Posts Tagged ‘Yoji Yamada’

Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 2

February 4, 2010

This year’s Berlinale features established filmmakers wandering into unfamiliar territory. Martin Scorsese gives a Dennis Lehane tale all the gaudy trappings of a Hammer horror film. Zhang Yimou puts down his ornate sword-play films for a farcical take on the Coen Brothers. 24 hour party person Michael Winterbottom even takes Texas by the tail in a full-blown film noir. Matters of faith also loom large in films from Germany, India and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Berlin is a broad church.

Read the first part of our Berlin Film Festival Competition preview.

The Killer Inside Me

Lou Ford is one of author Jim Thompson’s greatest antiheroes. Ford’s a psychotic charmer who keeps the peace in a town populated by mattress-happy dames and lowdown double-crossers. Guerilla filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo) isn’t everyone’s first choice to helm a Lone Star noir, but Casey Affleck seems just the right feller to fill Ford’s bloodstained boots.

Mammuth (Mammoth)

It’s easy to take Gerard Depardieu for granted, yet the shaggy icon delivers. Here he plays a worker who can’t retire until he finds his last six employers. That sends him on a journey around France astraddle his Mammoth motorcycle. Among the figures from his past is Isabelle Adjani, asleep for the last four decades. Written and directed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern (Louise-Michel).


Trailerama: Ototo (About Her Brother)

November 20, 2009

Yoji Yamada has been making films for nearly 50 years now. His impressive CV includes the epic Tora-san series. Beginning with 1969’s It’s Tough Being a Man, the adventures of a traveling salesman who has lousy luck with the local “Madonnas” stretched to 48 films. The series only ended when star Atsumi Kiyoshi keeled over in 1996. Yojo became an art house favorite during the last decade with his thoughtful considerations of the samurai class, The Twilight Samurai and The Hidden Blade. His latest looks like a gentle domestic drama, with Sayuri Yoshinaga inviting her sick brother Tsurube Shofukutei to convalesce at home. The inevitable complications and reconciliations ensue.