Archive for May, 2010

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It’s Raining Ninjas

May 28, 2010

This is a guest rant by Nick Mann

It’s Raining Ninjas, My Sassy Vampire, and other Ill-advised Forays by Korean Film Talents into International Markets

Ninja Assassin

I think it’s appropriate to call myself a fierce promoter of Korean cinema.  Certainly with my ongoing essays of Korean Films to Watch Before You Die (here – 1 2 3 4 5 6) and more casually in discussion with friends open to world cinema, I’m just trying to get the word out on a nation that isn’t widely recognized for their recent accomplishments in the world of film.  Just watch any of the movies recommended on this site and I hope you’ll find an energy that seems to be missing from Hollywood productions these days.

But it seems someone in a position of power is deliberately sabotaging the international reputation of Korean film and undoing all my good work.  How else do you explain these international projects with Korean talent…? Read the rest of this entry ?

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Shoot Ze Middle Piece!

May 25, 2010

These are interesting and altogether quite amusing times. There is now a Human Centipede game.

The Human Centipede: The Game

It’s a flash game, reminiscent of the Space Invaders of old. I got to Level 7 on  my first try, then things got all mental.

The game reinforces the idea that Dr. Heiter is the hero of this zany tale, incidentally.

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The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

May 18, 2010

Not quite as bad as I had anticipated. There will be spoilers here.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was made in 2009 and managed to generate quite a decent buzz following its showings at various horror movie festivals. Now enjoying a wider North American release thanks to indie distributor IFC Films, I would venture that it is in some American theatres at the time of this post. The film was written and directed by one Tom Six, a hitherto unknown Dutch filmmaker, by all accounts making his first foray into the horror genre and citing the early work of David Cronenberg as the inspiration for this particular film (bonus points there, sir). The film first came to my attention via a rather disturbing teaser trailer that is far different in approach and tone to the more conventional later trailer that is also out there. The teaser was mostly comprised of a prolonged close-up shot of a girl sobbing with her face buried in what transpired (upon reading up on the film) was the ass of another person. Not just buried, but surgically attached, mouth to anus, and held in place with large stitches and some grubby looking bandages. Reading up on the grotesque premise of The Human Centipede and then being confronted by this image of long, drawn-out suffering and distress was an experience quite unlike anything I’ve felt from a film preview in a long, long time. Not since furtive, childhood glances at horror movie trailers in the 1980s have I been so haunted by a mere glimpse of a film. However, it turns out that this teaser trailer was completely bereft of any of the dark, unhinged humour that runs throughout the movie and which certainly softens the blow of the premise.

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K-Pop Korner: Back in Black

May 17, 2010

Girl’s Generation, or Soh Nyeo Shidae as they are known in their native tongue, were my inaugural choice for K-Pop Korner, and I had intended to revisit them roughly one year after I had first started exploring the mindfuck realm of Korean pop music. Alas, circumstances dictated otherwise, I was called out on my bias toward the fairer K-sex and had to balance the Korner out with a mention of some pop stars (barely) in possession of Y chromosomes.

Girl’s Generation released their second album in January of this year. The name of the album, “Oh!”, was also the name of the first single, a hideous ultra-saccharine tune that took the cute image/concept favoured by many Korean girl groups and really cranked it up, delivering a cringe-worthy ditty with squeaky vocals and an accompanying video of the SNSD girls dressed as cheerleaders. Watching the video is akin to watching hyperactive young women perform in a children’s pantomime, every gesture and action by the girls is extraordinarily childish and the imagery will rot the teeth in your skull. For their second single, however, Girl’s Generation unveiled a radical shift in image and direction so dramatic and thrilling that it was built up with online teaser trailers. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Anticipating the Centipede

May 14, 2010

I think it was my friend Josh who first sent me a link to the tantalizing foulness of The Human Centipede (First Sequence), but I can’t be sure. He’s a diabolical sumbitch and I would expect nothing less than for him to have gleefully despoiled my subconscious with the terrible promises of this film after having done the same to his own. That said, I may have stumbled it by other means.

This delightful poster (which gives quite a bit away) was brought to my attention by my friend James. It’s from the online store Mondo.

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Cheonan Update

May 7, 2010

Further to this previous post.

Recovered bow section of ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772)

On Saturday, April 24th, Korean news agencies broadcast live footage of the recovered bow section of the sunken vessel Cheonan being hauled out of the water by a floating crane and placed on a barge prior to being taken to a naval base in South Korea for further investigation. Preliminary examination of the wreckage has led to speculation that the vessel was not struck directly by a torpedo but may have been torn apart by a “bubble jet impact” caused by an explosion occurring near the hull. Despite growing suspicion, the investigation is ongoing and authorities have not yet officially announced that they believe North Korea is responsible. The Norks, for their part, have already released an official denial to international media in their own colourful manner –

“The puppet military warmongers, right-wing conservative politicians and the group of other traitors in South Korea are now foolishly seeking to link the accident with the north at any cost,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted an unnamed military commentator as saying. (Reuters)

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Bastard Abroad

May 4, 2010

News reports are circulating that Kim Jong-il is currently visiting China. The lil’ bastard has apparently travelled on his luxury, 17-carriage, Bond-villain personal train to the Chinese city of Dalian. Nothing can be fully confirmed at this time, and it is common practice for North Korea to delay official announcements on such visits until after they have ended and the Dear Leader has returned to the DPRK.

The BBC has a picture (reproduced here) and also broadcast some footage this morning of what looked like Kim Jong-il emerging from a limousine outside a hotel in Dalian. Analysts believe he may be travelling to China in an attempt to secure economic aid to relieve the shittier-than-usual economy of North Korea, following a particularly disastrous mishandling of the currency last year.

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