At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
June is “The Month of Cuisine” at Film Space. July, “The Month of Body Rental.”
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. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, June 20: Delicatessen (1991) by Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet – 99 mins – France, Comedy/ Drama/ Fantasy/ Horror/ Romance. Rated R in the US for violence. Generally favorable reviews: 66/54 out of 100.
A post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who creates cannibalistic meals for his odd tenants.
IMDb viewer: Delicatessen is a very original comedy from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who also directed the great Amélie. It tells the story of Louison (Dominique Pinon) who is the new helper of a landlord named Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus). Clapet is a butcher and in a world where food is rare he prepares cannibalistic meals for the people in his building. Louison is the new meal and the people in the building wait for Clapet to kill him so they can eat. Clapet's daughter Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac) falls in love with Louison and to save him she seeks help from an underground group.
You have read the above and you must understand Delicatessen is not a normal movie. Although its subject is close to very scary the movie is a comedy and to be honest it is very funny at times. Listen to the way people talk here. Especially the conversation between the butcher and a mailman is very funny. The underground group gets a lot of laughs as well. The movie hints at real horror images but never gives us that. Most of the time the tension is broken with something funny.
Delicatessen is not only pretty funny, it looks terrific as well. From the great opening sequence to the last shot it is visually perfect. The production design and especially the cinematography add a lot to the movie's whole atmosphere. May be it is not for everyone, some will find it ridiculous or the idea too lugubrious, may be it is, but the way the subject is handled is the right way. At least it is interesting and therefore already worth seeing.
Available on DVD from Amazon.com.
At Film Space Saturday, June 27: Salmer fra kjøkkenet [Norway] / Kitchen Stories / Psalmer från köket [Sweden] / Psalms from the Kitchen (2003) by Bent Hamer – 99 mins – Norway/ Sweden, Comedy/ Drama. In Norwegian and Swedish with English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 73 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: By turns touching and funny, this Norwegian import offers quietly absorbing commentary on modern life and friendship. A quaint story about the friendship between two aging men, Kitchen Stories is packaged as a comedy with a very strange premise. It is based on research conducted in Sweden in the 1950s when women were observed in the kitchen for a study to determine the best housework techniques. In the film, a fictional plotline concerns a team of Swedish scientists--all men--hired to observe bachelors living alone in Norway. Their methods are absurd. The observers live in funny little trailers outside their subjects' houses. They sit in high, intimidating chairs placed in the corner of their subjects' kitchens where they take notes on a clipboard. Finally, there is a strict rule that the observer and the subject must not speak to each other or make contact of any kind. This last rule is impossible to follow, and in the case of observer Folke (Tomas Norstrom) and subject Isak (Joachim Calmeyer) it is ignored. The two aging men become fast friends, passing wintry afternoons in the rural countryside sipping coffee, smoking pipes, and telling each other fantastic stories. Writer-director Bent Hamer has created a sweet and pleasing comedy with Kitchen Stories, using excellent photography, interesting colors, and great performances to make a success of an uncomplicated plot.
Wikipedia: Swedish efficiency researchers come to Norway for a study of Norwegian men, to optimize their use of their kitchen. Folke Nilsson (Tomas Norström) is assigned to study the habits of Isak Bjørvik (Joachim Calmeyer). By the rules of the research institute, Folke has to sit on an umpire's chair in Isak's kitchen and observe him from there, but never talk to him. Isak stops using his kitchen and observes Folke through a hole in the ceiling instead. However, the two lonely men slowly overcome the initial post-war Norwegian-Swede distrust and become friends.
Available on DVD from Amazon.com.
July is “The Month of Body Rental” at Film Space.
At Film Space Saturday, July 4: Platonic Sex / Puratonikku sekusu / プラトニック・セックス(2001) by Masako Matsûra – 104 mins – Japan, Drama.
Eigapedia: When Aoi is gang-raped by her classmates and kicked out of her home by her own parents she sees no reason to continue living. Before she commits suicide, however, she receives an email on her cellphone from a man named Toshi addressed to a girl named Ai. The message simply thanks the girl for being alive, but this specific message has an effect on Aoi and she decides to keep on living. Without many options, Aoi resorts to everything from paid dating to porn to earn money and meets a lot of less than reputable characters. Throughout it all though she looks toward Toshi as her hope for happiness and the two form a relationship.
This film is rated IIB in Hong Kong, meaning: "Adult Material; Parental Guidance Recommended." This is roughly equal to an MPPA rating of "R" in the US. Films rated Category IIB contain large amounts of violence and/or nudity and sexual situations, in addition to possible explicit language and adult situations.
Available on DVD from HK Flix.