Sound On Sight Radio # 137 – Fantasia 2009 – Asian Cinema: Thirst & Love Exposure

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Fantasia, Montreal’s international genre film festival, has expanded its mandate over the years to include a wide variety of films from around the world, with the sole proviso seemingly being that they’re not based on an SNL skit or a Dane Cook routine. There has, however, always been a focus on Asian films, particularly the weird ones that might give the impression the entire Eastern half of the world grew up watching Faces of Death and Leave it to Beaver at the same time. And this year is no exception. Tonight, Sound on Sight takes a look at hotly anticipated South Korean vampire movie Thirst, from Oldboy director Park Chan Wook, four-hour romantic comedy Love Exposure, and Thailand’s fantasy epic .

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13 Comments
  1. […] Listen to our review from podcast #137 […]

  2. […] Listen to our review from podcast #137 […]

  3. Takashi says

    First of all… why the hell do we have to stick to genre conventions? By putting film or music into different drawers we will most likely limit ourselfs and miss out on something important. :) Having said that we are probably dealing with one of the wildest genre-mixes ever created and I couldn’t agree more with most of the opinions here.

    I saw Love Exposure in Frankfurt this spring and would certainly put the film in my Top 50 of this whole decade. Romantic Comedy? Hell yes… at times the film felt like Romeo & Juliet on exctacy to me, but then again it’s so much more… IMO Sono created a very self aware and nearly perfect piece of pop culture. It offers so many moments that words simply fail to describe and even though the film feels very japanese, it talks a very universal language.

    Well, is there anyone here who lived an unrequittet love at least once in their lives? ‘Cause that’s most probably where the romantic comedy of LE kicks in. As always… just my $0.02…

    BTW, if there are other people who fell for this movie they might want to find other treasures of japanese film at the dutch site midnighteye.com. It’s mostly about Japanese indepentent films that ask more questions than providing answers. So, you have been warned… ;)

    Cheers!

    Mike (Biel/Switzerland)

    P.S. I usually fall asleep when I see people kissing in movies.

    1. Ricky says

      I gave this movie lots of love… check out my top 10 of the year so far …

      http://popoptiq.wpengine.com/top-10-films-of-2009-so-far/

  4. vspirit says

    …I must’ve been smoking something cos I couldn’t sense even a nanosecond of romance from the 4 hour-run. I’d understand if you termed it a love story with lots of comedy and drama involved but romance…the only romance I can sort of sense came from the two adults. From the young’ins, all I can sense are passion and a great deal of pain, underneath all the comedy, and that’s only at the beginning. One review called it a dramedy and I agree with that wholeheartedly. I’ve read negative outright reviews of the show that made more sense. Writing it off as a romance comedy and not exactly explaining how it came off as romance…it sounds awfully a lot to me like a lazy review and not very credible at all.

    1. Al says

      Perhaps we just have a different definition of ‘romance.’ To me, and to the Fantasia programmers who included the film in their romantic comedy section, a film about a young man courting a young woman would seem to fit rather neatly into the category of a romance, albeit a twisted one. And since the film is funny, and follows the same Hollywood teen flick formula of boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back, that would make it a ‘romantic comedy’ by my standards, or at least a parody of one. Hope that clarifies our point of view.

      1. vspirit says

        Ah, so that’s how you generalize it. I suppose I see where you’re coming from, if we’re talking about generalization for official purposes. However, I think it crosses the boundaries of romantic comedy and anyone who watches it thinking it’s just that will get a bad shock. Thanks for clarifying, nevertheless.

  5. bleuaméricaine says

    For this hour, Simon gets my sympathy votes, for, A) staying up for too long, B) playing John Cale.

    What a cool show, I’ll just give you guys props for doing what you do every week (which is striking up interesting conversation), because there’s nothing I can offer on these movies.

  6. Simon H. says

    It 100% positively, absolutely has the plot arc of a romantic comedy. It just also happens to feature an hour of upskirt photography.

  7. Márcio says

    Loved the show guys, “Thirst” looks promissing, but you guys really got me pumped for “Love Exposure”, I’ve seen a bunch of Sono Sion’s movies and I like them but this really looks like something special, can’t wait to see it.

  8. Márcio says

    WOW, can’t wait for the Battle Royale.

  9. Ricky says

    Simon is so WRONG ON THIS FILM that for the second time on Sound On Sight, we are going to review a film for a second time. This week we will talk about Love Exposure one more time so I can explain to him why he is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WRONG again.

    Love Exposure is one of the most original, dazzling, balls out gutsy and masterful pieces fllm making that has come out of Japan in a very long time.

    I can’t believe he called it juvenile. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    IT’S NOT A FUCKEN ROMANTIC COMEDY – WTF – WHAT MOVIE DID YOU SEE??????????????

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