Tanaka is fantastic as Misuzu! The film features many poems written Misuzu (read by Tanaka) and I was surprised to learn that the poet divorced her husband because of her cousin.

    The movie will be opening next week in Japan.

    - The co-operation between Japanese and Korean production companies is on the rise. Here are a few films being co-produced by the two countries (all of them are already complete).

    • “Seoul”, directed by Masahiko Nagasawa.
    • “Run 2 U”, directed by Kan Jonsu.
    • “Yoru O Kakete”, directed by Kin Morihoko.
    • “One Fine Spring Day”, directed by Hur Jin-Ho.

    - As part of the promotion campaign for “Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!”, Tokara Co. will start selling Godzilla meat, Angirus meat, Godzilla’s eggs, Mothra’s eggs and Rodan’s meats (yummy – D25). All meats will be Australian corned beef, but we have no idea where the eggs come from!! One can of meat costs around US $4.50.

    We have now reached the end of this week's column. Remember, if you have information regarding any film industry in Asia, please contact our Asia-AICN offices at See you all next week.


  • Readers Talkback
    comments powered by Disqus