Dirty Pair, or Why Aren’t You Watching The Lovely Angels?

The magic of the Lovely Angels is difficult to describe.  There’s something irrationally appealing about the mannerisms of their characters, the intonations and inflections of their voice actors, and their general screen presence.  It extends beyond mere lines and color on two dimensional cells, and it’s something less concrete than the pleasantly eye-catching character models.  The infectiousness of this attachment blurs on the fringes of moè tinged with no small amount of the erotic, facilitated no doubt by provocative costumes, hot women in dangerous situations, and their seemingly effortlessly-written banter.  Kei & Yuri are fantastic characters, to say the least, as admirable as they are humorous and sexy.

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AKIRA

Japan; Science Fiction; 125 minutes; Produced by Ryōhei Suzuki, Shunzō Katō; Based on the graphic Novel by Katsuhiro Otomo; Written and Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo

The year was 2007, I was close to ending my first year in film school, and I hated anime. I didn’t just dislike anime, or was merely uninterested in anime, I had a burning hatred toward any Japanese animated product I had ever seen. Sure, I was into the Digimon merchandise back as a kid, but never saw any of the shows. And after seeing other stupid Japanese shows like Yu-Gi-Oh and Dinosaur King, I never wanted to. To my naïve brain, this is all Japanese animation was about: 30 minute time slots for poorly written merchandise commercials.

That is until I met this guy while volunteering for various stage drama activities. He seemed rather knowledgeable about film, so we got along very well. Then I found out he liked anime. I was dumbfounded. How can someone so smart enjoy watching such crap? Upon my inquiry he merely responded, “Oh, you just need to see good filmmaking.” I never told him but I spend the next couple days muttering the likes of “What does he know? I’m in film school. I know more about good filmmaking than he’d ever wish to know.”

He had mentioned several anime features, but the name that mysteriously stuck in my head was AKIRA. So when I saw the film on DVD at the school library I decided I’d watch it and tell off this otaku about the difference between good filmmaking and Japanese cartoons. I also picked up Koyaanisqatsi and Russian Ark that day just so I could build up a good arsenal of examples of what good filmmaking actually is. Read more of this post

From the Dust-Bins: Turkish Star Wars

It's actually much worse than this, but the numbers only go so low.

1982, Turkey; 91 Minutes; Directed by: Çetin Inanç; Produced by: Mehmet Karahafiz. No studio listed for apparent reasons: no company wants to fess up to this abomination.

YouTube seems to be the leading site in plagiarized video materials in our modern age. There are many arguments for and against the use of copyright materials for educational or entertainment purposes, but I’m not going to debate that in this article. I’m merely bringing this up to compare it to the similar breaches of copyright committed by the Turkish back in the 1980s. Particularly, the use within 1982 film Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, translated into English as The Man Who Saves The World.

Star Wars has had many rip-offs since it’s release in 1977. My film instructor personally knew a man who was cast to play a gold-plated version of Darth Vader in a space odyssey film that was supposed to be better than anything Star Wars had to offer. Odd that I can’t remember the film’s title, huh?

But none of the rip offs made by the States can top the stupidity of downright plagiarism portrayed in The Man Who Save The World. This film has been the black sheep of any film group since the day of it’s birth, and it’s popularity as laughter fodder has only been growing in light of its availability on the internet. In fact, you can find the Turkish film right here. And seeing that it actually uses the special effect shots from the original Star Wars movie, it has been called by many “The Turkish Star Wars”. Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Ai City

 

 

A child psychic, her macho martial artist guardian, and an incompetent PI speed on down a causeway pursued by a butch female telepath leading a motorcycle gang.  Minutes later, the butch female telepath motorcycle blonde has been inexplicably transformed into an attractive, naked, amnesic, humorously lecherous woman that can’t keep her hands off the PI.  Nobody knows how this transformation occurred, but it involved some kind of shattered-mirror dimension that resulted between some kind of psychic clash of wills.  Later, donned only in the PI’s trench coat, she fights a pair of villains that practically stepped out of Batman’s rogues gallery, telekinetically ripping one of them apart before the battle is interrupted by a sort of science sorcerer that lives inside Robby the Robot.  By the end of the film, it is explained that a DNA-mutating virus was developed ages ago and it warped everyone into monsters, and that the child psychic was in fact a this messianic device that would destroy the virus and redeem humanity—this is explained, of course, just prior to the climactic boss fight that takes place in an unexplained gore dimension.  And at the very end of the film?  Everyone inexplicably time travels and the cycle repeats itself.  Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Tetsuo – The Iron Man

 

SHE IS SO HOT

I had a hard time deciding whether or not this truly belonged under the Dustbin moniker, but after realizing that the only people who have probably heard of this film are either cult film aficionados or art film fanatics, I decided that it deserved this treatment.  I’m still not wholly convinced, however, seeing as how cult films are generally dusty old niche things that are remembered, and this certainly has been remembered like any other cult film has.  It’s certainly not something rotting away forgotten in a garbage bin someplace, particularly when one considers that it’s even received a third sequel just this past year.  But all the same, obscure films are obscure, and if I dare say so myself, this film is obscure enough.  Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Roots Search

There is a reason Roots Search has been forgotten: it’s terrible.  It isn’t terrible because the character development is shoddy, inconsistent, and arbitrary.  It isn’t terrible because the plot is convoluted to the point of making obtuse art films seem lucid in comparison.  It isn’t even terrible because of its low-budget animation quality or awkward pacing.  With the right mixture of each of these, one could make a title that is “so bad it’s good”.  And yet, somehow, Roots Search manages to just barely miss even this mark.  It’s simply a case of being “so bad it’s still terrible”. Read more of this post

Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend

Pornography is usually pretty boring.  Maybe that sounds odd coming from a straight male, but let’s face it: it’s almost all the same.  If it’s professional-grade stuff, it’s littered with bad actors, fake orgasms, and a disproportionate amount of ugly people, and one rarely fares any better with amateur material.  But it’s a successful industry because it isn’t really designed to be interesting, just arousing.  Or, that’d be the case provided one isn’t discussing the somewhat notorious underground of Japanese cartoon porn.   Read more of this post