2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Monday, July 08, 2002
Warm Water Under a Red Bridge: B

Shohei Imamura’s Warm Water Under a Red Bridge is the kind of quirky little fable I wish more old master directors would try their hands at. It would be nice every once and a while for a world renowned filmmaker to make a simple, lyrical and original short story of film to distract audiences away from the heavy, intellectual side of cinema, and refreshingly Imamura’s film does just that. It is no more than an inventive fairy tale, where a laid off office worker, Sasano (Koji Yakusho) travels to a small coastal town to find a treasure he heard about from a homeless philosopher. At the house where the treasure is hidden he discovers Aizawa (Misa Shimizu), a pretty woman whom Sasano finds has the unique problem of welling up with water which compels her to do wicked things to release it (Sasano sees Aizawa stealing cheese in a market standing in a puddle of water, and once Sasano introduces himself she immediately jumps on him and starts to make love, when she climaxes she releases gallons of water that trickles through the house and into the river adjacent to it). Sasano quickly falls in love with this charmingly strange woman, who’s water seems to act as a strange inspiration for him and he takes up a local job as a fisherman and starts living the life any cramped up office worker would secretly love to have.

Imamura fills the movie with a soft, gently humor and he surrounds Sasano’s quest for “treasure” with the town’s ever-so-slightly peculiar inhabitants, a grandmother who has been waiting for the return of her lover for decades and hands out hand written prophecies to anybody who’ll take them, an African runner who is going to college in Japan on a scholarship, people who all sit at the side of the tale, but add subtle texture to Sasano’s tale. The kind of background character quirkiness found in Warm Water Under a Red Bridge is typical of Japanese cinema, but Imamura handles it in an offhand way, lending grace to the most simple things, filming them not to offer some profound comment on Japanese society, but just to flesh out Sasano’s surrounding.

Meanwhile Sasano’s search for material wealth turns into a quest for happiness, which he finds in the freedom of his new job and the time he spends with Aizawa, who is contrasted as lovely and sweet compared so Sasano’s demeaning wife in Tokyo. The film is leisurely paced, and while it spends most of its time following Sasano’s rediscovery of life it also hints at the importance of Aizawa’s unique property. Her water gushing is sweetly humorous and as it inspires Sasano to stay in her town it suggests the power a woman has to change men. The townspeople all seem to view Aizawa differently, one calls her a monster, another was driven crazy by his love for her, the town’s fishermen by the river appreciate how her warm water attracts a variety of fish, and yet another man wants to use her for fetish pornography. Whether the metaphor of Aizawa’s water really lies any deeper than this is not very important, as the film seems to have few aspirations past Sasano’s fulfillment of his life, it is ridiculous, sweet, and simple in a slightly surreal way. Mr. Imamura’s quiet little movie about a city cramped office worker transformed by a unique woman may be a little overlong, as he takes great time to setup both the atmosphere of Sasano’s life (which is initially attracted to Tokyo’s riverside populated by a philosophizing letch, and finds a similar contentment at Aizawa’s riverside house), and the small people who are in the background of his life. The time Imamura takes is never tiresome, but Warm Water Under a Red Bridge could use some trimming, for a gentle and soft fairy tale like this tend to benefit from a brief running time. Regardless, Imamura takes the extra time to paint a lovely, meticulously timed, snowy ending that includes one of cinema’s best ending lines (and images) as Sasano’s fantasy life reaches its climax.