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Film

TIFF 2013, Days 7 & 8

Rigor Mortis

The disparate residents of the 24th floor of a dilapidated tenement building deal with death in different ways.  A former movie star hitting rock bottom, a mother unable to cope with a recent trauma, the former vampire hunter turned cook, the affable security guard, the retired couple who are strangely keeping to themselves, and the dark wizard are the cast of characters that have to deal with ghosts, vampire/zombies (vampires and zombies are the same in Chinese mythology), and ghost vampire/zombies.

Visually stunning film based on the hopping vampire mythology of the Mr Vampire series of movies.  More of a drama than a fright film (really!), and none of the camp of the original, the execution was excellent and the acting was top notch.  And I get the feeling that this film will improve on subsequent viewings; there is quite a lot of nuance to this film (really!) and I’m sure that I missed a lot.  My biggest problem with it was that I felt the mythology had not been explained sufficiently for Western audiences (and I’ve seen Mr Vampire).  And the vampires don’t hop enough.  8/10

Director Juno Mak

Director Juno Mak

A Touch of Sin (Tian zhu ding)

Four loosely connected short stories channeling the angst and exposing the dark underbelly of the new China.  Each story was simple, but violent and edgy.  Unfortunately there is no cohesion to bind the stories together, so the whole is less than the sum of its parts.  5/10

Director Zhangke Jia

Director Zhangke Jia

R100

A man joins an S&M club, except the activities are not conducted on premises.  Over the course of a year, various dominatrices would have their way with him at random points of his life.  Funny and weird, but not nearly as good as Shinboru.  But I did learn all sorts of new ways that one can be punished.  Oh, and R100 is the film rating, you must be 100 years old to watch this.  6/10

Director Hitoshi Matsumoto and dominatrix

Director Hitoshi Matsumoto and dominatrix

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