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Rating History

Shinjuku dorobo nikki (Diary of a Shinjuku Thief)
9 months ago via Movies on iPhone
½

One of Oshima's most teasing and provocative collages, inspired by the student riots of '68 which involved a Korean scholar that murdered 3 female students.
That episode was the foundation of a movement of xenophobia in Japan which is deeply revisited in his next movie "The Man who left his will on film (1970)"
Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (Shinjuku dorobô nikki) is Japanese new wave cinema influenced by French and Italian new wave, in fact it has a feeling of a European film.
The story evolves around a female character Suzuki Umeko and male character Birdy Hilltop.

Hilltop who uses this name to disguise his identity is a book thief who finds pleasure in stealing them from a famous book store in Tokyo, he is repeatedly stopped and reported to the boss by Umeko who also seems to fake her identity pretending to work in the store.
This story evolves around identity disguise peeling off elements in relation to ones sexuality and what it means to be a man or a woman in that respect. What sex is and how do man and women relate to the topic.
The characters go through changes of sexuality to broadly describe the different facets (well the one explored in the 70s) of how we search pleasure and if pleasure is the ultimate freedom.

The movie is beautifully and boldly shot with "real" people that play themselves in the movie.
Best peace of dialogue is when Hilltop and Umeko are brought in front of a "real life" sex councillor, who tries to define their sexual issues.
Later on in the movie we are involved in a 'fringe' of performances of a neo-primitive kabuki show connecting to a wide anthropological view of being humans, blurring the lines of sexes and performances for one another or for a present or absent audience.

The movie deliberately submerged contrasting moods, styles and lines of thoughts.

A movie that for its nature will not work for a wide range of audience, but film buffs will find this picture quite refreshing and "new" from any films that have been around in the last 15 years.
Thank God for classics.

By Stifani

Birdman
Birdman (2014)
2 years ago via Flixster

"BirdMan" talks about the "art of performance"; weather is in theatre, movies or life, seen as entertainment all the way, where audience in the likes of "the other" determines the success of our achievements. As shallow as this may sounds it is what propels our energy and commitment to perform and to be truthful to our selves.

Michael Keaton in the character of Riggan is a former movie star celebrity who tries to re-launch his dying-fame career as an actor through the "spot light" of theater.
According to the critics of Broadway, the stage is a world that doesn't belong to him; a lucky made movie star that has no "Classical" preparation or stage experience.

Thanks to the previous successful movie franchise 'BirdMan' had no problems getting his foot through the door of Broadway, however the fictional character of the "Birdman" has made him the shadow of himself.

In a modern world, where "dreaming" and expressing is oppressed by the power of finances, and social and personal relations are lubricated with failures and false promises, success and determination is the cure to all.
Guided by strong commitment can he finally find that lost "self" and "global" recognition and prove wrong the rest of the world?

This movie excels in acting skills.
The re-enacting all good and bad acting through a melee of emotions from 1 to 100 and 100 to 1 in split seconds, gives us the thrill of a rollercoaster ride. Edgy and beautifully crafted, this 2hours one-long-take film is pure entertainment.

Recommendation: Watch "Opening Night" (1977) by John Cassavetes.

Badlands
Badlands (1974)
2 years ago via Flixster

'Bandlands' is based on Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, who in 1958 embarked on a murder spree in the South Dakota badlands

An heartily and still innocent 15 year old teen girl Holly (Sissy Spacek in her debut) somehow falls in love with Kit (Martin Sheen) a 25 years old boy, who sees in her the perfect accomplice to freedom, pulling the trigger to anyone standing between them without shame.

Written and directed by Terrence Malick, the movie explores the burning desire of a couple of youngster wanting to live a life away from the worldliness .
Kit is a garbage man living a quiete life with an unstable routine job, he wares cowboy boots and jacket jeans, a rebel with a James Dean's look as he often state, who's more concerned about his look than his crimes.

The movie begins with Kit picking an choosing garbage from the dirty streets without wasting time trading the good staff he finds around or eating left over fruits and rummaging in the litters analysing the individuals behind them.
He is a searcher, of young age, that acts out of instinct rather than experience resulting in the loss of his job. He meets Holly a young teenager who spends her time studying and skipping the rope while waiting for her dad to come home from work.
She looks innocent and almost unconsciously careless about the consequences she is going up against through the actions she takes during the movie also determined by pure instinct.

The killing begins when her father opposes to their love. Kit is 10 years older and a street boy with not a real prospective that could secure her daughter well being.
So in the attempt to flee away with Holly, Kit shots her father dead in front of a passive Holly; from then on killing anyone who stands between them. Holly is an unassertive character that never pulls the trigger but also never opposes. She is shut down from materialism and opinions. She is free of judgment "I feel the world is far away".

The world we ought to aspire to or to comply to.

The movie uses the characters to express a sense of malcontent in humanity and especially the young generations that are unwillingly and unconsciously forced to follow the mass, to know how to live, where it seems that pulling the trigger for your country seems more accepted than killing for freedom of Love.

They are focused to care for each other which is portrayed without morbidity the exact contrary of how they relate with the 'others' where the relations ends in an almost innocent and cruel act of killing without any remorse or doubts.

Of course "The gun" is just a metaphor to what is right or wrong of power and beliefs.

For what would you pull the trigger for ? Or drive out of the road to get over the mountain ? What's your objective ? Would you risk it all knowing it's against human laws ? Would you still keep cool ? Live wild and full for a short while or close your self behind a huge house with golden doors and a maid.
Can we keep pure in a dirty world?

Trivia
'Badlands' marks Malick's directorial debut

2046
2046 (2005)
2 years ago via Flixster
½

If you are in Love or in doubt of what Love is and how it becomes to be, or how it destroys or transform its self then this movie is great to peel some of its layers.

The movie begins with journalist Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) who is forced to leave his home and the love of his life Su Li-Zhen to find fortune in merging Hong Kong of the 60s.
In Hong Kong Chow Mo-wan dates different women, immersing him self in different stories dotted with money, literature and power play.
A way maybe to forget or replace the love he has lost, but of course there are consequences and feelings to face.
One of his women is a fictional-android that lives on a futuristic Train, where people who are on board travel to 2046 to recapture their lost memories.

Who loves who? and how is love defined?

The film is the third chapter of an unconsummated affair that began with 'Days of Being Wild' (1990) and continued with 'In the Mood for Love' (2000).

Kar Wai Wong creates another stylish movie with unique camera work, with each frame compelling and cinematically poetic; DOP Christopher Doyle is the cause of such beautiful images with the use of existing light sources vivid colours and neon lights. A pleasure for the eyes.
As in his films the story's arc is in pieces and in non-chronological order which makes it compelling but at times stretches to boredom.
Non the less, we would re-watch it.
Beautiful.

Enter the Dragon
3 years ago via Flixster
½

ENTER THE DRAGON
Bruce Lee movies are an asset for martial arts' lovers.
This time his deadly mission is to take up a fight tournament and crack the forbidden island of Han!

The movie mixes action and espionage, making it like a sort of Roger Moore's 007 agent movie but non the less "Enter the Dragon" is a Bruce Lee's classic and by many recognize as the definitive martial arts movie of all time.

For sure, without a doubt the choreography of the last scene, the final fight in the mirror room, is worthy of exhibiting the most original cinematography in cinema history.
Despite its 41 years of age, the haunting soundtrack and the power of Bruce Lee's WHOA!!! Make this movie unforgettable.

TRIVIA:
"Enter the Dragon," is a joint American-Chinese production, intended to be Bruce Lee's introduction to Western audiences, but he tragically died just weeks before the film's American release.