Okay, I realize I've been on a tear lately and ranting on the things that are pissing me off. I think it's time to do a "happy" post to help clear the smoke outta the e-room here. So, here's something that I've really enjoyed recently.
by Tetsuya Nakashima
I'll let the guy from Amazon sum this one up. He does a pretty good job:
Kooky, kinetic, and colorful, 2004's Kamikaze Girls is a delight, and one that could only have come from Japan. Our principal character and narrator is Momoko (Kyoko Fukada), the 17-year-old product of a highly dysfunctional marriage who wishes she'd lived in 18th Century France, during the Rococo age; instead, she and her bonnets and frilly dresses are stuck in Japan's rural outback, where she abides by a philosophy that claims, "If I can't live independently, I'd rather be a water flea." Enter Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya), a tough-talking, head-butting, scooter-riding thug who doesn't know rococo from rock & roll, and whom the haughty Momoko deplores and mostly ignores--at least until they're brought together by, of all things, embroidery (Momoko's good at it, Ichigo needs some for her biker threads). Suffice it to say that these two oddballs form a union of sorts, and Kamikaze Girls (entitled Shimotsuma Monogatari in Japanese) ultimately delivers a fairly straightforward message about independence, loneliness, and friendship. But getting there is quite a trip. Director and co-writer Tetsuya Nakashima combines live action, animation, special effects, fourth-wall asides, fantasy sequences, and more in a dazzling onslaught of images; in that way, as well as in its overall outlook ("Humans are cowards in the face of happiness," says one character), the film is somewhat reminiscent of Amelie. True, Kamikaze Girls lacks the full measure of that French film's grace, heart, and charm. But for sheer imaginativeness and cinematic virtuosity, this one's hard to beat.
All I'd have to add is this is possibly the MOST Japanese movie ever made. It's filled with so much kinetic energy that if unleashed all at once it probably would level Nagasaki. A genuinely fun film. Check it out if you can find it.
And, Hey, I made it through a whole post (mostly copied from Amazon) without swearing. Fuck, Yeah!
Oh, dammit.... nevermind.