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Red Dawn (João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata, 2011)

Alvorada Vermelha – Red Dawn

Directed by João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata

28 minutes, 2011

A documentary on a meat market in Macao evokes question of life, death and morality.

Opening with a high heeled shoe in foreground in a presentation of the mundane, we are introduced to our world under the pretense of new perspectives. More than just documentary, this film is shaped and formed by associations, magical tangents and powerful compositions. The film’s first part anticipates the meat market with baroque compositions, reminders perhaps of Vermeer and the works of the Renaissance. They are contemporary locales, composed using variations on single and multiple point perspective, which brings poetry and discomfort to the documentary footage. It takes almost ten minutes for it to become apparent that we are in a meat market, and the film takes on new meanings as we plunge into a world unseen in the West.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Tiff 2012. Correspondences #7

Dear Danny,

Rushing from screen to screen with Tiff’s closing weekend just around the corner, that mix of excitement and exhaustion (a condition Manny Farber once dubbed “Festivalitis”) does indeed become more and more pronounced. Fortunately, the ratio of excitement has for me remained high even when my eyes occasionally grow heavy, thanks largely to alternately stirring and maddening films like Terrence Malick’s latest vision of Eden lost.

Malick’s To the Wonder feels curiously anchorless, which is especially weird as its story aims for the tightest focus on romantic couples since the days of Borzage. “Love makes us one,” go the murmurs on the characteristically dense soundscape as the camera swirls and swoons with the characters’ rush of infatuation, following them from Mont St. Michel to Oklahoma. The vertiginous impressionism accelerates, but the lack of character detailing—the lovers played by Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko become abstractions,
See full article at MUBI »

The Yellow Sea – review

This highly efficient Korean thriller from the director of the ultra-violent The Chaser has an unremarkable plot: a taxi driver at the end of his tether is induced to carry out a murder in Seoul and finds himself crushed between two different branches of the mafia and goes on the run. The film does, however, in addition to moving with the speed of a bullet, have three distinctive features. One is that it's the first Korean thriller to have attracted a major investment from a Hollywood studio. Another is that it's one of the bloodiest movies I've ever seen, the goriest perhaps since Le sang des bêtes, Georges Franju's 1949 documentary about a day in the life of a Parisian slaughterhouse, and that was in black and white. Knives and axes are the gangsters' weapons of choice and they go about their work gleefully in pools of blood. Only the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Night of the Demons; F; The Horde | Film review

Three fairly decent, extremely bloody horror flicks from three countries, all avowedly derivative. The American contribution, Night of the Demons, a remake of a 1988 gore fest, involves four busty broads and three suspect men being stranded overnight in a haunted house outside New Orleans after a Halloween party. It starts off with a discussion of the pain involved in vaginal depilation and ends with demonic decapitation.

The British shocker F is inspired, its accomplished writer-director says, by John Carpenter, especially his Assault on Precinct 13, and is a transposition to Britain of one of those 1970s horror flicks about unseen avengers terrorising American high schools. Four relentless hoodies stalk the empty, ill-lit corridors of a comprehensive school after dusk, their potential victims being the headmistress, four members of her staff, including an alcoholic end-of-his-tether English teacher, several pupils (the English teacher's estranged daughter among them), two security men and a couple of cops.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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