Films seen at Love and Anarchy Helsinki 2005 Movie Festival
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Inosensu: KÃƒÂ´kaku kidÃƒÂ´tai - Japan - 2004)
Innocence is quite different from GitS 1. While the first film was an action-packed sci-fi classic, the sequel is much more slow paced and philosophical with only a few action scenes. Sometimes it feels even a bit too slow, but the film remains interesting throughout. Minor flaws are easy to forgive as the film offers some of the visually most mind blowing scenes ever made.
3-Iron (Bin-jip - South Korea - 2004)
This films proves Kim Ki-duk truly is a genious. 3-Iron is actually quite hard to describe. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not much happening, nor is thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s much dialogue. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basically a love story, but the main characters never even speak to each other (though one of them is mute). ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no loud music in this movie, no fast editing or anything else like that. This is a very Ã¢â‚¬?silentÃ¢â‚¬? and Ã¢â‚¬?littleÃ¢â‚¬? film that cannot be explained, everybody has to experience it themself. In this aspect it reminds a bit of a Wong Kar-Wai movie.
House of Fury (Jing mo gaa ting Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Hong Kong - 2005)
I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expecting much from this, but it turned out to be one of the most positive surprises of the festival. House of Fury is a very funny feel-good action flic with lots of good fight scenes. Action scenes (choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping) are great considering none the actors are real life martial artists. My favourite HK actor Anthony Wong gives a hilarious performance. Humour is great, too. I have rarely seen the audience laugh this much during one movie.
HowlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Moving Castle (Hauru no ugoku shiro Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Japan - 2004)
A typical Hayao Miyazaki movie. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never been any huge fan of his. I find his movies a bit slow, though still entertaining. HowlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Moving Castle is good and certainly has itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s moments (a lot of them, actually), but I would like it more if it was 30 minutes shorter. But if you are a fan of Miyazaki movies, then you are gonna love this. HowlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Moving Castle was the first screening on the festival that got sold out.
Immortel (ad vitam) (France - 2004)
A very strange french sci-fi film based on the comics created by Enki Bilal (who also directed this film). There are only two real actors in this movie, everything else from characters to backgrounds is made with cgi. What makes this film really strange, is that all cgi characters look intentionally unreal. Their look is indentical to video game characters. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know why they made it this way, but it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really work for me. Also, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand much of the plot, but that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessary a bad thing. Visually (other than character) Immortel looks stunning. Fascinating, but ultimately disappointing movie.
Innocence (France - 2004)
An interesting art film about a private girlsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ school located in the middle of a forest. Once the girls arrive at the school, they are not allowed to leave even once, nor do they get any visitors. The whole movie is shot from the view of the childen. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only a couple of adults in the whole movie, and they only appear in 4 or 5 scenes. The whole movie is very symbolic. Most people I know loved this movie, but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think so highly of it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still very interesting, and I really liked the magical atmosphere.
Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Japan - 2004)
A true story about a group of young children abandoned by their mother. The oldest child, 12 year old Akira, tries to take care of his bothers and sisters. Nobody Knows is slightly too long, but otherwise a wonderful movie. All young actors give excellent performances, especially the 14 year old YÃƒÂ»ya Yagira, who won the best actor award in Cannes for his role.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (USA - 2005)
The 80Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s is back. Shane Black, the guy who wrote the original Lethal Weapon, has written and directed the best action comedy of the year. The concept is very similiar to Lethal Weapon, only this time the humour is better and much more politically incorrect. My only complaint is that sometimes the movie tries to be a bit too clever. Everything else works. This movie also looks just like if it was made in the 80Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. If you like Lethal Weapon, you will love this.
Brothers (BrÃƒÂ¸dre Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Denmark - 2005)
A gripping Danish drama about two brothers. The younger brother, Jannik, is released from prison on the same day when his big brother Michael sent to war in Afghanistan. While his brother is away, Jannik tries to start a new life. Brothers has won a bunch of awards and received excellent reviews, but I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s slightly over-rated. The main problem is that the film is not very original. Sometimes it feels a typical harsh Nordic drama, then it turns into A Bullet in the Head, then it starts to remind Deer Hunter, and so on. But it has a strong emotional impack and the actors are absolutely great.