Sunday, October 24, 2004

There's an extraordinarily electrifying and exhilarating scene in Kazuaki Kiriya's live action rendition of the anime Casshan: Robot Hunter, where the protaganist Tetsuya, having realized that he is the reborn warrior Casshern, lays complete and utter waste to an impending army of invasion robots without so much as breaking a sweat, in between looking devastating stylish and with his affection Luna tucked safely in his arms. The adrenaline rush can be likened to watching the finer moments of those antiquated Hong Kong kungfu flicks where the hero finally learns his skills and starts to kick some, only this is shot with tons more style and coupled with excellent music.

Having raised the bar to its apex hitherto however, the plot starts its descent into sanitized morality issues and lengthy, philosophical ramblings on the ravages of war, but with a fairly disjointed and convoluted narrative so far, one finds it hard to relate to any of the characters, much less their idealistic musings. My take would be to sit in for the stunning visuals, but leave the human ethics lessons at home.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

" How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd. " -- Alexander Pope

Not enough praises can be sung of Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, indeed, though filmlovers familiar with screenwriter Kaufman's work have come to expect much from his writings, the basis of which gave birth to bold and inventive works like Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, none of them exhibits the sensitivity and romantic longing that envelops Eternal Sunshine "like a soft blanket on a chilly night", quoting BFI's Sight and Sound. This added emotional element raises the film to a higher plane where, bar entities devoid of feelings, makes anyone wonder about their memory backlogs and if Lacuna( really such a good idea.

Michel Gondry makes up a third of the triumvirate of genius minds, along with Spike Jonze and Chris Cunningham, whom with their pool of vastly influential MTVs have undeniable shaped the look of the industry. Come the day when Cunningham embarks on his feature, the creative circle would then be complete.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Early autumn is upon Tokyo and temperatures are taking a steady dip, hitherto 15C and going straight down till winter. Certainly one of the highlights of autumn here would be the beautiful fall foliage, think the gradiose setting where Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi slugs it out in Hero, minus the morbidity of course. Gotta head down to Shinjuku Kouen for some shots once the leaves starts to scatter and will post them here soon.

Earlier on a post dinner conversation with Takeshi+Kojima and Shige had them caveating me about the killer winters here in Domiru Meguro where we reside, for a resident here had apparently froze to death last winter. I counted "can't sleep too much" far too many times to dismiss it as a joke, I suddenly feel like an eskimo living in the caps, give or take the polar bears. "SCHOLARSHIP STUDENT IN JAPAN FREEZES IN SLEEP, REQUIRES THAWING."

Now that would be quite a heading.