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Fergenaprido
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#161

Post by Fergenaprido »

AB537 wrote: April 25th, 2021, 3:04 am Probably a little late for me to reopen Hitchcock and Wilder,
Not necessarily. You can always put your listings in spoiler tags if you're worried about clogging up/distracting the thread from the current director being discussed.

- - - - -

I haven't seen anything from John Sayles, so I cannot rank him. Of his filmography, I think Passion Fish and Eight Men Out are the main two I've heard of. Lianna's the only other one that really interests me, at the moment.
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#162

Post by Y U M E »

John Sayles

★★★★ | 8.4
01. Lone Star (1995)

★★★¾ | 8.0
02. Passion Fish (1992)
03. City of Hope (1991)

★★★½ | 7.6
04. Men with Guns (1997)

★★★¼ | 7.2
05. Sunshine State (2002)
06. Lianna (1982)
07. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

★★★ | 6.8
08. Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)
09. Limbo (1999)
10. The Brother from Another Planet (1984)
11. Matewan (1987)
12. Baby It’s You (1982)

★★½ | 6.0
13. Eight Men Out (1988)

★★¼ | 5.5
14. Casa de los Babys (2003)

If you're a Sayles-adept blocho I should definitely check out Men with Guns/Hombres Armados soon!

When I started to go to cinema more, attend festivals (my first visit at IFFR was back in 1991) and discovered the specialized vhs-rental places above the local video John Sayles was one of the major voices of American independent cinema. His films like Passions Fish, Lone Star and Men with Guns did even get a release in local cinemas.

Later I discovered that Sayles was considered a key player in this movement since the start of his career. Mark Cousins gives Sayles quite some credit for it in his book and documentary about film history. I kept following Sayles for the first years to come, but it was rather recently (for instance a Sayles triple bill (again) last January) that I completed most of his filmography with watching his first films. Not sure I will ever see the four remaining titles from the 21st century though.
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#163

Post by beavis »

1 - Lone Star (1996) - 3,5
2 - Passion Fish (1992) - 3,5
3 - The Brother from Another Planet (1984) - 3
4 - The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) - 3

Only have "out of 5 star" ratings for Sayles from MovieMeter, meaning I haven't seen these or any other Sayles movie since the mid 90's when they were to be found on VHS in my local rental place. None of these made any impact in me. I only remember the Lone Star title because I liked saying it in a Spaceballs manner... I was that young ;) Might like him better now, but since everybody has forgotten him, I haven't been keen on checking him out again yet...

(so, just to clarify, what I saw I think I rate around a 7 (well made but not very exciting) for the top 2, or a 6 (had expected more) for the other two)
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#164

Post by Onderhond »

Torgo wrote: April 25th, 2021, 2:53 am Yup, and Kim got .. artsier?
I think darker and more violent.

Neither John Sayles nor any of his films ring a bell I'm afraid.
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#165

Post by Y U M E »

Oh, and I forgot to mention David Strathairn, who was in at least half of the Sayles-movies I've seen. He's someone I would rank among my 50 favourite male actors of all time.
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#166

Post by OldAle1 »

Sayles is a director from the past for me - meaning that I saw most of these films in the 80s-90s when new (or new-ish) and haven't seen them since, and haven't caught up to him much in this century. So a lot of these rankings - really all apart from #1 - are hazy guesses at best now. I haven't always loved him, but I will say that all the films I've seen twice have improved, and there are plenty of reasons to go back to him now - I just haven't, yet.

* seen in cinema
+ seen twice

TOP TIER
1. Limbo *+ - saw this in a special screening with the director present. As you might imagine if you've seen the film there were lots of people who wanted to ask about the ending but as I recall he mostly shut that down, wanted to a be a little mysterious - and wanted people to use their imaginations, which was the entire point of the film

EXCELLENT TIER
2. Matewan*
3. The Secret of Roan Inish*

VERY GOOD TIER
4. The Brother From Another Planet

SOLID, PRETTY GOOD TIER
5. Eight Men Out*
6. Lone Star*+
7. Passion Fish*
8. Lianna
9. City of Hope*

OK TIER
10. Return of the Secaucus Seven+
11. Men With Guns*

NOT VERY GOOD TIER
12. Baby It's You
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#167

Post by cinewest »

Re. John Sayles, I have seen around 8 of his, and, like most here, found Lone Star to be the most compelling, and the only one that 8 gave an 8 to.

I commend Sayles for creating movies that are atypical, even for largely being social commentary dramas, which may also be what partially holds him back, for me:

His films are just too dependent on their messages, for me, and don’t really stand out in any particular way, aside from not feeling like typical Hollywood movies.

When I first saw most of what I have from him from the mid 80’s to mid 90’s, I thought that he might have been trying to do too much on his own, and that every one that I saw could have been better in every way.

Fairly good is what I would call him as a filmmaker, but not really inspiring.
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#168

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

From John Sayles I only seen Lone Star (1996), which I rated with a 7.5
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#169

Post by outdoorcats »

I didn't bother making my own post for Kim Ki-duk, since I'm just another user who has only seen Spring, Summer... and 3-Iron way back when. I liked them both, but not so much that I ever felt prioritized to see more from him.

John Sayles:

Return of the Seacaucus 7 (1980) 7.5
Matewan (1987) 8
Passion Fish (1992) 6.5
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) 7
Lone Star (1996) 10
Men With Guns (1997) 8

[as writer]

The Howling (1981) 7

Lone Star is just a great, great film. Matewan makes for a great double bill with Harlan County, USA.

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#170

Post by blocho »

I thank you all for your perspectives on Sayles. For those who liked his work but haven't seen his 21st century output, I recommend Amigo, which is still only one of two American movies ever made about the American-Philippine War.

I should mention that, like outdoorcats, I've also seen some of his non-directorial scripts: Piranha, Alligator, and three episodes he wrote for the recent series The Alienist. None of them made much of an impression, though Alligator was amusing as a self-parody of the creature feature. But he clearly did all of this work, not to mention his uncredited script doctoring on movies like Apollo 14, just to finance his more personal projects.
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#171

Post by Torgo »

blocho wrote: April 25th, 2021, 1:44 am Well, I'll take the liberty of ranking someone who made the top tier of my Best Directors list. I certainly think he's the most underrated filmmaker I've come across: writer-director John Sayles, best known for community-based dramas that feature large ensembles and realistic dialogue.
btw, I support nominations of smaller directors for this practice compared to titans like Hitchcock or Wilder. Don't ask me why, but it feels fresher and more informative to have you guys writing about the likes of HHH or Sayles.

That said, the only film of his I know or even heard of is Lone Star (7/10). :D Maybe next round ..
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#172

Post by insomnius »

Sayles

I liked 'Limbo' well enough and thought 'The Brother from Another Planet' was pretty funny, but can't recall the rest. I have a copy of 'Matewan', so I'll give that a look at some point.

7/10
1. Limbo (1999)

6/10
2. The Brother from Another Planet (1984)
3. Lone Star (1995)
4. Honeydripper (2007)

5/10
5. Silver City (2004)
6. Eight Men Out (1988)
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#173

Post by cinewest »

See below
Last edited by cinewest on April 26th, 2021, 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#174

Post by cinewest »

Somehow my edited post was reposted....
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#175

Post by Torgo »

cinewest wrote: April 26th, 2021, 5:17 am Somehow my edited post was reposted....
Huh. I saw it yesterday and it was one of those posts where your own message was mixed up in the quote tags - probably a mod saw it and thought you were quoting somebody and sent an empty post by mistake. :/

Would you mind sharing your opinion on John Sayles, again?
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#176

Post by cinewest »

Some times, posting from a cell phone while dealing with interruptions is no easy trick
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#177

Post by cinewest »

Some times, posting from a cell phone while dealing with interruptions is no easy trick
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#178

Post by cinewest »

See, there I go again...
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#179

Post by cinewest »

See, there I go again... the bad wifi doesn’t help
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#180

Post by St. Gloede »

Thank you/your phone/your Internet for the levity. :D
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#181

Post by beavis »

On May 2nd Ray is turning 100 (virtually) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyajit_Ray
I propose we start a ranking for him then
but somebody could squeeze another name in between, right?
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#182

Post by St. Gloede »

I have only seen two films by John Sayles I'm afraid, Love Star (which I liked a decent bit, but must have seen 15 years ago) and Brother From Another Planet, which did not work for me at all.
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#183

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: April 27th, 2021, 9:04 am but somebody could squeeze another name in between, right?
Since I've been trying to edge in Ryuichi Hiroki for a while now (to celebrate his latest release on Netflix + the controversy surrounding the film), don't mind if I do!

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Ryuichi Hiroki (32 seen, 3.60* average)

Probably best known for Vibrator in the West, Hiroki started out as a pinku director and worked his way up to become a great indie/drama icon in Japan. His films are characterized by strong female characters and appropriately strong leads (Shinobu Terajima is a Hiroki regular). In more recent years he branched out to incorporate more manga adaptations (because that's where the Japanese industry has been going to), but apart from some slight misfires he has always found interesting works to adapt, without having to compromise too much on his trademark style.

Seeing how underseen Ki-duk's oeuvre is here I doubt many are going to be overly familiar with Hiroki's work, but there are definitely some films here that should match the sensibilities of this forum.

01. 4.5* - It's Only Talk [Yawarakai Seikatsu] (#228)
02. 4.0* - Strobe Edge [Sutorobo Ejji] (#538)
03. 4.0* - New Type: Just For Your Love [New Type: Tada Ai no Tame Ni] (#604)
04. 4.0* - The Egoists [Keibetsu] (#670)
05. 4.0* - M
06. 4.0* - Your Friends [Kimi no Tomodachi]
07. 4.0* - Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World
08. 4.0* - Her Granddaughter [Otoko no Issho]
09. 4.0* - Vibrator
10. 4.0* - Yellow Elephant [Kiiroi Zo]
11. 4.0* - Love on Sunday: Last Words [Koi Suru Nichiyobi Watashi. Koishita]
12. 4.0* - Locomotive Teacher [Kikansha Sensei]
13. 4.0* - L'Amant
14. 4.0* - Love on Sunday [Koi Suru Nichiyobi]
15. 3.5* - Bokura wa Aruku, Tada Soredake
16. 3.5* - Side Job [Kanojo no Jinsei wa Machigaijanai]
17. 3.5* - Kabukichô Love Hotel [Sayonara Kabukichô]
18. 3.5* - River
19. 3.5* - The Miracles of the Namiya General Store [Namiya Zakkaten no Kiseki]
20. 3.5* - Natsumi's Firefly [Natsumi no Hotaru]
21. 3.5* - It's Boring Here, Pick Me Up [Koko wa Taikutsu Mukae ni Kite]
22. 3.5* - Nobody's Perfect [Daijôbu 3 Kumi]
23. 3.5* - Wolf Girl and Black Prince [Ohkami Shôjo to Kuro Ohji]
24. 3.5* - Crying 100 Times: Every Raindrop Falls [100 Kai Nakukoto]
25. 3.5* - Tokyo Garbage Girl [Tôkyô Gomi Onna]
26. 3.0* - I Am an S+M Writer [Futei no Kisetsu]
27. 3.0* - Marmalade Boy [Mamaredo Boi]
28. 3.0* - The Lightning Tree [Raiou]
29. 3.0* - Policeman and Me [P to JK]
30. 3.0* - April Bride [Yomei 1-Kagetsu no Hanayome]
31. 3.0* - Female [Fîmeiru] (anthology)
32. 2.5* - The Many Faces of Ito [Ito kun A to E]
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#184

Post by beavis »

1 - Vibrator (2003) - 4,5
2 - Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World (2004) - 4,5
3 - Bakushi (2007) - 4,5
4 - L'Amant (2004) - 4
5 - River (2011) - 4
6 - Yawarakai Seikatsu (2005) It's Only Talk - 4
7 - Koi Suru Nichiyobi (2006) Love on Sunday - 4
8 - Kimi no Tomodachi (2008) Your Friend - 3,5
9 - M (2007) - 3,5
10 - Fîmeiru (2005) Female - 3,5
11 - Futei no Kisetsu (2000) I am an S+M Writer - 3
12 - New Type: Tada Ai no Tame Ni (2008) New Type: Just for your Love - 3
13 - Tôkyô Gomi Onna (2000) Tokyo Trash Baby - 2,5

Another one I lost sight of in the cinema... There has been one "recent" edition of Camera Japan where I was sick which made me miss out on Kabukicho Love Hotel...I remember still how much that bummed me out!! I have been meaning to see what is available in other ways of his older work and get back into recent releases (but then he seems to have gone a bit more glossy/commercial in the recent years...or he has always been after his pink period, and I started to get less exciting by that kind of Japanese cinema myself in recent years?), I just didn't find the right time yet. Will certainly check out his work when it is readily available on Netflix. But for now, I'm left with a paltry 13 watches... (same amount as Kim Ki-Duk!!) NB ratings out of 5 again for this one.
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#185

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: April 27th, 2021, 10:19 am I'm left with a paltry 13 watches
such a humblebrag :lol:

It's true that Hiroki (like most of his compatriots) had to pivot towards more slightly commercial releases this past decade (or at least alternate between the two), though he still found ways to stay true to his typical style. Either by making smaller, more personal project, or by highlighting slightly more troubling/taboo subjects in commercial works.

Clearly the West isn't ready for that type of cinema though, Ride or Die has been gutted for being a "wlw film directed by a man". If you'd draw up a tag cloud of the reviews, "male gaze" would no doubt be the highlight there. Haven't seen the film myself so I'll reserve judgement until after I've seen it, but that is quite hard to believe for me (surely when the actresses were very much on board with the project and the film apparently remains quite true to the manga - written by a woman).
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#186

Post by beavis »

Onderhond wrote: April 27th, 2021, 10:29 am
beavis wrote: April 27th, 2021, 10:19 am I'm left with a paltry 13 watches
such a humblebrag :lol:
compared to what he has made and considering that at one time (probably after his impressive retrospective at the Dejima festival) I considered him one of my very favorite Japanese directors, certainly the most exciting active one... it feels like I should have seen much more

I trust Hiroki doing right to a shojo manga. I don't trust the Internet who shout judgements at people without even checking out the work first.
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#187

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: April 27th, 2021, 10:34 am compared to what he has made and considering that at one time (probably after his impressive retrospective at the Dejima festival) I considered him one of my very favorite Japanese directors, certainly the most exciting active one... it feels like I should have seen much more
Well yeah, unless you've been in as deep as the fansub circuit, many of his films have been completely out of reach for Western audiences. Hence the excitement to see his films pop up on services like Netflix, even when it's just the exception to the rule for now.

Destroyers of cinema my ass :P
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#188

Post by Fergenaprido »

I haven't seen a single Hiroki film either. :/
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#189

Post by Torgo »

I don't even know him :blink: His two most-checked films on ICM have 113 & 36 checks. Both are the only official ones via the Tom Vick list, too.

Gonna skip this round. :P
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#190

Post by OldAle1 »

I've heard of a couple of the films (might have one) but wouldn't have been able to identify him by name. Not seen any, not likely to soon.
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#191

Post by Onderhond »

Fergenaprido wrote: April 27th, 2021, 10:04 pm I haven't seen a single Hiroki film either. :/
I knew this was going to be somewhat of a gamble, but the turnout so far is quite depressing :D

I figured at least some would have seen Vibrator. Makes me wonder if the proximity of the Benelux to countries like Germany and France (which have a natural fondness of Asian culture/cinema) has something to do with how we/I experienced the early 00 wave of Asian cinema. I mean, Hiroki is one of those directors I would put under "classic arthouse" and would consider a natural fit for this forum, but clearly it's been easy to miss out completely on his oeuvre, and it's not for lack of options.

I'm glad beavis is around, otherwise I would've looked like a downright crazy person :whistling:
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#192

Post by AB537 »

I'd never heard of Hiroki either, although his upcoming Netflix film looks intriguing.
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#193

Post by cinewest »

Have only seen The Vibrator by Hiroki, which I thought was good but not great.
Agree that it feels a bit like something by Kim Kii-duk, but doesn’t approach his best.

Definitely worthwhile, though, as are the majority of the films picked from throughout the world and released on dvd by film movement. All are also accessible for free on various streaming platforms, and I am surprised that folks here don’t watch more of them.

I guess it’s because very few are on any lists, and they not only have subtitles but don’t get much publicity.

That said, I have a bunch of them on my 500<400 list, as well as in my top 200 for each of the past two decades.

Here are two lists of their catalogs:

https://filmmovement.com/browse-film-club-titles

https://filmmovement.com/search/view-by/title

There is some duplication, but both lists are worth perusing, and very available to stream on multiple platforms. Maybe I'll make a list of those I recommend from those I have seen (approaching 100). For those folks who like contemporary world cinema, filmmovement is a great contributor
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#194

Post by beavis »

All these people not asking but demanding a contemporary Japanese list....why? Where are they? How?... ;)
Yume is on a short holiday break, he might have seen more than me...
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#195

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:07 am All these people not asking but demanding a contemporary Japanese list....why? Where are they? How?... ;)
I mean ... if you ever needed proof that the gap is real, this was it, no? And we all know the best way to get people on ICM to watch certain films ;)

AB537 wrote: April 27th, 2021, 11:28 pm I'd never heard of Hiroki either, although his upcoming Netflix film looks intriguing.
It's already out, so you can watch it right away if you want. Not sure if it's the best entry in his oeuvre, since it's certainly one of his more divisive/explicit films (comparisons with The Handmaiden and Blue Is the Warmest Color should give you an idea).

cinewest wrote: April 28th, 2021, 2:12 am Have only seen The Vibrator by Hiroki, which I thought was good but not great.
Agree that it feels a bit like something by Kim Kii-duk, but doesn’t approach his best.
The link with Ki-duk is quite broad and not one I'd usually make, but for sake of argument (and seeing people are completely oblivious of Hiroki) it's not the worst starting point.
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#196

Post by beavis »

his sensibility is so far off from Ki-Duk that it gives a totally wrong impression to compare them beyond being Asian and sometimes taking on unconventional subjects... he is very much a Japanese filmmaker and clearly belongs in a list of names that would include Sono, Aoyama, Zeze and the like, and even then his style is very much his own.

You might argue this as proof of a gap that needs covering, and I wouldn't disagree (and have actively worked to fill this gap, and others like it ;)) but still it is surprising that there seems now to be such a big discrepancy in the calling out for this list of supposed great films from Schilling, which to me reads more like a list of everything he has reviewed that was worthwhile, and how not even underseen but truly unknown one of the best and most exciting contemporary Japanese directors is... that is for me more ground to call bullshit on what people say on that list / on that discussion...

edit: just did a quick check, there are 6 Hiroki films in his list. how can people who like this list not have heard of Hiroki?
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#197

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:38 am his sensibility is so far off from Ki-Duk that it gives a totally wrong impression to compare them beyond being Asian and sometimes taking on unconventional subjects... he is very much a Japanese filmmaker and clearly belongs in a list of names that would include Sono, Aoyama, Zeze and the like, and even then his style is very much his own.
I think there are a couple more touching points. I do agree there are way better comparisons to be made, but it's a bit pointless comparing Hiroki to Zeze I think, because for most people that won't add any context at all (check the Zeze thread). Aoyama I get but he has the same problem, the link with Sono I don't really see to be honest. At least Ki-duk also broadly falls into the arthouse drama category, likes to incorporate taboo subjects and puts a strong focus on characters over narrative. And it's someone who people can pigeonhole more easily even when they haven't seen many (or any) of his films. But yes, in other circumstances, with people who are at least a little up to speed on contemporary Asian cinema, it's not a comparison I'd support.

beavis wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:38 am for this list of supposed great films from Schilling, which to me reads more like a list of everything he has reviewed that was worthwhile, and how not even underseen but truly unknown one of the best and most exciting contemporary Japanese directors is... that is for me more ground to call bullshit on what people say on that list / on that discussion...
I'm not sure if you're referring to specific posts or people, but from where I sit (which I admit is a highly colored position) it's not so much a validation of people who know many of the films on that list, but recognition that it's a list they'd love working on (possibly based on the the titles they have seen). I mean, for me personally, adding the Schilling list isn't going to be all that great, as I've seen pretty much every film I could get my hands on. At best, getting it official might spur some fansub projects. For others though, I can imagine it looks like a very promising list to explore.

As for the nature of the Schilling list, it's definitely a list that deals with coverage rather than "personal best" (otherwise you'd end up with more Kinema Junpo), which in the context of ICM I actually consider a plus. And considering his position, he's one of the better people to handle a list like that. Also pretty much all (but not all) of the reviews in his book are positive, so it's not like half the list is films he disliked but had to review because he worked for a news paper.

beavis wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:38 am edit: just did a quick check, there are 6 Hiroki films in his list. how can people who like this list not have heard of Hiroki?
Because it's not official. Duh :P
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beavis
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#198

Post by beavis »

Onderhond wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:00 am
beavis wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:38 am his sensibility is so far off from Ki-Duk that it gives a totally wrong impression to compare them beyond being Asian and sometimes taking on unconventional subjects... he is very much a Japanese filmmaker and clearly belongs in a list of names that would include Sono, Aoyama, Zeze and the like, and even then his style is very much his own.
I think there are a couple more touching points. I do agree there are way better comparisons to be made, but it's a bit pointless comparing Hiroki to Zeze I think, because for most people that won't add any context at all (check the Zeze thread). Aoyama I get but he has the same problem, the link with Sono I don't really see to be honest. At least Ki-duk also broadly falls into the arthouse drama category, likes to incorporate taboo subjects and puts a strong focus on characters over narrative. And it's someone who people can pigeonhole more easily even when they haven't seen many (or any) of his films. But yes, in other circumstances, with people who are at least a little up to speed on contemporary Asian cinema, it's not a comparison I'd support.
Zeze is indeed the most obscure but maybe also the closest comparison (I am shamefully behind on Zeze so I can't be totally sure) as they both came at the same time from a successful pinku background towards very unconventional and understated arthouse (with a few commercial projects sprinkled in)

I dropped in Sono, indeed the least like him, because of the name recognition. And there was a great double bill post-Fukushima disaster from them with https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/river-2011/ and https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/himizu/ which links them in my mind :)
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#199

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:11 am Zeze is indeed the most obscure but maybe also the closest comparison (I am shamefully behind on Zeze so I can't be totally sure) as they both came at the same time from a successful pinku background towards very unconventional and understated arthouse (with a few commercial projects sprinkled in)
I've been catching up with Zeze recently, certainly an interesting director. A bit more eclectic than Hiroki maybe, but they're definitely worth exploring together and there's some clear overlap, although I do have a stronger preference for the work of Hiroki. It was actually fori's thread that made me take notice of Zeze, it's a shame they're not around anymore.

beavis wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:11 am And there was a great double bill post-Fukushima disaster from them with https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/river-2011/ and https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/himizu/ which links them in my mind :)
Ah yes, good find/match!
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#200

Post by AB537 »

Onderhond wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:12 am
AB537 wrote: April 27th, 2021, 11:28 pm I'd never heard of Hiroki either, although his upcoming Netflix film looks intriguing.
It's already out, so you can watch it right away if you want. Not sure if it's the best entry in his oeuvre, since it's certainly one of his more divisive/explicit films (comparisons with The Handmaiden and Blue Is the Warmest Color should give you an idea).
From my perspective, that's potentially a really good sign - I'm a big fan of both of those films.
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