ONIBABA

  onibaba_poster 1964 – Kaneto Shindo                                                                             

“I’m not a demon! I’m a human being!”  

 synopsis:

Japan’s war-torn 14th century:                                                                                               In a marshland overgrown with endless swaying reeds, a woman and her daughter-in-law cling on the edge of survival. They mercilessly prey on wounded samurai warriors fleeing from a nearby battlefield, killing them and selling their armour for handfuls of rice.               When the younger woman falls for a handsome young deserter, the mother determines to stop the affair – with unexpected and shocking results!

cam_03 “People are both the devil and God… and are truly mysterious.” – Japanese writer/director Kaneto Shindo.

Onibaba is humanity stripped bare!                                                                                     Existence here is purely based on physiological demands – food, sex, shelter, and above all – self-preservation. There is no God to in the be found in this vast wasteland – just the ceaseless dry whisperings of the wind through the endless susuki grasses, the oppressive heat, and the utter desolation of its inhabitants. One of the most fiercely primal depictions of the human condition on celluloid, Onibaba is a haunting, mesmeric experience.                                                                                                                              A witness to the dehumanising horrors of WW II, Shindo, a committed communist, adapted a Buddhist parable to contain his virulent anti-war, anti-capitalist message.       For Shindo, this dog-eat-dog world, fueled by the raw instincts of death and sex, is a microcosm of the insatiable demands of capitalism. The result is a tale of erotic noir that is psychological horror at its most brilliantly subversive.                                                             The uniquely spare quality of Onibaba serves these themes well. The dynamic wide-screen framing, minimalist dialogue and exposition and the dark and earthy performances of Nobuko Otowa and Jitsuko Yoshimura are balanced to perfection. Kiyomi Kuroda’s lustrous black-and-white cinematography haunts as much as the proceedings themselves, particularly in the film’s eerie nighttime passages. And Hikaru Hayashi’s unnerving score consisting of saxophones (to echo the sound of wind through reeds), primitivist drums, raucous tubas and ritualistic voices, has a fever to it that is equal to the stark and hypnotic beauty that permeates every frame of this film.

Onibaba is more than just a witches’ brew of Gothic horror, it is an elemental and timeless classic!                                                                                                                                                 

trailer:

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links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onibaba_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058430/?ref_=nv_sr_1

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/onibaba/

reviews:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2010/oct/15/onibaba-kaneto-shindo-devil-woman

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9A07E4D9143CE733A25753C1A9649C946491D6CF

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LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

 let_the_right_one_in_poster  2008 (Låt den rätte komma in) – Tomas Alfredson                                                                                                

“I’m twelve. But I’ve been twelve for a long time.”  

 synopsis:

Oskar, a withdrawn and bullied boy finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

cam_03     Let The Right One In presents a chilling vision of what happens to the young people that society fails to nurture. Among these fragile, overlooked and alienated, two outsiders finally discover each other and change each others lives. Theirs is a love that’s both tender and delicate, but also laced with unbridled savagery.                                          It’s rare enough for a horror film to be good; even rarer are those that function as genuine works of art. Let The Right One In is one of those films. Cocooned within the eerie softness of the Swedish snowfall is an austerely beautiful creation that reveals itself slowly, like the best works of art do.                                                                                   The minimalist story allows Swedish director Tomas Alfredson to focus on these two pre-teen characters with a penetrating insight that not only makes it a original horror film but a poignant coming-of-age film as well. Alfredson dares to mix this pleasure and pain in a way that is both shocking and incredibly poised. At its core though, the film is, simply, a human story, a pensive meditation on the transcendent possibilities of human connection.                                                                                                                                               

trailer:

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links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_the_Right_One_In_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1139797/

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/let_the_right_one_in/

reviews:

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/let-the-right-one-in

http://moviefail.com/2013/11/01/op-ed-let-the-right-one-in-is-not-your-typical-horror-movie/

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VIDEODROME

 Videodrome_poster1 1983 – David Cronenberg                                                                                                

“Long live the new flesh!”  

 synopsis:

Max Renn, a sleazy cable-TV programmer, searching for an intense new program for his sex-oriented cable network, encounters a mysterious pirate signal. “Videodrome” seduces, controls and ultimately fuses with the minds of its viewers.

cam_03  Grotesque, trashy and at times almost incoherent – David Cronenberg‘s phantasmagorical leap into the synthesis of humanity, technology, entertainment, sex, and politics is nonetheless, one of the most genuinely original horror films of all time!                   Videodrome was made in 1983, yet it anticipated the impact of the rise of reality television and, even more critically, the erasure of the borders between the personal and public, and between man and machine. Although its technology may be primitive, the insight into the inevitable fusion of human consciousness and the media mindscape that surrounds us is not. In Videodrome our integration with technology on such an intimate level, gives rise new possibilities to extend our emotional experience – but it also allows for a descent to unknown depths of desensitization and dehumanization. It seems too, our addiction to this neurological over-stimulation has already profoundly altered our fundamental perspective on reality – “Television is reality, and reality is less than television.” states Professor Brian O’bilvian, the televised media prophet.                     Furthermore, Cronenberg warns that this merging of man and machine may not be a random event  – A perplexed Max Renn, asks the question, “Why is Videodrome so dangerous?” – “Because it has a philosophy” comes the chilling answer.                               Visually, Cronenberg fuses this chilling new philosophy of technology and addiction with his long standing obsessions with the body and mutation. Videodrome revels in the chaos and intensity of the hypnotic hallucinations generated by special televised transmissions becoming visions of visceral body horror.Our very thoughts now take the form of “the new flesh”.

Videodrome, described as a techno-surrealist mind-bender  and possibly almost indecipherable on first viewing, is a horror film of unusual substance and vision.                   Seeing is believing, right?!

trailer:

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links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videodrome

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086541/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/videodrome/

reviews:

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/videodrome

http://www.deepfocusreview.com/reviews/videodrome.asp

http://www.slantmagazine.com/dvd/review/videodrome

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