Our month long celebration of all things mermaid, “Frolicking Under The Sea: Mermaid Fantasy Film Festival – August 2016” continues! This time out, a perhaps odd little choice, the 2012 Hindi Social Drama film, “Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid”. Not reeeeaaallly a “mermaid” movie per se… but still an excellent lil’ film that Yours Truly wanted to include.
The synopsis? But of course! “Two city-bred kids, fearless tomboy Shreya and her little brother Sam travel to their dusty Haryana village for a vacation with their parents. What happens there is an adventure, which comes packed with significant life lessons. It’s not the idyllic village of their dreams but a problem-ridden place with dried up ponds, unfriendly villagers, unspoken secrets, out-of-bounds spaces, a child-eating witch and no girls, a reason why wives are imported from other states. In the backdrop of this engrossing adventure the social issue of female foeticide is subtly interwoven without being preachy and melodramatic.”
Ummmm? So this one isn’t actually a “mermaid” movie? “But… but… Neko” you ask“What about that witch in the synopsis? There is gonna be a witch, right?” Ummmm. Yeah… Gotta admit, this one sorta fooled yours truly when I was first tracking it down. It definitely didn’t turn out to be the movie I thought it was going to be. But guess what? It still turned out to be a really, really good movie that I ended up liking a whole lot. Wanna find out why? Then just “Read On”, o’ Gentle Visitors and find out! 🙂
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Our February “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016″ continues! This time out how about some feisty stick fighting Hindi women out to kick butt and protect and empower the poor, exploited, and downtrodden women of rural India… by ganging up and beating the living beejeebits outta some slimy guys and battling corrupt government officials with both ballots and sticks? Ummm, yep, that’s definitely the sorta movie we’re looking for this month… 😉
Our synopsis? Ok, try this: “A fearless peasant heroine named Rajjo creates a sanctuary village where abandoned and abused girls and women are taught to read and make a life for themselves making baskets, grinding spices, and weaving beautiful pink saris to sell. Together they grow strong and fight social injustice while battling a crooked politician out to trick the poor rural people for her own wicked enrichment.”
Well… While it’s fair to say it’s not exactly a Martial Art film, nonetheless this one oozes lots of action, drama, and “female empowerment”… and from the trailer, it looks like we’ll certainly get our fill of crazy stick fighting lady action. I’m thinking it’s a good pick for our theme this month. Wanna find out if it’s a good match for our festival? Then hurry on up and “Read On”… 🙂
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Whoooo!! Boy… The snow and ice sure are blowin’ hard outside my window today, but your Favorite Catgirl is still at it with yet another entry in February’s “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016”. This time out, we’re off to Korea for a look at 2015’s swordplay film “Memories of the Sword”.
The synopsis reads as follows: “During Korea’s Goryeo dynasty, a trio of heroic peasant warriors is betrayed by one of their own during a violent uprising against a corrupt governor’s tyranny that leaves the greatest fighter among them and his beloved wife dead at the hand of a traitor. Over the next eighteen years, one of them, now a blind swords woman, trains the fallen soldier’s daughter in the art of the sword so she may finally avenge his death.”
After being so darned disappointed by “The Assassin”, I was definitely looking for a good old fashioned Martial Art film with some “girl power” to raise my spirits and help me battle the winter blues… luckily for me, Korea is always willing to answer a goofy Catgirl’s wishes. 🙂 Wanna hear all the nifty details? Then you know what you gotta do, o’ Gentle Visitors…
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Time for another installment of our February “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016”. This time out? Well how about some “female empowerment” from a somewhat unexpected source, the country of Brunei, with a look at director Siti Kamaluddin’s 2014 “Yasmine”.
Our synopsis goes like this: “Living alone with her strict father, Yasmine is a free-spirited girl, sometimes unruly and even rebellious. When her father tells her she’s been refused a school loan and must study far from her friends, at a grim public college, she takes the news very poorly. To top it off, Adi, her old school’s silat prodigy with whom Yasmine is hopelessly in love, now has his eye instead on her rival Dewi, also a practitioner of that same martial art. So she joins the humble silat club at her new college, building a friendship with her teammates Ali and Nadia. Soon she convinces them to join her in signing up for the same intercollegiate silat competition that Dewi and Adi are participating in, with hopes winning Adi’s affections once more. Yasmine is forced to undertake her training in secrecy, because her father harbors an unexplained contempt for the sport and forbids her any involvement with it. As the first round of the competition approaches, Yasmine is driven to excel at all cost, possibly even the loss of her newfound friends. Eventually, her unbridled ambition, her single minded vendetta with Dewi, and her fixation on Adi will soon push Yasmine to learn the secret why her father wants nothing to do with silat.”
Sound a little like “The Karate Kid”? Well… yes… but being a film from Brunei, I was certainly expecting something a wee bit different. Trust me… Brunei is definitely not a place I really associated with “female empowerment”. Nope. So was I surprised or disappointed with what was on hand? Guess you’ll have to “Read On” and find out, won’t you? 😉
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September has arrived… along with all those chilly nights that promise Autumn is here at last and Summer fades to become just a warmly remembered memory. Sigh….
I know I’ve been absent for a couple weeks, but seeing as I seriously fell behind and just sort of left off in the middle of our “Martial Arts Mayhem” movie review festival, I though I might let the Masters of the fine art of butt-kicking stay around for a little while longer and do a few more slices of action film goodness here at the ol’ Litterbox. This time out… the Korean Karate biopic “Fighter In The Wind”.
Our synopsis reads: “Fighter In The Wind” is the fictionalized story of karate competitor Choi Yeung-Eui who went to Japan during World War II to become a fighter pilot but instead found himself set upon a very different path. Finding Japan a difficult place for a Korean man to survive the hatred and prejudices of the time, he retreats to the mountains where, living in his karate gi, he trains day and night; running in the mountains, lifting tree trunks and using makeshift training equipment to harden his body and fighting spirit through austerity. Eventually he changed his name to Masutatsu Oyamai and traveled across the country, defeating martial artists one after another. This film concentrates on the period when he is still young, and developing his famous karate style, Kyokushin.”
Yep… it’s time for the Koreans to take a stab at things. Wanna know all the poop on this one? Well then, o’ Gentle Visitors, by all means follow this wee Catgirl and let’s “Read On”, shall we? 😉
Whew!! Well it certainly took me long enough to get this one written, but here we go with your Favorite Catgirl’s impressions of the new Chambara drama by cult director Takeshi Miike, “13 Assassins”. Flashing swords, bloody death, and a brave stand of a few brave men against seemingly impossible odds…..
Our synopsis? How about this: “The year is 1844. A vicious nobleman rapes and kills with impunity, shielded from punishment by virtue of his political connections. Although the era of the samurai is fading and coming to an end, one honest government official is still able to enlist the aid of thirteen honorable swordsmen in secrecy. Their mission? Nothing less than to assassinate this sadistic lord whatever the cost, before he can seize even more power and become untouchable…. above anyone’s power to keep in check and a threat that would poison the nation’s very soul. With time running out and against impossible odds, these assassins lay a deadly trap for the lord and his army of bodyguards in a booby-trapped village of death, culminating in one of the bloodiest, muddiest sword-fights ever put to film.”
Sound a bit “Seven Samurai” to you too? Yep… this one seems to want to channel the spirit of that old Kurosawa film and lots of other 70’s Chambara classics. You know the ones… lots of stern faced Japanese guys (and even a few girls..) facing the idea of inescapable death to achieve Honor and restore Justice. There’s something primal and heroic about that…. and it resonates through the Chambara film in a way that only the best Spaghetti Westerns ever seemed to truly understand. Mind you… most of the best of the Spaghetti Westerns were even adapted from these old Japanese swordplay films. But… at their heart, both genres were about staring Death right in the face without flinching and going for it full on… even knowing you probably wouldn’t succeed.
So does this one have the “warrior spirit”? One way to find out, and that’s to follow this crazy Catgirl on a journey to Feudal Japan, where perhaps Death came easy… and life was sometimes cheap… but Honor and Duty were priceless treasures beyond value.