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January 2006 (continued)

IFFR day 5

Seen today:
Clear People
Basically a collage of scenes and sounds in and around an apartment complex, emphasis more on the surroundings than on the people. Lots of interesting shots that made me wish the picture quality/resolution was better.
Linda Linda Linda
Probably the movie I had the highest expectations for, and though it started a little slow, I was not disappointed. Lots of very funny moments, some subtle, some not so subtle but not at all as slapstick-y as I was fearing. With a great soundtrack (highlight: a version of Happy End's 風来坊 by 湯川潮音). My new favourite.
Black Brush
Since Ode to Joy was sold out I went to this one instead, which turned out to be very funny and entertaining. With a very cool occasional thumping soundtrack-beat by the director's brother, that I wish would occur even more often during the film.
Beautiful Chilean film. Reminiscent of Amélie in parts, though far less fantastical. Another definite favourite.
Look for Me (short)

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Zone 5300: Film Festival Rotterdam 2006

IFFR day 4

Not having bought any tickets in advance for today, I just went with what was available, which (after hearing "sorry, sold out" upon asking about four other films at the register) turned out to be these two:
Some Kinda Love
Nagasaki's films are turning out to be quite good fallback-choices; at the very least the Q&As afterwards with Nagasaki and his wife Mizushima are always entertaining. At this (very enjoyable) film in particular since it featured Mizushima in the leading role.
Trying To Kiss The Moon
Lots of walk-outs at this one; I guess people expecting something like an actual film with an actual story could only be disappointed in Stephen Dwoskin's seemingly endless collage of old home video and film clips.

trainstation billboard

IFFR day 3

pathé nightshot
Didn't have anything planned for today (most interesting films were sold out and most non-sold-out films didn't seem interesting), but decided at the last minute to attend the Nagasaki Shunichi interview in the Schouwburg, which inspired me to go and see his Heart, Beating in the Dark (new version), which turned out to be pretty good.

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IFFR day 2

Seen yesterday:
The Lonely Hearts Club Band In September
Citizen Dog
Best film I've attended so far. Extremely colourful, funny, full of original special effects / fantasy sequences, with a great musical opening.
Daddy's Vacation (short)

Midnight Eye feature: The Best (and Worst) of 2005 [via]

IFFR vipspotting

Tony Rayns, Nagasaki Shunichi, translator guy and Mizushima Kaori at the Q&A after Wild Side/After That, all completely blinded by the stage lights, unable to see who in the audience wanted to ask a question.

Films seen on my first day at the festival:
The Lost Hum
Having to wait for 30 minutes until the "technical difficulties" with the projector were solved made this seem a very long sitting, but still an impressive unusual and original film.
The first and only Iraqi film I've ever seen, and it's a great one... Shot with mostly non-actors in various very photogenic locations in and outside of Baghdad, all the more amazing after hearing the director talk about how the crew itself had (and has) to deal with threats and kidnappings as well.
The Magicians (short)
Very moving 40 minute story filmed in one single continuous shot by Song Ilgon (three films of whom appear in my best-of-2005 list).
Haze (short)
Shinya Tsukamoto's amazingly intense vision of claustrophic hell, painful to watch at times but still left me wanting for more. Looking forward to seeing the extended 49 minute version.
Worldly Desires (short)
After That
The first Nagasaki film I saw, apparently one of his most inaccessible (or so Tony Rayns warned). A behind-the-scenes documentary with very poor picture and sound quality, the first half is difficult to sit through, but the second half gets quite funny and exciting as the filmcrew secretly trails the girlfriend of one of the actors through Tokyo.
Wild Side (short)

Flash trailer for Korean film Daisy, shot in The Netherlands last year [via] [related]

Futurama to return as 4 feature length DVD movies!! according to castmember Billy West

The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2006 programme has been released! Featuring at least a couple of films that I have been looking forward to seeing for ages:
- Linda Linda Linda !!!
- Haze !!
- Princess Raccoon !
- Solntse
- Takeshis'
- Analife
- The Great Yokai War
- Citizen Dog
- Good Night, and Good Luck

Continuing the tradition I started last year, here are the best movies I saw in 2005, roughly arranged so that the "most best" appear at top (though the order changes depending on my mood). Again with a heavy emphasis on the East-Asian, as I found myself working through the back-catalogues of particular favourite directors and actors:

(This time I've tried to add a little review blurb to each, which is new for me, so bear with me)

Shiki-Jitsu / Ritual (Hideaki Anno, 2000, JP) [official site]
Anime-director Anno's second live-action outing, featuring a rare but appropriately subtle acting performance by director Shunji Iwai, I'm surprised this beautiful tale of quiet-observer-meets-eccentric-girl in scene after scene of very photogenic industrial, arty, maze-like surroundings isn't more widely known. If it weren't for these two threads I never would have known about it.
Bin-jip / 3-Iron (Kim Ki-Duk, 2004, KR)
A subtly magical film where every scene and shot seems right. After a while you realize that some aspects of Kim Ki-Duk's films (such as the non-speaking characters) are just gimmicks specifically designed to appeal to foreign audiences, but even though it fails horribly sometimes (like in The Bow), it simply works really really well here.
Nobody Knows (Hirokazu Kore-Eda, 2004, JP)
Hauntingly memorable tale of four young kids left to take care of themselves after being abandoned by their mother, very naturally acted and shot.
This Charming Girl (Yoon-ki Lee, 2004, KR)
A clever and moving piece of storytelling, following a couple of days in the quiet life of post office worker Jeong-hae, while a complicating and shocking backstory is revealed little by little in incidental minute-long flashbacks.
Before Sunrise + Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 1995 + 2004, US)
Quite the opposite of Bin-jip in a way, being nothing *but* dialog, watching these two for the first time (in a row even) surprisingly provided one of the most intense movie experiences ever.
The Taste Of Tea (Katsuhito Ishii, 2004, JP)
Lots of interesting visual effects in this wonderfully poetic celebration of imagination.
My Neighbors The Yamadas (Isao Takahata, 1999, JP)
Plenty of laugh-out-loud funny moments in this Studio Ghibli animation where the characters and scenery are reduced to their most minimalistic, while still retaining lots of emotion.
All About Lily Chou-Chou (Shunji Iwai, 2001, JP)
A very confusing but very impressive film, this tale of high-school bullying continuously overlayed with vague messageboard quotes that turn out to be from the website of a fictional singer. With an amazing soundtrack of songs by the "real" Lily Chou-Chou, Salyu.
Yiyi (Edward Yang, 2000, TW)
A nearly 3-hour long, beautifully shot collage of moments in the life of all members of a family in Taipei.
Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (Park Chan Wook, 2005, KR)
Full of original, funny and shocking scenes, not quite as ridiculous in concept as Oldboy and not quite as depressing as Mr. Vengeance, this is definitely my favourite of Park Chan Wook's "revenge trilogy".
Blessing Bell (SABU, 2002, JP)
My favourite SABU film, continuing his theme of transportation here in the form of a fired factory worker that just walks and walks and walks from one strange situation into the next. I always love seeing Susumu Terajima's face show up in films (as he does in two other films on this list), so it's great to see him get a whole feature to himself for once.
Vital (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2004, JP)
Certainly the best-looking film I've seen last year... A gripping story of loss and memory, with a lot less emphasis on the gore than one might expect from the description.

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Jonathan Ross - Confessions of a Nipponophile [via]

Firecracker Magazine - Issue 14 [via]

December 2005

movie blog roundup

Where I get my (non-mainstream) movie news/inspiration:

300 Korean film posters

vfxblog - Blogging the world of visual effects in films [via]

November 2005

CulturePulp 041: The Not-So-Secret History of 'Aeon Flux' [via]

Ask MetaFilter - Cinematic tool tips [via] - the movie poster weblog

Filmmaker Magazine interviews Christopher Doyle [via]

2001 A Space Odyssey: Unwrapping the Slit Scan sequences [via] - Not Coming to a Theater Near You [via]

October 2005

Conbarba's Sigtes Film Festival report (scroll down for English) [via] - track which movies of the IMDb top 250 you've seen [related] [via]

Snakes on a Plane!

September 2005

The Shining, Redux [via]

Twitch - Kurt's TIFF Wrapup (36 Films in Total)

Asian DVD Guide Forum [via]

WHEDONesque: Serenity premiere in Amsterdam [with photos] celebrates its first birthday with a fresh new design [via]

August 2005

mrkwang's Korean movie blog [via] - videolog [via]

July 2005 - Asian Cinema

June 2005

An Interview with Im Sang-Soo [via]

May 2005

Firecracker magazine [via]

April 2005

Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Kevin Smith discuss Star Wars [via] Forum [via]

Guerilla poster art for Firefly [via]

March 2005

Watching The Ring is scary (mpeg video) [via]

IMDb Frequently Asked Questions

KOFIC Korean Cinema yearbooks

missing image: interview with the creators of [via]

February 2005

Kurt's Film Blog [via]

January 2005

Midnight Eye feature: The Best (and Worst) Japanese films of 2004 [via] [via]

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2005 - Films A-Z

The Ward-O-Matic: The Polar Express: A Virtual Train Wreck [related] [via] - de koreaanse film [via]

An attempt at listing my favourites of all the movies I saw in 2004 (not necessarily released in 2004), roughly ordered from really great to great:

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December 2004

Defective Yeti - The Bad Review Revue [via]

October 2004

Here is a link to Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema

Update: Since dozens of Korean drama fans seem to end up on this page via Google every day, I thought I'd list the kdramas I have seen here:
- Ruler of Your Own World
- Resurrection/Rebirth
- Lovers in Prague
- My Name is Kim Sam-soon
- Full House
- Sweet 18
- Millionaire
- Fashion 70's
- Ireland

The Machinist trailer, featuring a scarily thin Christian Bale [via]

Banlieue 13, le film [via]

September 2004

Star Wars Trilogy - 2004 DVD Changes [via]

cinema redux: films distilled to one single image [via] [via]

August 2004

Wired: The Giants of Anime are Coming [via]

Quentin Tarantino's Diary (fake) [via]

"I, Robot" in a nutshell.

Planet of the Apes re-imagined as an episode of The Twilight Zone [via]

Office Space, five years later [via]

Zomergasten -> Afleveringen -> Theo Maassen

July 2004

Xvid to DVD guide; must try this some time [via]

Ant Movie Catalog; has handy IMDB import scripts to save typing [via]

Midnight Eye's best (and worst) Japanese films of 2001, 2002, 2003

June 2004 [via]

Sam Raimi Spider-Man 2 interview [via]

DARK FURY: an animated Chronicles of Riddick prequel by Peter Chung [via]

Midnight Eye interview: Satoshi Kon

May 2004

Mindhunters filmed at Haagse Hogeschool

Apparently, the new Renny Harlin movie Mindhunters was filmed at various locations in Holland during 2001 or 2002, including my old school(!), which is appearing as an FBI-academy, believe it or not.

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Japanese Movie Flyers: Latest Additions

Midnight Eye interview: Akihiko Shiota

April 2004

Wait, there's an actual city called City of Industry? I thought it was just a movie and a nickname for Los Angeles or something.

UHF - The 15 Year Pilgrimage - Rob O'Hara searches Tulsa, Oklahoma for all the locations featured in the Weird Al Yankovic movie "UHF". [via Delta Tango Bravo]

March 2004

Guardian Unlimited Film | Features | Citizen Kubrick - Jon Ronson browses through Stanley Kubrick's archive. [via helium-3 weblog [via]]

CHUD - 100 movies that deserve more love [via]

January 2004

PRIMER trailer - it doesn't look it, but apparently this is a $7000 dollar film; I think the classy font helps. More info in the forum. [via]

December 2003

November 2003


October 2003

Keith David

A list of actors that coincidentally appear more than once in my 12-movie dvd collection:

  1. Keith David, 3 times
This concludes the list of actors that coincidentally appear more than once in my 12-movie dvd collection.

Here's a screenshot of Mr. David in each of those three movies (can you guess which ones they are?):

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September 2003

PitcherBlacker - a Pitch Black fan site. Has the original script in .pdf. [via As Above]

"Service guarantees citizenship"

August 2003

Two trailers for Zaitochi Zatôichi, the new Takeshi Kitano film. The top trailer features (very briefly) what I think is a statue being cut in two by a sword, the first time I've seen that in non-animated form (prime example being the Animatrix' Program). [via t-melt]

June 2003


Hey, Who Is That Guy? - profiles up-and-coming actors who have "been in stuff". Cool. Lots of very familiar faces that up until now remained nameless in my mind. Although a big omission is That Guy From That Movie (how David Letterman announced him a couple of years ago). [via danelope]

Update: sorta the same thing (but with ugly discoloured thumbnail-sized photos): Fametracker: Hey! It's That Guy!

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