September 12, 2014

TIFF Thurs Sept 11: Woodland horror, theatrical ghosts and lonelyhearts murders

After a day of relatively sober fare it's time to dive again into the roiling waters of genre.

Revenge of the Green Dragons [HK, Andrew Lau & Andrew Loo, 2] Young man recounts his experiences as member of a notorious Queens, NYC, Asian crime syndicate. If you're going to invite comparisons to Goodfellas (including a role for Ray Liotta) and the dialogue and narration aren't as insanely brilliant as Nicholas Pileggi's, you are not ready to start shooting yet.

Also, if you have what you think is a great line of serious dialogue and it has the phrase "American dream" in it, delete it forthwith.

Exec produced by Martin Scorsese, who remade Lau’s Infernal Affairs as The Departed.

Alleluia [Belgium, Fabrice Du Welz, 4] Criminal career of con artist who specializes in lonely woman gets bloody when one of his victims won't let go of him. Intimate psychodrama with surreal touches transposes the Beck-Fernandez murders to modern France, as an amor fou with collateral damage.

The same case forms the basis of previous films The Honeymoon Killers and Deep Crimson.

Over Your Dead Body [Japan, Takashi Miike, 4] Love triangle between actors rehearsing a samurai ghost play mirrors their backstage lives. Stately contemplation of artifice and reality mixes experimental intentions with horror imagery.

Cub [Belgium, Jonas Govaerts, 4] Misunderstood Cub Scout realizes there's something sinister in the woods. Fast-moving horror flick lays booby traps for viewers expecting kid-friendly scares.

It's Flemish, so the bad guys are French.

This week I have learned that "loser" is a loan word in both Mandarin and Flemish.

I have programmed a surprising number of Belgian films and from this have learned that there are no bright colors there.