Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Based on a popular manga about the exploitative and terrifying underbelly of the culture of beauty models and teenage icons that grace the magazine covers in Japan. Faultless airbrushed skin, bright colours and striking poses hide a dark strain on those constructed and marketed pieces of flesh, it what the narrative wants to capture, however the film itself has the airbrushed skin, bright colours and striking visuals but it is empty and lifeless in a jumbled narrative that is all over the place.
The director, Mika Ninagawa, herself coming from a background of photography and there are some really great visuals. There are these 5-6 minute collages of image and sound that really work, creative a real visceral feel bursting with energy but once these collages stop and narrative kicks in, there is corny dialogue, bizarre plot inclusions and a hell of a lot of seemingly pointless junk. Sometimes I felt that the only reason why a scene was included was just to provide a striking visual rather than move the plot in any positive direction.
Then there is the ending, the movie builds to this really strong climax, working on its striking visual strength, but it doesn't end there and 3 different endings come after it, all dreadful and cringe-worthy. Just like the rest of the film, impressive visuals eclipsed by terrible storytelling.
If there ever was fitting film to match Abbas Kiarostamiâ(TM)s quote âI donâ(TM)t mind if someone falls asleep while watching a film, as long as they dream about it afterâ? it is BelÃ¡ Tarrâ(TM)s most recent and apparently swan song film. It is one of the most boring, dull and sluggishly paced film that you will have watched but it has more resonance than a 8.0 earthquake. It shatters your perceptions of humanity and forces you to rebuild, or convince yourself that life isnâ(TM)t totally meaningless.
The withered faces, the brush of wind, the struggle of light and the potatoes, potatoes, potatoes create monotony that Tarrâ(TM)s marvellous one take shots guides through the viewers eyes, into their brain and forces them to contemplate. There are moments of grandeur in the mundane too every time Mihaly Vigâ(TM)s monstrous, lingering score drifts in like a weight on your concious.
It is a film relentless in itâ(TM)s forever grey filter of the world and is something Nietzsche would be proud of. The movie in fact starts with the story of Nietzsche seeing the a horse being beaten which put a halt on all his though and put him in bed till death. Evoking this BelÃ¡ Tarr calls the end of his illustrious career by showing us the dire state of humanity that Nietzsche was lucky enough to see and tempting us to follow in his footsteps.