When it comes to film, two of Japan’s most common genre outputs are the Samurai Film and the Ghost Story. At first glance (okay, and many sequential glances), Toshiya Fujita’s LADY SNOWBLOOD (1973) fits snugly in the Samurai category, following a stunning female assassin as she travels through late 19th century Japan, attempting to avenge her mother’s death. After looking closer at our heroine Yuki Kashima’s/The Lady Snowblood’s trial, however, it becomes clear that the film also works as a metaphorical ghost story, successfully blending the two prominent genres in an interesting and symbiotic way. Like a ghost whose unrest prevents it from passing on, Lady Snowblood’s entire existence is tied to a single piece of Unfinished Business: her quest for revenge. But whereas a phantom moves from this life to the next, Yuki’s eventual success actually gives her life for the first time, ending her state of limbo.
I consider myself a man that has been fairly desensitized by modern cinema and television, according to today’s standards. Sure, I avidly avoid the torture porn fandom of the Hostel, Saw and Human Centipede style films because frankly, I like sleeping at night. However, the typical rated R violence, nudity, and language can roll off my back pretty easily. That being said; Under the Skin is the current placeholder for one of the most upsetting scenes that I have ever seen, and will probably keep my stomach churning for the next 2-4 weeks.
Jonathan Glazer’s, pseudo sci-fi/social commentary movie has been a rather difficult film to track down. Not being completely up-to-date on the releases within the U.S I had to wait until non-cinema options were available to see this picture. However, once I got a hold of Under the Skin I was transfixed from start to finish.
“God, I miss my tights.”
Who remembers when pre-apocalyptic movies were a thing? Those were the good old days.
Joon-Ho Bong’s latest movie Snowpiercer was an overall fantastic action movie set in, yet another, dystopian future wherein the human race has dwindled to the population of one massive train. Watching the movie you can estimate that there are roughly a thousand human beings left in existence and our story focuses on the “tail” section of the train where the poorest of the poor reside in the locomotive version of labor camps. The narrative set forth begins 17 years after the icy apocalypse and portrays the uprising of those in the tail section of the train, with the intent of taking control of the train’s engine, because “whoever controls the engine controls the world.”