Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Moonlight Whispers (Akihiko Shiota, 1999)

I came into this movie expecting a strange little film about teenagers in an S&M relationship. I got that, but I'm not sure it's actually want I wanted anymore. Hidaka has been obsessed with his kendo partner Satsuki for as long as he's known her, and when she reciprocates her feelings, it seems that all is going well. But Satsuki soon finds out that Hidaka has been taking pictures of her, stealing her socks, and taping her while she pees. Oh. She breaks up with him and starts dating Uematsu, but she soon realizes that she and Hidaka have a connection that binds them to one another. That connection is S&M, I guess. Hidaka wants to be her submissive, and she tries to hurt him and every turn.

While I'm interested in S&M relationships as something outside of sex, the characters in Moonlight Whispers are too immature to make this relationship work, or even interesting to an outside party. Satsuki goes from doe-eyed in love with Hidaka in one scene, to vengeful S&M goddess in the next. What fuels her sudden intense interest in making Hidaka cry? How does she make that change so quickly? She keeps remarking throughout the film that she hates Hidaka and only likes Uematsu, and while she seems sincere, her actions say otherwise. I suppose I didn't like this film so much because of the improbability of the characters' actions. They act the way a screenwriter would have them act, not how actual people would. The first half is solid, but I wouldn't recommend the film as a whole.


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