Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hole In The Head 2007 - Day 4 (Preview)

SFIndieFest's 2007 [Another] Hole In The Head continues at the Roxie in San Francisco. I've been fortunate enough this year to have access to previews of nearly the entire festival (since I'm in Atlanta, now), and I'll be posting 'previews' two days in advance of each day's screenings. Woo hoo!

Day 4, Monday, June 4 has a triple feature, in which "The Thirst" (YAWN) is bookended by a pair of truly unique and exciting features from Japan.

I sort of wish that "ID" (Ido) (dir. Kei Fujiwara, Japan, 2005, 104 mins.) was running as the late feature, as it does have the potential of creating its own cult as well as driving audiences away. I was completely awestruck by the nightmarish and hideous visuals that Kei Fujiwara created! The cinematography is grainy and the lighting is as harsh as a mid-80's underground film. The performances appeared to be devoted to the project and plot. I guess. The only thing I understood about the plot is what I took away from the program notes. Without that preparation, I can see where this might be something of an ordeal to get through, as there is so little to anchor one's aesthetic sense against the apparent random vileness of the imagery. However, after reading other reviews (yes, I had to do some research after THIS one and seems to have a good grasp), the dream imagery and symbolism were completely lost on me. As glued to the screen as I was, I don't know if I could see it again to explore the symbols. As much as I 'enjoyed' this, I can only recommend it with a warning.

"Hazard" (dir. Sion Sono, Japan, 2006, 103 mins.) on the other hand, I unequivocally recommend without reservations! Though I am not exactly sure how it fits within this festival, it is a breath of fresh air (particularly after the double feature preceding it)! The story of three Asian misfits in New York City and their bonding via crime, is directed with such a great sense of energy by Sion Sono, that even the rough hand-held cinematography didn't bother me (as it can sometimes...). The trio have such great chemistry, with each other as well as with the camera, I was reminded of Fellini's "I Vitelloni" at one point. I know that sounds like a reach (or even an attempt at film snobbery), but "Hazard" transcends 'Asian horror' as some might expect at 'Hole in the Head' and is a great piece of international cinema. I am not familiar with any of Sono's other work, but I hope to be!

Maxxxxx says
re "Id": "Shhhhhhit!"
re "Hazard": "Wanna come out?"

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