[Metalocalypse] follows the exploits of the part-American/part-Scandinavian metal band Dethklok… They enjoy a popularity level unheard of in reality, being “the twelfth largest economy on Earth.” They are so popular that their fans will do anything their songs tell them, even if it means death (source)
For someone who occasionally listened to death metal during the 90s, this is one helluva treat. Pity that I don’t know anyone else who could find the humor and in-jokes Â in the series.
Its difficult to champion objectivity when your buttons are pushed just right, like what Nobuhiro Yamashita’s 2005 Japanese rock film Linda Linda Linda did to me. Factor in girls and guitars and not all too shabby direction, you bet I’ll be talking about it for a significant amount of time.
An all-girl high school rock band loses their guitarist and singer to injury and infighting (respectively), and they badly need the personnel to perform in their school’s festival. They randomly pick Son, a Korean exchange student from the same school, who barely speaks Japanese. The usual band challenges aside, they pick songs from local punk icons The Blue Hearts to perform, and have only three days to practice.
In spite of the fascinating pop-culture referenced background of the film, two winners arise from this wonderful cinematic gem: Director Nobuhiro Yamashita has effectively infused contemplative, wide-angled storytelling to a film that would usually merit fast cuts, numerous overpowering subplots, and a rockstar-posing extravaganza. Given the simple formulaic plot turned out the be the film’s strength rather than its liability, since Yamashita helps the audience keep focus, and realize the characters’ passion, and a commitment to a common goal: rehearse their collective asses off so they could play some punk songs in school. Sure, you have little teen-movie paragraphs slip in, but I can’t point to anything off-putting. Add in a few minutes of sleep-deprived surreal dream scenes reminiscent of mild dose of David Lynch or Michael Gondry there, too. Continue reading REVIEW: Linda Linda Linda
Had a glorious second viewing of Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu on DVD; the first happened several years ago in college, with the first Eiga Sai series at the UP Film Center.
Anyone who champions the Akira Kurosawa filmography must see this, to wash their pallete from the sheer amounts of testosterone in almost all things Kurosawa did. Mizoguchi made films with women as the key characters, and based on Ugetsu, he does this unspeakably well.
Plotwise, I don’t remember seeing anything that seamlessly fused realism and fantasy at this genius-level. This elegantly points out why CGI -or even color!- doesn’t make a fantasy-oriented film more potent than anything else in the genre.
Read Noel Vera’s review of this 1953 Japanse opus here.