At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
March is “The Month of Bad Luck Money” at Film Space.
Film Space is to the right and in the back of the CMU Art Museum, in the Media Arts and Design building across from the ballet school. Showings are in a classroom on the second floor or on the roof, weather permitting. For the roof, you might want to bring something to sit on or lie on. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, March 21: Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl / Samehada Otoko to Momojiri Onna / 鮫肌男と桃尻女 (1998) by Katsuhito Ishii – 108 mins – Japan, Mystery/ Action/ Thriller/ Comedy.
The film opens in a surrealistic mountain setting as a young, determined Toshiko (Sie Kohinata), executes a daring escape from her sexually abusive, obsessive and oppressive, lunatic uncle Sonezaki (Yohachi Shimada). Speeding away down the road, she notices a man running hastily through the woods, clad in nothing but underwear. Distracted, she does not notice the car from which he is running...until she collides with it head-on. Rated R in the US for violence, sexuality, and brief language. Mixed or average reviews: 44/43 out of 100.
Bruce Fletcher, Hawaii International Film Festival: "...surreal, violent, funny, lovers-on-the-run adventure... striking cinematography, rapid-fire editing and ultra-rich colors that rise from the young director's shooting more than 80 Japanese TV commercials. The colorful cast is clad in a designer style known as hyper fashion gear, except Samehada (Asano) who dons Takeo Kikuchi designer fashions, down to his TK brand underwear...Arguably, the coolest movie of the year."
Janick Neveux, KFC Cinema: "Sharkskin Man and Peach Hip Girl is one hell of a piece of work...[It] contains a rare collection of colorful characters that has yet to be seen in another movie. You have about 20 or so unique characters, each one extremely different and well-drawn. Most...had a pretty cool style while others were plain bizarre."
Dave Kehr, The New York Times: An outlaw-couple-on-the-run story, in a context of harsh social satire and nihilistic despair. Mr. Ishii's background as a hard-working director of television commercials is reflected in his technical facility and flashy compositions, most of which involve gang members dressed in outrageous high-fashion costumes. The adults are rigid, uncool and involved in bizarre sexual practices; the kids are stylish and hot. The picture makes killing look like high-spirited fun and turns violent death into an occasion for giggles and snickers.
At Film Space Saturday, March 28: Adrenaline Drive / Adorenarin doraibu / アドレナリンドライブ (1999) by Shinobu Yaguchi – 112 mins – Japan, Comedy. Generally favorable reviews: 69/65 out of 100.
A parody of popular Japanese teenage girls' romances includes slapstick in a comedy of robbers versus robbers. About money, and a shy guy, and a not-so-shy girl who have the money and a handful of thugs and one real badass Yakuza dude who want it. A busy, fun, and creative little flick, by the director of the very popular Waterboys (2001), which was shown in Chiang Mai, about the travails of a group of teenage boys who seek fame in, of all ventures, the world of synchronized swimming. Generally favorable reviews: 74/74 out of 100.
Film Society of Lincoln Center: Director Shinobu Yaguchi's masterful parody of popular Japanese teenage girls' romances, Adrenaline Drive takes slapstick to dazzling Keatonesque delights in this sly comedy of robbers versus robbers. When a gas leak explodes at a yakuza's headquarters, a shy, timid nurse and a meek rental car clerk gain possession of a briefcase of blood-soaked money. The rest is a wild ride of chase and escape, as the nurse is transformed to glamorous heroine and outsmarts the gangsters eager to recover the loot. Joyous and giddy, the story teases its characters and audiences alike in a fresh, unpredictable style.
April is “The Month of Animation” at Film Space.
At Film Space Saturday, April 4: Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea / Gake no ue no Ponyo / 崖の上のポニョ(2008) by Hayao Miyazaki – 100 mins – Japan, Animation/ Adventure/ Family. Generally favorable reviews: 69/65 out of 100.
An animated adventure centered on a 5-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become human.