AICN & Twitch Present International Eye Candy: SERU, NORWEGIAN NINJA, THE YELLOW SEA, POCONG MANDI GOYANG PINGGUL, FIGHT, SLEEPING BEAUTY, And More!!
International Eye Candy
March 29, 2011
It’s been a busy run in the international film world lately. Tribeca is up and running, Cannes has announced their selections and porn star Sasha Grey has put in a starring turn in an Indonesian horror comedy. Thus this edition of International Eye Candy is jam packed full of the good stuff. We’ve got SUCKER PUNCH star Emily Browning in what looks to be a truly shocking thriller from Australia. We’ve got the latest from COLD FISH director Sion Sono. We’ve got a former Cannes-selected arthouse icon getting right bloody. We’ve got the latest from [REC] director Jaume Balaguero. And, yes, we’ve got Sasha Grey in what might rank as one of the worst films of the year.
This is Todd from Twitch and this is another edition of International Eye Candy.
We kick things off in Malaysia where Woo Ming-Jin – director of arthouse hits THE TIGER FACTORY and WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER – is on the cusp of releasing his latest effort SERU. A bloody slasher in the moc-doc style, we included the initial trailer for SERU in a previous edition of the IEC but that version came from the film’s distributor and was not considered bloody enough by the film’s director. And so Woo has cut his own version with value-added red stuff. Find the director’s trailer of SERU here
Thomas Cappelen Malling’s NORWEGIAN NINJA should need no introduction around these parts. Winner of Best Director and Best Actor awards at Fantastic Fest 2010, Malling’s revised history of the biggest political scandal in Norwegian history has just released in the UK and with the US release coming up as well the secretive ninja clan has seen fit to release an amazing music video for the film. The music is the disco remix of the film’s main theme while the visuals include a seemingly never ending array of amazing shots. It’s absolutely daft and brilliant. Find the NORWEGIAN NINJA video here
Na Hong-Jin’s THE YELLOW SEA is an older title by IEC standards, the original Korean trailers all having made the column in the past. Na made a huge impression around the world with his debut picture THE CHASER – one of the grittiest and most uncompromising crime thrillers of recent days – and he’s looking to duplicate that success with hitman drama THE YELLOW SEA. And given that it’s just been selected to screen in Cannes he’s well on his way. To coincide with the Cannes selection the main trailer has turned up again, but this time with English subtitles so we can actually have a clue what the hell they’re saying. Find THE YELLOW SEA trailer here
Between the previous edition of the IEC and this one Donnie Yen starring martial arts epic THE LOST BLADESMAN had been bought for US distribution by The Weinstein Company, released in Hong Kong with local press reporting that it’s quite good, and released a third trailer. We present the trailer now. Find the new LOST BLADESMAN trailer here
Most alarming premise for a psycho-sexual thriller ever? Yeah, Julia Leigh’s SLEEPING BEAUTY might have it. SUCKER PUNCH star Emily Browning takes the lead in the Cannes selection, playing the ttular sleeper – a high end prostitute who allows her clients to drug her into unconsciousness and indulge in whatever fantasies they may have while she wakes up later not remembering any of what was done to her. Ghastly concept, this one, and the trailer for the film is just icy cold. Find the SLEEPING BEAUTY trailer here
Another Cannes selected title here, this one from the Philippines. BUSONG or PALAWAN FATE is apparently the first film ever shot in the language of the Philippines’ indigenous Palawan people, the story revolving around a Palawan concept best described as ‘instant karma’ and a young woman so stricken that she cannot touch the ground without experiencing intense pain. Very much an arthouse film, this one, but looks fascinating. Find the BUSONG trailer here
We’re going to stay on the arthouse tip for a moment longer, but we’re heading back to the US for this one. Joe Maggio’s THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to great success. It’s the sort of film that was commonplace in the 70s but scarcely seen since, with the great Dennis Farina playing a small time con who is released from hospital to discover that everyone he knew simply assumed he was dead and moved on without him. Find the LAST RITES trailer here
Visual terrorist Sion Sono is a director most assuredly on the rise, recent titles like LOVE EXPOSURE and COLD FISH pushing him out of the cult audience that was his niche and into the world’s biggest arthouse stages where he has pounded audiences into submission with his frequently bizarre and often deeply troubling tales. And he’s at it again. Based on a shocking true crime case Sono’s GUILTY OF ROMANCE will premiere in Cannes, bringing a twisted fusion of sex and violence to the Croisette. While the first teaser is very much a tease it does at least give you a sense of the tone of the thing. Find the GUILTY OF ROMANCE teaser here
France is getting into the 3D game in a big way in the next year with multiple animation projects and other films in the works. But the one I’d most recommend – because I’ve actually seen it and it’s quite good – is the elegant live action horror picture BEHIND THE WALLS. Laetitia Casta stars as a writer who heads off to a country house for some peace and quiet to find anything but. It’s a classically styled chiller with gothic overtones – meaning Poe, not Marilyn Manson – that fans of THE ORPHANAGE should eat up. Find the BEHIND THE WALLS teaser here
The third and fourth instalments of hit Spanish zombie series [REC] are in the works now with original directing duo Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero splitting up with each directing one solo but before getting to his Balaguero is finishing up his claustrophobic thriller SLEEP TIGHT. A story of obsession turned to violence this is another one that has appeared in the column before but, once again, we’ve just gotten hands on an English subtitled version of the trailer. Find the SLEEP TIGHT trailer here
I mentioned upcoming French 3D animation a little while back. This is one of the films I meant. THE PRODIGIES is a dark spin on the superhero genre, so much so that it could probably be termed more of a super villain film. The picture revolves around a group of brilliant but alienated young people who develop powers that they use not for good but to lash out against society. Only one of their own group can stop them. While the animation is not as slick as what we’re used to coming out of Hollywood it’s still looking very good. Find the PRODIGIES trailer here
More French animation here, this one of the 2D variety and deliciously dark. Imagine if you will a city so bleak that suicide is a growth industry. Then imagine being part of the family that runs the city’s oldest shop devoted to self-death implements. Then imagine the arrival of a new baby so blissfully happy that he makes everyone around him happy, too. It’s a business catastrophe! Welcome to the world of THE SUICIDE SHOP. Find the SUICIDE SHOP trailer here
You know what you get out of a movie called FIGHT? You get a lot of people being punched, that’s what. When MERANTAU released in 2009 it was the first Indonesian fight movie produced in about fifteen years but its success has clearly inspired others. FIGHT comes from an entirely different crew and while the budget and production values are noticeably lower – it’s shot on a Canon 5D SLR – the choreography is solid and these guys aren’t afraid to take a pounding.Find the FIGHT trailer here
You may not think of soap as being mighty but Estonia’s Andrew Bond – yes, the least Estonian name ever – certainly does. Bond will soon be premiering his new short film THE LEGEND OF THE MIGHTY SOAP, a delirious genre mash up that fuses elements of the western with kung fu fantasy and a whole lot of other stuff along the way. Including, of course, a mostly naked sludge woman and a talking bar of soap. Awesome.Find the MIGHTY SOAP trailer here
Ah, BOOB. It’s an old one but a good one.A couple years back a New York based directorial duo who refer to themselves simply as Honest debuted their short film BOOB at Sundance. It’s a cautionary tale about the perils of plastic surgery. Perils that include your implants tearing themselves off your body and going on a bloody rampage. We debuted this on Twitch a good while back but we’ve changed video services since, which meant that the file was lost. I realized this yesterday and implored on Honest to rectify the situation. They did.Watch BOOB here
Right. POCONG MANDI GOYANG PINGGUL looks so phenomenally bad that I’d feel guilty unleashing it upon you if not for the fact that there is so much truly good stuff in this edition of the IEC. If you’ll cast your eye back to the beginning of the column you’ll see I promised an Indonesian horror comedy with American porn star Sasha Grey. This is that movie. To be fair I should point out that Indonesia does have a good number of very talented directors who produce very good films. But this is not one of those films. Grey is being used simply as a marketing hook, a fact they’re not even trying to conceal. By the looks of things they just sent a lone camera man to shoot a day or so of stuff with her in LA and then just cut it into an otherwise unrelated film. A film that is only funny or scary in as much as how not funny or scary it is for a supposed horror comedy. I have a perverse fascination with truly bad films and, wow: This is clearly the worst thing I’ve seen so far this year.Find the POCONG MANDI GOYANG PINGGUL trailer here
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April 29, 2011, 10:41 a.m. CST
The second best column on AICN hath returned!
April 29, 2011, 11:55 a.m. CST
The Chaser was quite good, really an unrelenting film.
April 29, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST
I actually really like the 'look' of this one. </p> Will also be keeping an eye out for NORWEGIAN NINJA
April 30, 2011, 8:19 a.m. CST
Finally saw this a few days ago and it's wonderful stuff. I wonder if it's more fun to watch not knowing anything at all about what's (sorta) based on or not, though. If you're seeing it on DVD, watching the interview with the writer/director before it might be an idea.
May 1, 2011, 6:54 a.m. CST
by frank cotton
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