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Zonbi asu

A Japanese schoolgirl learns to be brave and fart in public
I think this movie just knocked PINK FLAMINGOS out of first place for the BEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN.

The plot is wild enough... a highschool girl's older sister kills herself because she (the older sister) farts on cue to protect her (the younger sister). But the rest of the movie... you've got toilet vampires, a tapeworm that enters and exits anally, a mad scientist, a girl who learns kung fu because she's bored and watches Chinese movies, a cocaine car driver.

The ending is positively feminist! The heroine learns to "let it out," and not be inhibited in the typical, embarrassed, girly way. In letting it out, she becomes a fart-superhero, a future savior of humankind.

With special effects up the wazoo (literally), this is the movie you'll sit through again and again... bringing your friends who'll be amazed and converted.


My first Senegalese film
I'd read the book, and in my interest to learn Wolof, I checked out this film.

It's rare that the director and the author of the original book are the same person. That's the case here, I think.

The film really packs a wallop. Funny, poignant, it's a kind of African BLUE ANGEL with equal parts Jean-Luc Godard and a touch of Freaks: Funny, tragic, disgusting, and political. (Much of the politics are about internalized colonialism.) "You have a right to speak. But speak in French. You can curse and insult each other, but you must curse and insult IN FRENCH." It is a bit long. I recommend seeing it in two sittings. The obvious low budget sets are a bit distracting, but, in a way, they help give a poverty feel to the movie.

The acting varies. The first wife is incredible. You can see her anger and her dignity. The businessmen are a little on the weak side. Too much "ok, move your hands in denial now," "okay, nod like you agree." The ending was a surprise and a bit of a disappointment. (The lead actor must've spent months watching Emil Jannings.) But, to me, the ending seemed cut. Implying tragedy, but not showing the results. I got the feeling it was somehow shortened... as if there were more, that New Yorker Video did not want to present to the public. Also, the sub-titles were sparse, especially in the Wolof sections.

Still, it's a fine movie, and certainly worth a couple of evenings.


Low Budget, but great use of what they had
Yeah, there are some low-budget glitches. In spots the sync is so off, you wonder if they were originally speaking Spanish and then dubbed.

But, the film is saved by the acting... and the writing.

A. You know, sometimes I think we're really sick and depraved. B. You say that like it's a bad thing.

Sure, there's lots of (soft-core) sex. And a "surprise" that's as predictable as the rising sun. BUT, the superb acting (especially by the male & female leads) and the laugh-out-loud writing make it worthwhile. Come expecting a great college film, you'll be pleased. Come expecting Gone With The Wind, you'll be disappointed.

The Road

As predictable as a January 1st Hangover
Peeeee Youuuuuu! Every 10 minutes some guy cries. (I don't think a woman cries at all in this movie... not that there are very many women.) Once the kid cries. Every 30 minutes, you see a naked adult man, not very attractive. Everyone is supposed to be starving, but there's sure enough meat on most of their bones to feed a zombie army.

This is supposed to be a post apocalypse film, but Hollywood still manages to put a happy ending on it... not only a boy... but TWO boys, a girl and a DOG for God's sake! I did NOT read the book. I certainly won't now.

(The sound track isn't bad though. Nick Cave has something to do with it. And, to be fair, there's some decent photography of bleak Western landscapes. But that doesn't make up for the awful plot and maudlin acting.)

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