January 18th, 2014 § Leave a Comment
I wish I could have seen Evangelion last week. Unfortunately, there was no way for me to watch it ahead of time: so no blog.
However, I was able to get my grubby mitts on BEYOND OUTRAGE, a remarkable film directed by and featuring Takeshi Kitano, whom I recognized as being the teacher from BATTLE ROYALE. But of course, he’s so much more than that to the right person. GI volunteer Edwin told me he’s an respected auteur in Japanese cinema, so I’m sure we’ll have some stalwart fans out for this one.
As to the film itself: though it was a sequel, I didn’t feel lost or left behind by not having seen the first one. It felt like a very natural place to start a yakuza film, with an absolutely great opening shot. Handled with a pacing more in line with the Godfather films, this film is a refreshing throwback to old school gangster films, discarding the hyperkinectic editing and twists and turns of so many films of late. Sparsely scored, this film lets ambient sound and dialogue take center stage, sonically speaking. It helps create a gritty atmosphere, perfectly suited to the exquisitely framed shots.
We’ve got so many other great Japanese films on this calendar, it’s crazy! Another dose of anime with ANOHANA THE MOVIE and a poetic documentary about crows, TOKYO WAKA.
And don’t forget, Friday and Saturday nights we’ve got special screenings of one of the best music docs of 2013, THE PUNK SINGER. Perfect storytelling and incredibly intimate, THE PUNK SINGER hits you hard and fast as one of BIKINI KILL’s seminal songs. A must see, especially for PNW natives.
—next week, Zoe Bell, dan