THURSDAY JUNE 8 - THURSDAY JUNE 15
This week, I'm recommending some of my favourite films to hail from Asia. To start things off, we go with one of the most iconic and revolutionary films to come out of Japan, and one of Kanye's two favorite movies:
The highest-grossing film of 1988, Akira takes place in Neo-Tokyo, 2019, years after World War 3. The entire city is in a state of anarchy and chaos, with rebel biker gangs and angry demonstrators, and buildings in shambles. The military has been conducting a secret project involving psychic children, which endangers Neo-Tokyo. Their experiments affect a young man, Tetsuo, who is turned into a raging psychic monster. This is the story of the ensuing struggle.
HAPPY TOGETHER (1997)
The film that won Wai best director at Cannes, Happy Together is a challenging, albeit rewarding watch. A story told with great narrative breaks and meanders, it presents two enthralling parallels in love and opposed to one another depending on the scene one sees them in. A blend of different cinematographic techniques creates and realizes a very stark, bipolar, and real relationship that is at once incredibly alien in it’s physical nature, however, universally relatable in it’s emotional truths.
MILLENIUM MAMBO (2001)
Millennium Mambo, one of Hou Hsiao Hsien's most iconic movies. The narrator, Vicky, is caught between two men who represent alternate fascinations with, and escapes from reality, and how one can change it. She is nearing the end of her youth, and as such, is caught between trying desperately to cling to it, or to "grow up" and abandon it entirely.
THE HOST (2006)
I first caught this film by mistake while flipping through channels years ago and coming across it on TVO. The Host is the story of a family's pursuit to save one of their members from the monster that has came from Seoul's Han River. The victim is a young girl, the granddaughter of a man who owns a small snack bar on the banks of the river. Like Akira, this is a story of man vs. government vs. mutation. The family has equal enemies in their own government, as they do the monster, in the mission to save their youngest.
Text William Tattersall & Nick Chubak