Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bae Doona!

Last Friday we screened Take Care of My Cat (2001).  I sat there astounded by Bae Doona's performance, her tomboyish appearance, short hair cut, the silent rebellion she put up against her family.  Her face was perfect for that.  Cute and bright-eyed, she was the nexus of the group of five friends, always making the phone calls and trying to get them to stay together.

It's a feeling that I can't explain clearly,... when I am left with a great impression of an artist, and ... perhaps nostalgia..., and they come back to me after a period of time and touch me again with another piece of work, except that I do not recognize them immediately.  Two weeks ago I learned the name of Zhao Wei, my favourite Chinese actress, after learning that her song "畫心" trumped alan's "心戰" for Red Cliff in the Hong Kong Film Awards  (I just noticed, both composers are Japanese).  I remember her as the actress for the tv series Return of Princess Pearl and the film Shaolin Soccer.  Even she was in Red Cliff.

And Natalie Portman went under my radar with V for Vendetta, until I soon fell in love with her role in Leon (1994).  Who else?  It's just that feeling that I get.  The first time it's just "Omigosh what a great actress".  The same thing happens for another film, and then its only later that I realize that both characters were played wonderfully by the one and the same.

I just noticed, that for the competing songs, both composers are Japanese.  That leads me to my main point of the article.  We also screen Hirokazu Koreeda's After Life (2001), and it turns out that Doona is going to be starring starred in his upcoming film Air Doll.  Professor Lippit talked about the inter-national, cross cultural cinema that is rising in East Asia.  For example, he said that Takeshi Kaneshiro can be quintessentially Chinese in a Chinese film, and also be quintessentially Japanese in a Japanese one.  Talk about a great actor.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Doona's performance.  Unfortunately, it may be just for Doona's performance, as critics are stating that the adaptation is "lacking substance."  I'd also like to see what trend Koreeda is paving in his cinema.  We're seeing a convergence between the Asian cinema's, now when's the localisation going to pick up?

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