Archive for February, 2008

“Venus Beauty Institute” – Chris Luedtke

If “random” was ever defined by any other words, Venus Beauty Institute would suite it well. Here lies the story of Angèle Piana (Nathalie Baye), who works at a beauty institute and no longer believes in the idea of love. Rather she has cast herself away from that idea and now thrives on one night [...]

“Breaking News” – A.J. Hakari

There’s an old saying in journalism that goes, “If it bleeds, it leads,” and in the Hong Kong action drama Breaking News, this applies to both sides of the law. Breaking News comes from Johnnie To, a director whose recent films (Exiled, Triad Election) have tended to focus more upon morally-shifty ilk, an attitude that, [...]

“Eyes Without a Face” – Andrew Guarini

Paris, fame, fortune…what’s it all add up to?
This line by a minor character in Georges Franju’s haunting 1960 horror film Eyes Without a Face is to me like Paddy Chayefsky writing Network in 1976 without knowing that in the future we’d have the exploitation trash-o-vision of Jerry Springer or Howard Stern. As much as its [...]

“Baby Blues” – Chris Luedtke

I once took a business class in junior high school that had a large part of the semester dedicated to doing the stock market. The main lesson I took from it was that one should either shoot real high or real low if one wants to come out on top of the game. Falling [...]

“Lust, Caution” – A.J. Hakari

Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows showed viewers that the life of a spy was not one necessarily filled with feats of James Bondian derring-do. A lot it involves waiting, painstakingly biding one’s time until the perfect moment to strike arises. Unfortunately, as good as the film was, this approach often made it flat-out boring [...]