Criterion Collection · Drama · India

#993 The Cloud-Capped Star (Ritwik Ghatak, 1960)

#993 The Cloud-Capped Star 1960 // India // Ritwik Ghatak Criterion Collection (LINK) / Letterboxd (LINK) A heightened melodrama in the most operatic, imposingly moving form, THE CLOUD-CAPPED STAR is centered around the eldest daughter of a deprived family, Neeta, who sacrificed herself, physically and mentally, to her abusive, exploitative, and selfish family members. The percussive… Continue reading #993 The Cloud-Capped Star (Ritwik Ghatak, 1960)

Action · Crime · Film Noir · Hong Kong

Throw Down 柔道龍虎榜 (Johnnie To 杜琪峯, 2004)

Throw Down 柔道龍虎榜 2004 // Hong Kong // Johnnie To 杜琪峯 Letterboxd (LINK) Despite being a recent first-time watch, THROW DOWN immediately takes up the second place of my favorite Johnnie To film, closely following THE MISSION (1999). Asides from the explicit homage to Akira Kurosawa’s SANSHIRO SUGATA, the playful editing (the cross-cutting between interactions… Continue reading Throw Down 柔道龍虎榜 (Johnnie To 杜琪峯, 2004)

China · Drama · Hong Kong · Romance

Eight Taels of Gold 八両金 (Mabel Cheung 張婉婷, 1989)

Eight Taels of Gold 八両金 1989 // Hong Kong // Mabel Cheung 張婉婷 Letterboxd (LINK) The beautiful cinematography has rendered the rural, undeveloped China landscape into a love song, where the authoritarian oppression had been slightly loosened after the end of the atrocious Cultural Revolution in 1989, only in the same year the Tiananmen Massacre occurred… Continue reading Eight Taels of Gold 八両金 (Mabel Cheung 張婉婷, 1989)

Adaptation · Drama · Japan

The Broken Commandments 破戒 (Kon Ichikawa 市川崑, 1962)

The Broken Commandments 破戒 1962 // Japan // Kon Ichikawa 市川崑 Letterboxd (LINK) Adapted by Natto Wada (The Burmese Harp,  Conflagation) from Toson Shimazaki‘s 1906 novel, filmed in a gloomy, oppressively atmospheric cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu), THE BROKEN COMMANDMENTS (a.k.a. The Outcast, or Hakai) is a didactic, slowly paced but moving tale of a young… Continue reading The Broken Commandments 破戒 (Kon Ichikawa 市川崑, 1962)

Drama · Political · South Korea · War

Joint Security Area ‘공동경비구역 JSA’ (Park Chan-wook, 2000)

Joint Security Area ‘공동경비구역 JSA’ 2000 // South Korea // Park Chan-wook Letterboxd (LINK)   Started out as a mystery of a bloodshed incident taken place at the North Korean border house in the DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone) where two North Korean officers are killed, Park Chan-wook’s breakout hit ends with a poignant, sombre truth… Continue reading Joint Security Area ‘공동경비구역 JSA’ (Park Chan-wook, 2000)

Comedy · Drama · Japan

Women are Born Twice 女は二度生まれる (Yuzo Kawashima 川島雄三, 1961)

Women are Born Twice 女は二度生まれる 1961 // Japan // Yuzo Kawashima 川島雄三 Letterboxd (LINK)   Also known as THE GEISHA’S DIARY, still, I much prefer the original direct translation of the film title, WOMEN ARE BORN TWICE. It’s apparently an echo to the famous quote, “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” by Simone de… Continue reading Women are Born Twice 女は二度生まれる (Yuzo Kawashima 川島雄三, 1961)

Criterion Collection · Drama · Iran · Romance

#992 Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami, 1994)

#992 Through the Olive Trees 1994 // Iran // Abbas Kiarostami Criterion Collection (LINK) / Letterboxd (LINK) It’s quite ‘metaphysical’ if one considers all the duplicities THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES possessed within its interlocking narrative with the first two installments, WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOUSE and AND LIFE GOES ON, amidst the Koker Trilogy. The… Continue reading #992 Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami, 1994)

Action · Crime · Drama · Violence

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 2019 // USA // Quentin Tarantino Letterboxd (LINK) I’ve been wrestling with this film since I have watched it last week. Objectively, it’s Tarantino‘s most well-crafted, good-natured, self-righteous, self-indulgent and self-parodied work, yet I consider this film to be among my least favorite Tarantino film. I can’t deny I’m affected by… Continue reading Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

Criterion Collection · Drama · Iran

#991 And Life Goes On (Abbas Kiarostami, 1992)

#991 And Life Goes On 1992 // Iran // Abbas Kiarostami Criterion Collection (LINK) / Letterboxd (LINK)   Blurring further the thin line between documentary and fiction, Abbas Kiarostami restaged his journey of revisiting Koker after the 1990 earthquake in Iran. In his own journey, he attempted to find the whereabouts of the stars of his… Continue reading #991 And Life Goes On (Abbas Kiarostami, 1992)

Criterion Collection · Drama · Iran

#990 Where Is the Friend’s House? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987)

#990 Where Is the Friend’s House? 1987 // Iran // Abbas Kiarostami Criterion Collection (LINK) / Letterboxd (LINK) Imbued with affection and humanity, Iranian artist Abbas Kiarostami‘s film, WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOUSE? rendered a mundane children adventure story, which has the ultimate goal of returning a classmate’s notebook, into an insightful and gentle exploration of… Continue reading #990 Where Is the Friend’s House? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987)