Whether in theater or on DVD, the below films are sure to titillate your senses. In our humble opinions.
Mut Asheru Recommends
Dir: Chung Keun-sup Country: South Korea 2013 Run Time: 120 min
Cast: Uhm Jung-hwa, Kim Sang-kyung
In the best tradition of Korean thrillers, “Montage” arrives complete with a strong script with convincing plot twists and believable characters, and the loner cop who screams a lot and gets screamed at a lot, doggedly pursuing justice in a flawed system. A kidnap and murder case has reached its statutory limitation of 15 years and the criminal is still at large. A new kidnap case emerges, almost identical to the unsolved case. Is the killer a psychopath bent on repeating the “perfect crime”? Our loner cop gives pursuit, and also the mother of the girl killed 15 years ago…
YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL
Dir: François Ozon Country: France 2013 Run Time: 95min
Cast: Marine Vacth, Géraldine Pailhas, Frédéric Pierrot
Director François Ozon has made his own contemporary spin on the Luis Bunuel classic Belle de Jour by returning to the provocative topic of teenage female sexuality à la 2004’s Swimming Pool. Broken into four seasonal chapters, the film chronicles a year in bourgeois 16-year-old Isabelle’s life as she loses her virginity and begins to double as a student and as a prostitute. Though Ozon keeps the girl’s motivations opaque, the resulting portrait of youth and beauty as a commodity is ultimately richer and more beguiling because of the mystery.
2013 Cannes Film Festival, Competition
T. Mathenia Recommends
Dir: Kurosawa Kiyoshi Country: Japan 2013 Run Time: 127min
Cast: Sato Takeru, Ayase Haruka
After his 2008 international success “Tokyo Sonata”, Kurosawa Kiyoshi returns to the big screen with a riveting adaptation of best-selling sci-fi novel A Perfect Day for Plesiosaur. A year after his childhood friend-turned-lover Atsumi attempted suicide and lapsed into a coma, Koichi tries out an advanced neurosurgical procedure called “sensing” and connects with Atsumi’s mind to find out why she wanted to die. In this subconscious realm she asks him to find a picture of a plesiosaur she drew as a child, which would become the key to the mystery… Convincingly moving perfs from media darlings Sato and Ayase in this story about trauma, memory, and love.
21 WAYS TO RUIN A MARRIAGE
Dir: Johanna Vuoksenmaa Country: Finland 2013 Run Time: 93min
Cast: Armi Toivanen, Riku Nieminen
Young scholar Sanna thinks she knows it all: as part of her master’s thesis, she makes documentaries about couples – young and old, married and divorced – and has concluded that there are, well, 21 ways to ruin a marriage, from cheating and being clingy to substance abuse and talking too much. Just when she thinks she is done with love and its hypocrisy, settling for a carefree life of harmless ONS, she meets a recently divorced interviewee who might just prove her theory wrong… A massive box office hit in Finland, this comedy is a cynically funny reflection on love, however long it lasts.
Skeeta Diggs Recommends
Dir: Dante Lam Country: Cantonese 2013 Run Time: 116 min
Cast: Nick Cheung, Eddie Peng, Andy On, Mei Ting, Crystal Lee
Nick Cheung puts on weight and age to play Fai, a 48-year-old down-out-out boxer, eking out a living in Macao training fat ladies to lose weight. Now Dan, a brat sharing his flat with her single mom, tortures him at home, and then Eddie Peng’s Qi, a hunk of a young man entering an MMA tournament to prove something, pesters him at the gym. Sure they make his life hell, but again, they may be angels in disguise. With exhilarating kick-boxing scenes edited at a furious pace abundant, director Dante Lam also fashions a warming drama about love, loyalty and redemption.