East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

SFIAAFF '06~!: Getting girls is easy [festival note]

Just some rough ideas. Might come back and add grades at a later date.

Citizen Dog (Wisit Sasanatieng)

The audience loved it, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be an arthouse hit among the Techicolor kiddies, except it's a Thai film, which come to think of it is a pretty big reason. It's your typical boy-longs-for-girl flick, albeit with digital amputations, but dont worry, they're bloodless and everyone gets their original fingers back eventually. We're reassured Wisit has retained his marvelous sense of kitsch decor as soon as we see the comic-book-realist painted portraits covering the exterior walls of Pod's (Mahasamut Boonyaruk) house. Every splash of colour is placed meticulously, down to the spots of the litter of five parallel puppies sucking at their mother's teat. Wisit is less successful at giving a distinctive look to Bangkok, while there are only a few shots of the vast, bounded countryside that he used to such memorable effect in the structurally sounder Tears of the Black Tiger.

His combination of fangless Housemartiny pop songs with his visuals is more solidly whimsical, as bus riders and passers-by keep straight faces while they lipsynch, even when literally bending over backwards. His digital trickery grows tiresome except when it's admirably excessive, as is a mountain composed of used plastic bottles (which thankfully has minimal metaphorical significance). Other times the movie is far too cutesy -- the eight-year old dressed like a slut and the chain-smoking teddy bear are simple incogruities that the writers of Family Guy would have the sense to cut to six seconds. But these gags had the audience convulsing, so what do I know? And when Wisit wrings pathos out of said teddy's abandonment by said girl, the points he gets for attempting emotional impact put him ahead of said Family Guy writers.

Rules of Dating (Han Jae-Rim)

If you want a woman* to fall in love with you**, sexually harrass her. You don't have to rape her, but that may speed things along.

*May only work on timid Asian women, since they're probably repressing terrible traumas they need a man to resolve.
**I don't know if they ended up together, since I walked out before the end. But I bet they did.


  • At 4:41 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    "there's no reason why it shouldn't be an arthouse hit"

    I had that thought too, though I sense I liked the film better than you did overall.

    The only plausible reason I could come up with is that distributors may have concerns about putting a film with a smoking eight-year-old in it on DVD right now. I mean, if Kamikaze Girls can get released why not this?

    Sorry to hear Rules of Dating was walkout-worthy, but glad I didn't prioritize it in my viewing schedule.

  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger athousandmilesthinking said…

    If you want a man* to fall in love you, stalk him on the internet from a foreign country, and shower him with praise for expressing feminist solidarity through his use of cursory sarcasm.

    *May not work on any actual men.


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