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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Japanese Film Festival 2007 - True Romance

The Japanese Film Festival 2007 started yesterday and I was there on the first day to catch 2 of the R21 screening. Not that I choose the R21, but I find the PG rather tame as compare to works from Takeshi Miike or other of my favourite directors.

The first was "Vengence is Mine" (復讐するは我にあり/ Fukushû suruwa wareniari). This is a really good story about a jailbird who returned to his life and find many things has changed. The only things that has not changed is his way of criminal life. With the betrayal of his wife to his own father, that send him on a rampage to kill 5 other persons befoer he was finally caught. He impersonate university lecturer, lawyers and even fake his own death along the way. This is long before we had "Catch me if you can" in 1982.
The romance is this show is probably between the inn keeper lady and our anti hero as well as his wife and his father. Its sick in a certain way, but the theme of a hopeless love surrounds this show.

Tjhe 2nd movie I caught was "The Ballad of Narayama" (楢山節考 / Narayama Bushiko). This is the story about olden days Japanese in a cold village in the mountains where law is not what we know of today. The villagers has their own law and believes and along the show, we saw the brutal murder of a family by burying them alive, killing of old people who has reach age of 70 and others. This show portrail the hardness in survival against natural in this poor vilalge, where food is of high importance. Much more than even life itself. Sacrifice were made as a result in the most sad and cruel way. There is NO romance in this show if you asked me and the R21 is really quite unncessary. There is savage sex though, if thats what it is for. Sex just for the sake of relief rather than passion.

I had not caught anything today because the title did not attact me much. However, since the theme is True Romance, I would had hope they brought in really good love story such as "Inugami", "The Lost Eden" and other classics. In this next whole week, there is still movies running at night on weekdays and on the coming sat and sun. My recommendations will go with "Moon and Cherry"(月とチェリー / Tsuki to Cherry, "Tokyo Marigold"(東京マリーゴールド) and "Life can be so Wonderful"(世界は時々美しい / Sekai wa tokidoki utsukushii). Who knows? You may catch me there at these screening.

* Some screening are free while others are not.

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