I have a small childhood memory indirectly associated with Alejandro Jodorowsky's "Santa Sangre"(1989). I remember well about how it drew the attention of people when it was introduced in South Korea in 1994. One tagline was simple brutal honesty that I still recall with smile: "This is no doubt the cult!" And here is another nice one that makes my eyeballs still roll: "Today, You will be infected by the cult!"They were blatant enough to draw the attention from an 11-year-old boy, but the problems were that (1) I was too young to get the chance to watch it, and (2) my hometown was a local city far from Seoul. However, that was a blessing in disguise. They showed the audiences the butchered version with a considerable amount deleted due to local censorship. In those days, bold, controversial films like "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover" were never introduced to South Korean audiences unless they were heavily chopped. You probably think it is kind of weird considering some uncompromisingly violent South Korean movies made nowadays, but it did happen a lot when I was young.
Q. After reading your review of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," I note that you are the only critic I know of who feels that the increasing darkness of the series is a barrier, as opposed to a credit, to the series. I wonder, do you feel that a lot of critics' enthusiasm for "darkness" and "realism" in today's fantasy filmmaking is misplaced? Do you yearn for more innocence and joy in films where it is clearly an asset and not a liability?
Q. I rented the video of "Persuasion" because the box featured a beautiful babe in one of those Empire waistline gowns--you know, the 18th century Wonderbra look, with her espieglerie at full thrust--and she's leaning in true bodice-buster style on a dashing young man with naval epaulettes. So I rent the flick thinking this is gonna be some hot evening. Imagine my surprise when the babe isn't in the movie but it's this frumpy babe instead. And as for the guy, it looks like somebody carved his face from an oak stump with a dull chainsaw. I thought the Jane Austen babe who wrote this was supposed to be really hot right now, which means lotsa sex, right? So what gives? (Rich Elias, Delaware, Ohio)
Where do I start? With his tattooed lady? With how he hugged the mongoloid children to coax performances from them? Perhaps with the elephant's funeral, when the enormous casket went tumbling down the hillside, and the shanty people tore it open to get at the fresh meat inside?