Mind trips and psychotic inventions at annual Asian series

Film

From The Village Voice:

Count our blessings. No sooner does the screaming summer-movie emptiness begin to envelop the city than Subway Cinema’s annual fest of new East Asian pop cinema uncorks a refreshing cataract of psychotic invention, genre excess, and meditative derangement—often in the shape of movies that have no chance of distribution or a slot in a tonier local venue. Who knows what chances the fresh Seijun Suzuki film has under any other auspices—Princess Raccoon is a self-mocking operetta whose song styles range from Nippon-ized Jacques Brel-ishness to ’70s album rock, set on deep-dish-Dada ballet sets that are regularly subsumed by digital mythopoeia and headlong design nuttiness. Some kind of Snow White fable with Kabuki accents—let’s not care about content, because Suzuki doesn’t—it’s a movie unlike any other ever made by an octogenarian. With its 2-D stiffness and trite songmaking, it’s not Pistol Opera, and yet any ambivalence about Princess Raccoon‘s “success” has to be reckoned against Suzuki’s insurrectionary resilience and his nearly half a century of movies that, though nattering on about assassins or prostitutes or princesses, speak in their own unique visual tongue.

More here.

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