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Part 1 in a Series: My Reviews From The 50th London Film Festival
As has been previously established, I have a firm appreciation for the films of Takashi Miike. So, when I was in London, I made sure to see his latest film, [Big Bang Love, Juvenile A]. Completely different from the Japanese title of [Shijuroku-Oku Nen No Koi] (4.6 Billion Year Love), the film is based on Masaki Ato's [Elegy For Boy] manga, and deals with prison, murder, and homoerotics. Simply put, two young men are imprisoned for different reasons, and the more ferocious one ends up being murdered by the more meek one. Or, does he? That's the puzzle presented at the beginning of the film, and through some flashbacks, and highly staged prison settings, we essential find the answer.
Half of the film is roughly realistic, and the rest is all rocketships and ziggurats. Thus, it's more of a meditation on a constricted form of manliness, than a clearly presented penal plot. Even with my relative understanding of Japanese, and English subtitles, I can't say I clearly understood the point - it falls in with his more "art" films that are more emotional and evocative than meaningful. Plus, for a "gay love story", there's no kissing or any real homosexual activity, beyond what's speculated at during the course of the mystery. Therefore, besides some lingering shots of sweaty, slumbering men, I didn't find the film particularly provocative or even explicit. However, there is a whole lot of Fight Club fist action, which I'm sure will make it "R" when it eventually reaches the US.
In the end, I don't see this as one of his better films when it comes to plot, but it does have some amazing imagery and daring presentation, evoking noir as well as [Dogville] minimalism. Something to definitely check out, but don't neglect his earlier, stronger work.
As promised, I'm posting again, after two weeks in Europe. Specifically, I visited Munich, Germany for work, and London, England for play.
I showed up at all sorts of places, both touristy and native, and over the next few weeks I'll be sharing some of the things I found. First I'll probably offer some reviews from the 50th BFI London Film Festival, which included new work by Takashi Miike and Lars von Trier.
Before that, let me give a few photos as a taste of my travels:
Munich, Germany, 10.2006. Surfers in a fast moving stream that cuts through the English Gardens.
Munich, Germany, 10.2006. Enigma machine (WWII era encryption device) at the Deutsches Museum.
London, England, 10.2006. Piccadilly Circus brings a bit of Times Square to the UK.
London, England, 10.2006. Skate and graff paradise near the river Thames.
I love Hot IQs - check out past junk.log entries for ample evidence. They are coming to the West Coast all quick like, which is quite rare for this Denver band. Plus, they have a new CD out soon, so anyone who attends the following shows is bound to be entertained in new and novel ways.
Oct 8 2006 / Phoenix, AZ
Hollywood Alley w/ Army of Robots
Oct 9 2006 / San Diego, CA
Beauty Bar w/ A Week's Worth
Oct 10 2006 / Los Angeles, CA
Cinespace w/ Oh No Oh My
Oct 11 2006 / Glendale, CA
The Scene Bar
Oct 13 2006 / Las Vegas, NV
Dive Bar w/ The Thieves
Oct 17 2006 / San Francisco, CA
The Make Out Room w/Rademacher
Sadly, I will still be out of town when they hit San Francisco, but I will be there in spirit.
I'm going to be otherwise occupied this month, but when I start posting again at the end of October, I'll should have some interesting tales to tell. Let's leave it at that, so as to not spoil the surprise.
During my absence, why not check out the hundreds of past entries, by either using the search box to the left, or the complete index of all listings? There's some definite reading material there.
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