Year in Film: 2007

Cassandra’s Dream

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It is always a treat for me to see one of Woody Allen’s films for the first time. Cassandra’s Dream was the last of his released movies that I hadn’t seen, so from now on I will have to wait for his forthcoming films to be released. Good thing he comes out with one every […]


Hot Fuzz

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I don’t have much time for British school of MTV-style filmmaking best represented by Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). It just strikes me as trying too hard to be cool. Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead clearly falls into this school, but it actually uses its camera tricks to create an […]


Ice Spiders

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Ice Spiders has to be the most mind-boggling movie ever made. Everything about this made-for-TV horror flick is a non sequitur, starting with the huge misnomer of a title. Are they spiders made of ice? Spiders that live in ice? Spiders that weave webs of ice? Actually, none of the above. They are giant spiders […]


It’s a Free World…

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I am rather embarrassed to have to admit that I had never seen a Ken Loach film, although he is one of the most important directors in England, and probably the world. I decided to take the chance to rectify this huge gaping hole in my film appreciation by taking the chance to see It’s […]


Ratatouille

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I had never seen any of the Pixar films, but have always been curious of how good they look.  I find the 3D-motion capture live action/CGI mashup thing used in films A Christmas Carol extremely unconvincing and rather creepy, but I suspected that the Pixar films, which evidently are made from scratch in computers by […]


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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I first saw Sweeney Todd on a flight from Tokyo to London. I was a bit surprised that they were showing such a gory film as an in-flight movie, but it was Virgin Airlines after all. At the time I didn’t care much for it. I loved the production design, which is probably the best […]


Teeth

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The image of vagina dentata, of a woman with a teethed vagina who must be conquered by a male hero who removes the teeth, has appeared in the mythology of various cultures for millennia. So it was only a matter of time before someone turned the myth into an independent comedy horror film. I had […]


The Mourning Forest

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The Morning Forest made big news here in Japan when it won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes in 2007. There is usually not much support for Japanese film, especially art film, in the Japanese popular press. But when a Japanese film wins a prestigious international award, the press goes all out, and many theaters that […]


United Red Army

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The newish Shibuya Auditorium theater in Tokyo is running a festival of two dozen films made in and about the turbulent year 1968. The film I wanted to see the most was United Red Army, but long-time controversial director Koji Wakamatsu, was making softcore pinku films in the ’60s, and rubbed elbows with many of […]


Waitress

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This is a delightful film that is told wholly from the perspective of Jenna (Keri Russell), a waitress in a pie dinner in a Southern town who despises her domineering husband and naturally isn’t exactly thrilled when she learns that she is pregnant. Her coworkers (Cheryl Hines and director/screenwriter Adrienne Shelly) are a source of […]


Random Quote

“Ofelia! Magic does not exist. Not for you, me or anyone else.”
-Carmen (Ariadna Gil)
from Pan’s Labyrinth