Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. The always-great Todd from Twitchfilm.net is back with a new edition of INTERNATIONAL EYE CANDY, a few days earlier than expected. He's going on vacation, evidently, and I'm sure he's going to some obscure corner of the globe to figure out what film scene the rest of us are going to be learning about a year from now. Check it out!
International Eye Candy January 19, 2008 Yup, I’m a few days early with this edition of the International Eye Candy column – I normally type them up on Wednesday and I’m doing this one on Sunday – but I’m going to be out of commission in New York City for most of the upcoming week and would likely be beaten to a pulp by the lady friend if I were to pull out the laptop to do this while there, so you’re getting it now while I’ve got the chance to type in relative peace and safety. Plus, there’s already so much great new stuff out there that the column has already reached epic proportions. What have we got? Gay zombies! Animated Hungarian hookers! Nipple guns! Yes, it’s all high-brow all the time here at Imaginary Eye Candy … Onwards! Yes, the trailer for Prachya Pinkaew’s CHOCOLATE hit online a couple weeks back and if you have an ounce of sense in you you’ve already watched it a good thirty or forty times. But if you happened to have missed it then – or just have an interest in what these people are saying to each other when not being beaten – it has now reappeared with English subtitles included. Need some back ground? It’s the new one by the director of ONG BAK starring his new female protégé. A great deal of ass whupping included. Oh, hell yes. Find the trailer here. While we’re on the topic of highly anticipated films from Asia, how about the latest from SHAOLIN SOCCER and KUNG FU HUSTLE’s Stephen Chow? The scifi comedy CJ7 has appeared in this column before but the first English friendly trailer has finally arrived on the scene and it looks pretty damn funny. This one wits screens here in March so fans don’t have much longer to wait. Find the trailer here We move to Germany for DIE WIELLE (or THE WAVE), which is currently playing at Sundance. Based on an actual event that took place in California in the seventies – and has been made into a TV movie on these shores – the film follows a German teacher who decides to teach his young pupils about fascism by imposing a dictatorship in the classroom only to discover that everybody involved kind of likes it … except, you know, for anybody different in any way … Find the trailer here Also at Sundance is Canuck director Bruce LaBruce’s gay zombie movie OTTO; OR, UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE. How gay is it? No idea but the director’s last film – THE RASPBERRY REICH – shocked audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival with its blend of Nazi satire and outright gay porn so don’t expect your regular zombie fare here. The first teaser has arrived – and is both very much a tease and entirely work safe – and while it shows very little I’m really liking the tone of the piece and the way its shot. Should be good. Find the trailer here Asian fanboys like to get all hot and bothered when Asian pictures are remade by western directors but tend to remain strangely silent when the plundering is being done by fellow Asians and that is, not surprisingly, the case with a pair of films remade from Akira Kurosawa classics. SANJURO is wrapping up its theatrical run as I type this and coming down the line is a remake of THE HIDDEN FORTRESS by effects whiz Shinji Higuchi. This is the film that Lucas cites as a major influence on STAR WARS and with a man more interested in blowing stuff up than in spending time on characters – not to even mention the fact Higuchi has already confirmed combining two key characters from the original into a single character in his film – its safe to say this version will have only marginal resemblance to the original. That said, the teaser’s out and it looks surprisingly fun. You’ll find details and directions to the trailer here You’re impatient for the nipple gun, aren’t you? Okay, here it is but be aware that this is nowhere even close to being work safe so if you go and get yourself fired don’t come crying to me. When we broke the trailer for Noboru Iguchi’s MACHINE GIRL on Twitch a little while back it caused a bit of a sensation – 300K or so downloads in a week – and immediately reminded me of Iguchi’s previous film, SUKEBAN BOY, which I helped program at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal a couple years ago. It’s adapted from a manga by CUTIE HONEY creator Go Nagai and is … well … it’s absolutely ridiculous. And filled with naked flesh. And cross dressing. And severed limbs. And the aforementioned nipple cannon. Total low budget trash but very, very fun. To my knowledge the trailer for that one had never been available online but I managed to find it and load ‘er up along with a fistful of other Iguchi flicks. You’ll find ‘em all here Right. Hungarian animation. Equal parts ROMEO AND JULIET and SOUTH PARK with oil politics, George W, time travel and hip hop spouting prostitutes thrown in. It’s Aron Gauder’s THE DISTRICT and it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s also freshly – and finally – on DVD and I managed to get a good, high res trailer out of distributor Atopia. Seriously, this is a must. You’ll find the trailer here We’ve linked to a surprising number of French crime films in recent days and the smart betting money is on Olivier Marchal’s MR 73 to be the one to emerge at the top of the pack. Marchal shoots film like Michael Mann does and leading man Daniel Auteuil is the perfect choice as the film’s beaten down anti hero. Find the trailer here And now for something completely different, we head to Turkey and the full theatrical trailer for SEMUM, a new horror film based in Muslim legend. We hit the first teaser for this a few columns back and this trailer is a huge step forward from that first taste … director Hasan Karacadag shoots some great film and makes good use of his effects, working over the story of an exorcism gone bad. You’ll find the trailer here Quick! What do you think of when you think of Serbia? Err … lots of wars that drag on and on and on? True enough, historically speaking, but the tiny nation is threatening to become a serious force in the international film world and upcoming fantasy CHARLESTON AND VENDETTA is sure to turn a LOT of heads around the globe. This thing looks as though it could have sprung from the minds of Jeunet and Caro when their collaboration was at its creative peak and any film that can manage to take the recent history of a ravaged country like Serbia seriously while also making it seem magical deserves huge, huge credit. I want to see this NOW. Check the trailers here Another Sundance film here, this one Columbian director Carlos Moreno’s crime flick PERRO COME PERRO (DOG EAT DOG). Crooked cops turned hit men, drug traffic gone bad, violence in the streets and a dash of black magic all shot with a fantastically gritty, realistic style. Moreno’s clearly got something going on … Details and trailer here Sweden got its first vampire film last year with FROSTBITE and it gets its second this year with LET THE RIGHT ONE COME IN but other than the vamps and country of origin these look like two wildly different films. The first played the horror-comedy card and undercut the tension with a dash of humor. This one works the character angle hard – it revolves around the relationship between a young boy and a vampire who appears to be just a young girl despite being two hundred years old – and promises to be much more hard edged in its depiction of vampiric violence. First trailer is out and is very, very good. Details and trailer here Right. If you were in attendance at Fantastic Fest last year you may have had the good fortune to see a film I absolutely love, Phillip Yankovky’s SWORD BEARER. The Russian director has a simply stellar eye and produces some of the most striking work coming out of his country today. For his upcoming film ROCK HEAD Yankovsky mines a premise familiar to fans of MEMENTO – amnesiac boxer piecing his memories together while on a quest for revenge – but similarities end there. He’s cast mammoth real life boxer Nikolay Valuev in the lead and seems to be aiming for the same blend of arthouse artistry and raw edge that he worked so successfully in SWORD BEARER. No true trailer just yet but a good amount of footage aired as part of a six minute interview with Valuev and this thing looks gorgeous. In a scary, my god that guy could hurt me just by breathing on me sort of way. You’ll find the footage here And we finally come to the end of the column with Danish WWII spy thriller FLAME AND CITRON from director Ole Christian Madsen. Starring Mads Mikkelsen – that’d be CASINO ROYALE’s Le Chiffre – in one of the lead roles this is the true story of a famous pair of Danish resistance fighters in the midst of WWII. Madsen’s one of the great unsung directors in Europe, I think, and if the early teaser is any indication he’s hit it out of the park with his biggest production to date. Find details and the trailer here