Monday, July 13, 2015

The final films at NYAFF 2015 TOKYO TRIBE and COINLOCKER GIRL

I'm beat. Its been crazy  on top of the end of this years New York Asian Film Festival (I ended up seeing the Danny Elfman's Music for the Films of Tim Burton at the Lincoln Center Festival twice-it was beyond awesome and I need to write it up) however I want to say a couple of quick things on the last two films that ran at the festival.

Everybody loves this film, except a hand full of us. I'm not a fan.

The film is a Hip Hop riff on The Warriors filtered through the twisted sense of Sion Sono.

I'm not going to go into a big discussion of the film- Mondo did a great job here- I will however state my objections:

As much as I like the action and the music, I think the characters are very weak and the lyrics are not very good. That last part maybe a problem with translation, but either way it just didn't work for me- and it put me to sleep

The final film of the  festival was Jun Hee-Han's COIN LOCKER GIRL. Its a film that came out of  Cannes with a bit of buzz.  Its a film that was described by the director in his intro as fun. If this is his idea of fun I don't want to go to a party at his house.

The film concerns a young girl who was found abandoned in a coin locker. She eventually grows up to be part of a criminal organization run by a woman named Mom. Mom is no mother (a muther perhaps) and will kill anyone who isn't useful- selling their body parts for cash and then disposing of the body either in cement containers or as puree that's flushed down the sink. When a potential romance appears when nice young man enters the picture Mom demands her daughter kill him and thereby sets in motion a blood bath of revenge.

A bleak black violent take on family relationships, the film is punch in the face. It is not a fun film its 110 minutes in hell. Watching it you feel just as bad as the people on screen. For most of it's running time its a very good film. Its got great characters (Mom is one of the most vile female characters ever) and action sequences that have real weight.  The problem with the film goes off the rails in the final third. Somewhere things get a little too crazy and some where about the time we get an extended flashback involving the taking of a picture the absolute grasp the film had on us is gone. What was a four or five star film  becomes a solid three stars as things become a bit too mystical and philosophical.

Reservations aside this is one to keep an eye out for-it's also one of the best closing night films at NYAFF.

The final Q&A of the NYAFF 2015

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