I’m glad to see The Handmaiden is getting some traction on this site bc it really deserves the attention, here’s why:

-It’s a story about a Lady and her maid falling in love and running away together

-It’s all shot in Korean and Japanese

-The cinematography is outstanding, as is the wardrobe choices and makeup

-The director is Park Chan-wook, one of Korea’s most celebrated directors, and rightly so

-An ALL Korean cast, some well known and some newer to showbiz

-The acting is top notch 👌💯

-It’s very rare to see a story about an F/F relationship in East Asian cinema, even rarer in Korean cinema, and even rarer than THAT for the relationship to be serious and not a joke or unstable and negative

-It received lots of controversy but A LOT of positive reviews too

-The director took a chance on a story from the book, The Fingersmith, that was set in England, and applied it to 1930s Korea, under Japanese occupation, the transition was so good and fit very well

-The twists are incredible and some scenes leave you uncomfortable on purpose and do a damn good job at doing so

-Did I mention the East Asian same sex relationship????? That was well received in general?????? And directed by a well respected director????

-Also the soundtrack is veeeeery good

In conclusion I am so glad that Park Chan-wook took a chance on this story and developed it into an incredible, gripping film, where the women are treated with respect and not as delirious and helpless, doomed to die or sadness because they fell in love

Please watch The Handmaiden

I can’t help but wonder if some of the hubbub about Matt Damon’s casting in The Great Wall is a little misplaced.

There’s a thing that crops up in a lot of East Asian cinema - mostly B-movies, true, but you see the occasional A-list -production do it as well - where they want to court the international audience, but conventional wisdom has it that Americans won’t watch a movie unless it stars a white guy.

So what they do is they cast a well-known white guy in a prominent role, then cut deliberately misleading trailers and poster art for the North American promotions that make that guy out to be some sort of edgy “ONE MAN”-type protagonist. In reality, he’s basically the real hero’s Generically Ethnic Sidekick, and most of the time he dies partway through the final act in order to furnish drama or motivation - not that you could ever tell from the ads.

Anybody remember Double Vision? Taiwanese police-procedural-slash-horror film that came out back in 2002. The American promos totally made it look like David Morse’s character was the hero, but in the actual film he’s strictly second banana, and - spoiler alert - ends up being the killer’s final victim.

Of course, I don’t know for a fact that this is what’s going on with The Great Wall. I’m just sayin’, you know, it’s a thing that happens.

A couple of East Asian Cinema related purchases being shipped to my house:

  • Hardcover copy of Agitator The Cinema of Takashi Miike
  • Strange Circus on DVD
  • Love Exposure on DVD
  • Cold Fish on DVD

For some reason I felt the need to expand my Sono Sion DVD collection. Strange Circus is one of my favorite movies so I look forward to checking out the DVD, as well as writing reviews for all of this stuff. I’ll probably review the book too~



Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (SPOILER ALERT) - Ending and Credits.

class notes:
Professor Lippit: “This is the sexiest saddest movie I’ve ever seen”
Wong Kar-Wai is an auteur. You get the sense that he is in control of every aspect of the film.
mise-en-scène -the composition of the shots, everything that appears on camera  down to the placement of props, everything down to the smallest detail is meticulously taken care of.
Shots are often framed in tight, narrow spaces and obscured by objects in a way that would otherwise be considered mistakes. The camera peeks out from behind door frames, people’s backs, and narrow hallways, invoking a sense of intimacy and claustrophobia.

Snowpiercer (2013) - Wanna Take a Stroll Through Hell?

How do I put this as politely as possible…Snowpiercer is one hell of a film. Adapted from a French manga, Snowpiercer is the story of the last remaining humans on the face of the planet. Earth has frozen over due to global warming and were not talking a little cold here… We’re talking the extinction of life as we know it cold.

Check out my full review at SifuHallyu.com