Monday, July 27, 2020

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Funky Forest: The First Contact is not an easy film to discuss. While some films are off-color, this film is slightly out of its mind. It is difficult to describe a plot that precisely summarizes any of it, let alone draw conclusions of what the film is “about”.

The charm of Funky Fores is that, in its live-action Japanese multi-director anthology form, there are a lot of things that are hard to fully comprehend. Yet, at the film’s core there is genuine emotion and character. It is something you feel more than understand, at times tasting with your mind rather than seeing with your eyes.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

I Stand Alone (1998)

A number of 1990s independent films were criticized as being “too indie” or “too foreign”. Most of these criticisms came from the US and UK, where experimental style wasn’t a big thing yet. Nowadays, anything goes. Back in the ’90s, the slightest bit of style made a film “weird”.

Enter the mind of Gaspar Noé in 1991. He had just finished his short cinematic masterpiece Carne (loosely translated: “horse meat”). It was awesome. Seven years later, the film was reborn in feature form as I Stand Alone.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Love & Pop (1998)

Love & Pop is a film about how a few aimless schoolgirls respond to escort clients. Contrary to certain beliefs, it’s not really about anything else.

Anno Hideaki’s first live-action feature, the film echoes the director’s prior experience with animated productions. The style is so striking that it almost prompts criticism for its frenetic editing and postmodernist shot-on-MiniDV camerawork. However, over the course of the film, the frenzy subsides into calm. It has the same emotional arc as most other Anno productions, something that feels authentic.

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

ThanksKilling 3 (2013)

ThanksKilling 3 is the sequel to ThanksKilling (2008) and the ill-fated ThanksKilling 2. T3 is about one man’s quest to build the year-round seasonal theme park Thanksgivingland, in spite of the inter-dimensional monsters and Muppet-like characters that try to stop him. Like Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), the film pays tongue-in-cheek homage to its roots while consistently delivering scares, laughs, tears, and family-unfriendly fun.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Trash Humpers (2009)

Nobody really cares about boring films released decades ago. Certain films of the 20th century pride themselves in being different and detached from the nucleus of the Hollywood market, for all the self-congratulatory puff independent thought is worth.

In contrast, Trash Humpers is a relatively recent and poignant contribution to the postmodernist genre. Unlike the typical output of “mainstream” outsider filmmakers, Korine held nothing back in delivering a spectacular mess of a film that knows what it is and speaks to its core audience. This one is good because it’s exactly what it says on the tin.

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