Artsy films... I HATE them. With passion. And I don't mean artsy like Kill Bill or Duelist or even The Fall. Those are artsy visually and in the way they present the story. But the story is there and it makes sense. I'm talking about Lars Von Trier-like European-style artsy crap filled with boring scenes and could-be-porn sex. I'm talking about a movie featuring 10 minutes of a one-angle shot of an orange and some guy sitting on the table and staring at it. And then we're supposed to understand it has some deep meaning about the essence of our materialistic society and loneliness, pain, love and loss...
"What does it all meeean?!!?!?"
Well, screw that. I call that weakness to include meaning and write a proper damn script. This isn't charades. It's a movie. If you chose a movie as a medium YOU are the one who has to show me a clear message, not "let the audience figure it out". If you're a director, direct! If you're a writer, write! It's not MY job to figure out what you have in your twisted head or look into my own soul during your movie. I do that just fine without your help every day.
If you show me a movie with a bunch of actors walking around in an empty set that's supposed to be a village, all I see is a bunch of lunatics drinking out of non-existing glasses and (what you consider) a smart way to skip on set costs.
"My God! These people can see through walls!"
Like I said, if you want to give emphasis to the visuals, fine. I love Duelist i.e and that has the basic of basic scripts. But it still makes sense. You don't see Sad Eyes watching a plant grow for half an hour just so you can figure out he can't hit on women. The fact that he uses sword-fighting to "court" the woman speaks pretty well for that.
And The Fall is a wonderful example of how to have everything in an "artsy" movie. The story makes sense, it's normal. It has meaning which is there. Clear as crystal and still beautiful. And it still takes some effort to think about it. The peculiar world the movie takes place in is separate from its "real world". It's a story, told by a patient to a little girl with a wonderful imagination who sees things unfold in front of her eyes. Those things are the "other world" we see in the movie, the weirder one.
She's adorable AND with a rich imagination
In other words, to hell with contemporary artsy crap. Thanks for your contribution, but gtfo and stop being so self-absorbed. I'll stick to the few who do it right and don't try to pass a hand-held headache-inducing camera as an awesome directorial discovery. Well, Cloverfield was rather nice, so I guess we have European crap directors to thank for creating something with potential they themselves can't realize.
So, back to Camellia now, this looks like a wonderful and meaningful movie so I want to see it... Ok, I'm lying. It looks like the artsy crap I hate (although visually nice), but Kang Dong Won is in it. I have to admit though, his segment of the film does have some Tarsem Singh-ish qualities about it and maybe, despite "what it looks like", it will actually make sense. And if not, I'll get to laugh at a character who is being beaten to a pulp and still has time to put heavy eyeshadow and eyeliner before he goes to meet his one true love, who prays to snake gods, with a gun...
"You said you'd be home for dinner, you lying bitch!"
Hey, I love Kang Dong Won, but every actor makes bad choices. "Temptation of Wolves" was his "bad choice" for me and I can handle another one, if it does turn out bad. It was called the Busan Project anyway so for all I know, he only took part in it to promote his birthplace. And if it sucks, I can just say "Bad call, Dong Won" and wait for his future works. I'm not the kind of fan(girl) to change my opinion of an actor I find good over one bad performance or a bad call. If the majority of their works rock.
I have to say, there is another thing I'm looking forward to from this, and it's the third segment entitled... wait for it.... "Iron Pussy". Now, if this weren't an Asian artsy project, I'd assume they're talking about a kitty... So, I'm really interested in (the laughs I can get from) this. I mean, Iron Pussy. Who IS Iron Pussy? How literal is the title? Do others address her like that? What exactly has she done, and to whom, to deserve that title? Was she one of them seductresses in Thailand's former secret service? An agent, like Xenia Onatopp with less violence? Does the guy that digs her realize she is/used to be a man? I just have to know. XD
My speculations on the three segments?
Love for Sale: Lovers who both get some sort of amnesia, coupled with an obsession with make up products. He's a very clumsy man who seems to be slipping onto people's fists a lot and she's a crazy snake-worshiping fashionista. He finds her, she rapes him, he kills her and, of course, the memory has to come back. She probably remembers him as she's dying and then he remembers her and kills himself due to the horror of just offing his lover. I see no happy ending for this amnesiac and tragic Max Factor couple.
Kamome: A girl wearing her pajamas, wandering around and feeding seagulls. Suspicious looking guy meets her in the middle of the night. They hug, get romantic, she dances like she has a slight mental disability and then he cries. Her name is Kamome, which means "seagull" in Japanese. Maybe she is some seagull-creature that wanted to be human and, of course, has to pay for it by the end since you are supposed to NEVER wish for anything other than what you have, which worked well for the aristocracy during the times all these stories were made. Kept them pesky poor kids thinking they don't deserve better. I'm sure most fairytales were made to keep someone in check, rather than entertain and educate. Again, I see no happy ending for this couple. She probably turns back into a seagull and gets hit by a truck on the way to fight with another bird over a half-eaten sandwich.
Iron Pussy: We got a woman from Thailand and a man from Korea. Different countries. Obstacle 1. They are both (kinda) male. Obstacle 2. She is a former secret service agent, probably on the run and targeted by her own country and a million other people she screwed, both literally and figuratively. Obstacle 3. One of them or both get shot by some enemy from the past. I miiiight have some hope for a happy ending from this, given its quite playful name and what seems to be a quite colorful setting and all, but I somehow doubt we'll get a happy ending in any of these segments. But maybe they'll just break up. Maybe one and not both will die. I call that "happy" in such films...
So, here's the poster and some basic info, as well as the latest trailer.
* Title: Camellia
* Revised Romanization: Kamaellia
* Hangul: 카멜리아
Segment "Love for Sale"
Segment "Iron Pussy"
Sol Kyung-Gu - Yong-su
Yuriko Yoshitaka - Kamome
Hong Soo-Hyun - Seon-a
Jo Dong-Hyeok - Jeong-woo
* Directors: Love for Sale - Jang Joo hwan, Iron Pussy - Wisit Sasanatieng, Kamome - Yukisada Isao
Official Site - Japanese
Credits for the information and pictures: Hancinema, Asianmediawiki, Google