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This is one of the older Takashi Miike films that I've always heard good things about, but hadn't been able to track down until pretty recently. I can say that it was worth the wait, a more thoughtful film in the midst of his period of excesses and violence at the time.
The film is an interesting journey of two men from the city venturing into the countryside and finding their own forms of absolution there, and I would recommend checking it out.
Give it a rental at the very least.
Didn't really work for me. I found the first half pretty annoying, with bad pratfalls and dumb jokes, and the second, apparently more, uh, "lyrical" (ugh) half to be a bit cloying and sentimental, especially towards the end. Maybe it's because I only recently saw Aguirre, but I felt like the amazing setting wasn't utilised very well, with Miike's go-to conflict contrivance of a violent Yakuza feeling completely out of place. These complaints aside, I didn't outright hate it, but it never managed to draw me in.
This movie breaks the rules, as Miike usually does. It's beautiful and well constructed with a thick plot.
Something fresh from Visitor Q and Ichi the Killer director Takashi Miike. This is an enjoyable comedic art house drama with little to none of his trademark gore/disturbing scenes.
It's odd to see a film-maker like Takashi Miike, the notorious film-maker behind controversial films like Audition and Ichi The Killer make something that is so...well, I don't really even know how to describe it. It's certainly a unique, and dare I say, original fantasy film. Normally, I don't like it when people randomly toss around the word "original" when describing a film because there are bound to be a number of examples of what a film does that were done years, or even decades before. When it comes to The Bird People In China, I can honestly say that I have never seen any film like it, nor will I ever again. While I do enjoy fantasy franchises like Lord Of The Rings, The Neverending Story, Harry Potter, etc., this film is a very fresh take on fantasy with its whimsical premise, oddball characters, hilarious humor, themes about life, and everything in between. The premise alone is strange. A Japanese businessman is sent by his employer to check out a jade mine in a remote village in China, but the company didn't tell him that they had unsettled debts with the Yakuza, so the man is accompanied during the trip by a very angry and abusive debt collector for the Yakuza, along with their strange tour guide. What is already a strange journey becomes even more bizarre with the scenarios they find themselves in like riding a raft pulled by turtles, getting high as fuck on mushrooms, the tour guide loses his memory during the journey, and then they end up the remote village which just so happens to have a school that tries to teach people to fly like birds. It's a strange and hypnotic fantasy from start to finish, that touches on various themes like the emptiness of the modern world, the beauty of nature, self-discovery, and much more. If you love a good strange film, this is one to definitely check out, as you will never see anything like it. It's easily one of the best fantasy films I've ever seen.
This kind of movies are hardly my type but TBPIC's approach is fun, adoring & impressive, Somehow loses its focus near the end but that's ok, This along with Happiness of Katakuris & Gozu totally changed my mind about Miike & I'll definitely check his other works
One of the most underrated movies directed by Takashi Miike. It's a poetic art-house production, which focuses on the most covert aspects of human psyche, evaluating the dream-like realm of our minds. A Tokyo-based salaryman is sent to the most remote place in China (where no information goes in or goes out) on a mysterious mission to follow a precious Jade jewell trail. Along with him comes a fierce yakuza enforcer. While the two men arrive in a strange village, they discover more than they really bargained for. It's an adventure of the most inscrutable kind, showing how the unknown can change the way we perceive our world. With a contemplative storyline, mesmerizing imagery, sombre sense of humor, and a most haunting song ever, The Bird People in China comes as a very strong position in Takashi Miike's directorial career, and as a perfectly satisfying exploration of the human emotions.
Engrossing and well-acted. Yet another great film from Takashi Miike.
Never expected something like Whale Rider from Miike. Fantastic.
Feels like Miike paying tribute to Tarkovsky, balancing a multitude of themes and shadows of symbols without offering cut & dry answers, and embracing nature with long, meditative shots. Flawed but very humanistic and subtle, which is even something you'll find at the heart of Miike's most violent films.