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Glowing Machine

Welcome to the ongoing film log of Savannah, mid-twenties Southern lady who likes to obsessively document her film-watching and refine her responses by verbalizing them. (This blog is an add-on of my main tumblr. )
OLDBOYPark Chan-wook, 20033.5/5
(Thought I’d finally watch the original before giving the remake a chance to take root any further in my brain.) 
It certainly brings something unique and refreshingly disturbing to the stale revenge plot—throwing notions of guilt, vengeance, and emotions themselves into question. Its commitment to being as emotionally and psychologically devastating as it is violent makes it a fascinating and draining experience. While enthralling, I wonder how much of its power relies on its gruesome twist ending.

OLDBOY
Park Chan-wook, 2003
3.5/5

(Thought I’d finally watch the original before giving the remake a chance to take root any further in my brain.) 

It certainly brings something unique and refreshingly disturbing to the stale revenge plot—throwing notions of guilt, vengeance, and emotions themselves into question. Its commitment to being as emotionally and psychologically devastating as it is violent makes it a fascinating and draining experience. While enthralling, I wonder how much of its power relies on its gruesome twist ending.

ALPINE FIREFredi M. Murer, 19854/5
A beautiful story of passion as innocent, as lonely, as grotesque, as wild as nature.

ALPINE FIRE
Fredi M. Murer, 1985
4/5

A beautiful story of passion as innocent, as lonely, as grotesque, as wild as nature.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN TO PLOW BY READING BOOKSRichard Linklater, 19881/5
It’s almost impressive how toneless and listless this film is. That it evokes absolutely nothing until the last five minutes might’ve been intentional, but was certainly neither enjoyable or enlightening in any way. I dreaded just pulling the file out of the recycle bin and looking at it again to capture a screenshot.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN TO PLOW BY READING BOOKS
Richard Linklater, 1988
1/5

It’s almost impressive how toneless and listless this film is. That it evokes absolutely nothing until the last five minutes might’ve been intentional, but was certainly neither enjoyable or enlightening in any way. I dreaded just pulling the file out of the recycle bin and looking at it again to capture a screenshot.

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUSTJulie Dash, 19913/5
This story is rich in mysticism and modernism, lush in images of a place lost in time. We see a cultural identity break and rebreak, tireless yet exhaustingly confused. Although at times college-theater melodramatic, its effective mood is deeply in touch with restless ghosts and nostalgia for a forgotten between-world.

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST
Julie Dash, 1991
3/5

This story is rich in mysticism and modernism, lush in images of a place lost in time. We see a cultural identity break and rebreak, tireless yet exhaustingly confused. Although at times college-theater melodramatic, its effective mood is deeply in touch with restless ghosts and nostalgia for a forgotten between-world.

THE RIVERTsai Ming-liang, 19974/5
What maladies await us if we’ve poisoned the well of human life? When we can’t recognize connection or intimacy, their mysteries will overwhelm us. We’ll mistake them for perversion. Still lost, swimming in longing.

THE RIVER
Tsai Ming-liang, 1997
4/5

What maladies await us if we’ve poisoned the well of human life? When we can’t recognize connection or intimacy, their mysteries will overwhelm us. We’ll mistake them for perversion. Still lost, swimming in longing.

hello, i love your log of films. do you watch them all online? if so, how do you find them?

Thank you! I have Netflix and Hulu (great for their Criterion collection) accounts—I also use torrents and sometimes blind buy DVDs when I can afford it. I browse the Korean Film Archive on YouTube now and then, too.

THREE COLORS: REDKrzysztof Kieślowski, 19942.5/5
Unlike Blue, I found this one passionless and aimless. Maybe further reflection or a second viewing would change my mind, but none of the elements seemed to really communicate with one another—the spying, the jealousy and infidelity, and Irene Jacobs’ entire character all seemed like pieces of separate storylines with no resolution or connection. I found the doppelganger judge tiresome and poorly executed as well. Is he an expression of regret for the judge’s bitterness toward his ex-lover? Despair over the fact that he didn’t meet a woman like Valentine when he was young? We’ll never know because emotion and expression are neglected in favor of pretentious dialogue about dreams and morality. 

THREE COLORS: RED
Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1994
2.5/5

Unlike Blue, I found this one passionless and aimless. Maybe further reflection or a second viewing would change my mind, but none of the elements seemed to really communicate with one another—the spying, the jealousy and infidelity, and Irene Jacobs’ entire character all seemed like pieces of separate storylines with no resolution or connection. I found the doppelganger judge tiresome and poorly executed as well. Is he an expression of regret for the judge’s bitterness toward his ex-lover? Despair over the fact that he didn’t meet a woman like Valentine when he was young? We’ll never know because emotion and expression are neglected in favor of pretentious dialogue about dreams and morality. 

FULL MOON IN NEW YORKStanley Kwan, 19892/5
This is well set up and the characters each have an interesting interpersonal crisis. Unfortunately, the production is shoddy, with grating dubbing during the English segments and an intrusive, dated score. It overstates its intent to be a Movie About Chinese Women and forces a baseless connection between the three main characters (although, to be fair, they’re always drunk when they’re together). You can tell, though, how Kwan would mature into lovely, mysterious features like Hold You Tight after stripping away the unnecessary cues and signposts.

FULL MOON IN NEW YORK
Stanley Kwan, 1989
2/5

This is well set up and the characters each have an interesting interpersonal crisis. Unfortunately, the production is shoddy, with grating dubbing during the English segments and an intrusive, dated score. It overstates its intent to be a Movie About Chinese Women and forces a baseless connection between the three main characters (although, to be fair, they’re always drunk when they’re together). You can tell, though, how Kwan would mature into lovely, mysterious features like Hold You Tight after stripping away the unnecessary cues and signposts.

LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSEPen-ek Ratanaruang, 20033.5/5
A depressive’s dream: to live for days in a beautiful, remote purgatory with a slightly saucy companion. A soothing balm of a film.

LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE
Pen-ek Ratanaruang, 2003
3.5/5

A depressive’s dream: to live for days in a beautiful, remote purgatory with a slightly saucy companion. A soothing balm of a film.

DISTANCEHirokazu Kore-eda, 20014/5
Another bright scale from that lucky year of the dragon, 2001. Distance measures the spaces between people, the time between night and day, the twilit valley between human loneliness and spiritual hunger.

DISTANCE
Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2001
4/5

Another bright scale from that lucky year of the dragon, 2001. Distance measures the spaces between people, the time between night and day, the twilit valley between human loneliness and spiritual hunger.

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