Unforgettable Movies

Friday, September 27, 2013


Unforgettable Movies





So, Kato, you’re talking about your unforgettable movies, aren’t you?

Yes, I am.  You know, Diane, VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival) started on September 26.

Yes, I know.  The festival continues till October 11.  As a matter of fact, I’ve been an enthusiastic patron of the festival.

Oh, have you?

You know, Kato, VIFF is among the five largest film festivals in North America.


Yes, it is.  The festival annually screens films from approximately 80 countries on 10 screens.  In 2011, 152,000 people attended the festival and 386 movies were shown.  The international line-up usually includes the pick of the world’s top film fests and many undiscovered gems.

Tell me, Diane, what is special about VIFF.

At Vancouver Film Festival, you can enjoy the largest selection of East Asian films outside of that region, and the Festival is one of the biggest showcases of Canadian film in the world.  Furthermore, VIFF has one of the a largest nonfiction program outside of a Documentary Film Festival.

Oh, really?  So, Diane, are you watching many movies during the festival?

Yes, I am—as many as possible.  How about you, Kato?

Well … I’ll leave for Tokyo at the beginning of October, and I’ve got to prepare for the journey.  So I can’t see any of the movies at the festival.

Too bad!

But I’ve been enjoying my own international film festival.

You gotta be kidding.

No, I’m not.  I’m dead serious.  Look at the fowllowing list:


“Actual Collection Page”

I see… So, Kato, you’ve watched the above movies lately, haven’t you?

Yes, I have.


The President’s Last Bang

(full movies – Part 6 of 11)

This is a 2005 satiric black comedy directed by Im Sang-soo about the events leading to and the aftermath of the assassination of Korean President Park Chung-hee by his close friend and Korean Intelligence Agency director Kim Jae-kyu.
The fictional portrayal of the former President has raised a storm of controversy, leading to a suit against the film by Park Chung-hee’s only son, Park Ji-man.

In 2005, a ruling by the Seoul Central Court ordered that 3 minutes and 50 seconds of documentary footage (mostly of demonstrations) be censored out of the film.
In response, the director had the excised footage replaced with a blank screen for its running time.
During its theatrical run, both nationally and internationally, only the censored version was shown.

The ruling was appealed, and in August 2006 overturned, with the court issuing the following statement: “We must broadly confirm the right of free expression concerning the depiction of public historical figures.”

Despite the taboo-subject, the director dared to show what happened in the political coup.
Although I admire his courage to challenge the taboo, it is a pity that the director didn’t show what really happened in the mind of Director Kim who actually shot the president.
I’d rather like to see its documentary instead of the black comedy.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

I don’t like political dramas very much.

I know, I know … You’re a devoted Christian, and you don’t like much violence, do you?

No, I don’t.  Now, I notice you watched “The Jesus Film.”

Yes, I did.


The Jesus Film 1979

(full movies 2 hours)

This is a 1979 drama co-directed by Australian Peter Sykes, Britons John Heyman and John Krisch and filmed in Israel.
It is said that, as of 2003, the film had been seen over 4.7 billion people in 236 nations.
I didn’t know that there are so many nations on the Globe.

The film has been translated into more languages than any film in history—amazingly, more than 800 languages.
This DVD version has 8 languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean.

According to The New York Times, this film is likely the most-watched motion picture of all time.
The Los Angeles Times called it a “…dull Sunday-School treatment of the life of Christ, meticulously but unimaginatively culled from Luke 3-24.”

Although the directors seem to have paid a meticulous attention to historical authenticity, all the miracles look quite unbelievable to the scientific mind.
Well, you can judge it by yourself.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

So, Kato, you don’t believe in miracles, do you?

Yes, I do, but not those depicted in the above film.

By the way, how did you like the wild child?

Oh, too sad a story!


Secret of the Wild Child part 1

This is a 55-minute documentary originally broadcast on NOVA in 1994.
Genie is the pseudonym of a feral child who was the victim of extraordinarily severe abuse, neglect and social isolation, making her one of the most well-known cases recorded in the annals of abnormal child psychology.

Her abuse came to the attention of Los Angeles child welfare authorities on November 4, 1970, when she was 13 years old.
Her mother was herself abused by her dominant husband who committed suicide.
Thinking that Genie was born mentally retarted, her parents locked her in a room where she was sit alone, day after day, strapped to a potty chair, with little more than bare walls to look at.
Genie was severely under-developed, unable to talk and barely able to walk.

Genie’s case has been compared extensively with that of Victor of Aveyron, an 18th-century French “Wild Child” who similarly became a classic case of late language acquisition and delayed development.
The film shows some footages from a 1970 French film “Wild Child” by director François Truffaut.

Despite some improvement under professional care, it is unfortunate and profoundly sad to know that Genie experienced further physical and emotional abuse during the stay in the institutions for disabled adults, where she was severely punished for vomitting.
Her newly acquired language and behavioral skills regressed rapidly.
As of 2008, she was again speechless.
What a pity!

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

So, Genie’s remained speechless since 2008, has she?

Yes, I assume so.

How did you like “Mao’s Last Dancer”?

I liked it very much.  It was about cultural differences.


Mao’s Last Dancer (Official Trailer)

This is a 2009 Australian biographical film based on a true story of ballet dancer Li Cunxin.
It starts in the year of 1972, when the 11-year-old Chinese boy lives in a rural village commune in Shandong Province during the Mao’s Cultural Revolution.
As often occurred in those times, government officials fanning out across the nation seeking young candidates for centralized training arrive at this school.
At first bypassed but selected after a plea by his teacher during the school visit, Li seems bewildered although piqued by the gruff preliminary inspection screening at the provincial capital city of Qingdao.

Beating impossible odds with his hard work, Li is chosen to go to the States to join the Houston Ballet as an exchange student.
Li’s encounters with US life gradually change his way of thinking and he begins a relationship with an aspiring American dancer, Elizabeth Mackey.
Li now wants to get an extension in America, but the Chinese government refuses.
Overwhelmed by the opportunities offered in America and in love with Mackey, Li is determined to stay.
With legal advice that the Chinese government would recognize certain residence rights arising from an international marriage, Li and Mackey rush into a marriage.
To declare personal responsibility for his decision and hopefully avoid consequences for his family, Li visits the Chinese Consulate in Houston.

The Chinese resident diplomat forcibly detains Li in attempt to coerce his return to China.
Unknown to Li, the situation quickly evolves when the media and high level government agents both in the US and China become involved.

Now he must risk everything to remain in the free country.
It is an emotionally-charged, fascinating and tear-jerking epic tale of a peasant boy who becomes a world-renowned ballet dance.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

This movie has something to do with politics, huh?

NO, no, no… In essence, it is like a East-meets-West-type of movie.

Kato, did you see “Angels: Good or Evil”?

Yes, I did.

So, you’re getting into Christianity, aren’t you?

Yes, yes, yes … Diane, as a devoted Christian, you believe in angels, don’t you?  So, I watched the following movie simply because I’d like to know more about you.


History Channel – Angels: Good or Evil

(full movies 87 minutes)

This is a 2003 90-minute History-Channel documentary that offers all sides of the debate surrounding these mythical, mystical, ethereal entities.
Much of what we think we know about angels is at odds with their long and curious history.
Hebraic, Christian, and Muslim scripture all describes angels and demons, yet each offers a slightly different version.

In search of a definitive portrait, this film traces the history of these winged beings, exploring their lineage from the ancient Egyptians and the Greco-Romans to today.
You can listen to firsthand accounts of those who claim to have encountered angels and hear experts grapple with their mysterious legacies.

Can you believe that an angel came to save a woman who was tottally engulfed by a dormitory fire?
She recounts to you how she was saved by the mysterious angel.
I doubt, but it is actually worth watching.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

Can you believe in angels now, Kato?

Sadly, the film couldn’t convince me.

The next movie sounds interesting.

Yes, it does, but It is such a shocking movie.


Dearly Departed (Official Trailer)

This is a 2009 tour-guide-type 84-minute documentary guided by Scott Michaels.
He introduces to you some locations where the most infamous murders, suicides and bizarre crimes took place.
Although celebrity scandals, deaths and murders in Hollywood are quite eye-catching, this documentary is superficial, not definitely investigative as I expected.

Only execption is the case of “The Black Dahlia,” which is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles history.
“The Black Dahlia” was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 – c. January 15, 1947), an American woman who was the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder.
She was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.

Short’s unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story, which is quite new to me, though.
Her face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears, creating an effect called the Glasgow smile.
Short also had multiple cuts on her thigh and breasts, where entire portions of flesh had been removed.
The body had been washed and cleaned and had been “posed” with her hands over her head, her elbows bent at right angles, and her legs spread.
The cause of death was hemorrhage from the lacerations to the face and shock due to blows on the head and face.
Her stomach contained some feces which, Michaels says, she was forced to eat before her death.
The film shows the gruesome picture of her corpse.
It is simply amazing and profoundly horrendous!

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

It sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does.

Instead, I’d rather watch bananas.

Bananas!* (trailer)

This is 2009 97-minute Swedish documentary directed by Fredrik Gertten about a conflict between the Dole Food Company and banana plantation workers in Nicaragua over alleged cases of sterility caused by the pesticide DBCP.
Representing 12 Nicaraguan banana workers, Juan Dominguez sues Dole, the world’s largest agricultural producer, for allegedly exposing thousands of field workers to a banned pesticide known to cause sterility.
One third of the production cost of a banana goes to pesticides.

Faced with a gruelling uphill battle, the dtermined lawyer tries to beat the odds and bring this modern day Goliath to justice.
The film was criticized by Dole for containing “patent falsehoods.”
Dole appealed all verdicts in the case and accused Juan Dominguez of fabricating evidence.

On April 23, 2009, Judge Chaney dismisses all Nicaraguan cases pending before her, citing serious fraud allegations.
Judge Chaney says, “We’ll never know if anybody in Nicaragua was actually injured or harmed by the alleged wrongful conduct of the defendants (Dole), and people will never have the opportunity to learn … the truth.”

Juan Dominguez is fighting all charges of fraud against him.
After a screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2009, Gertten was sued for defamation by Dole on 8 July, 2009.
The lawsuit was preceded by threats of legal action from Dole aimed against the LA Film Festival.
These threats resulted in sponsors pulling support and the film being removed from competition.
Dole dropped their lawsuit against Fredrik Gertten and Bananas!* on 15 October 2009.

In late 2010 a court in Los Angeles decided in favor of the movie crew, making it possible to release the film in the USA.
A judge awarded the filmmakers nearly $200,000 in fees and costs.
This is such a gripping, rage-inducing and heart-wrenching film that you would also like to tell your friends to watch.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

I don’t like political stuff.  The above film has nothing to do with banana diet, doesn’t it?

Well… so, Diane, you wanna watch banana diest, eh?  In this case, watch the following movie—“Mother Teresa.”

I can see that you’re really getting into Christianity.

Yes, I’d like to know more about you since you’re a devoted Christian like Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa

(full movie 82 minutes)

This is a 1986 82-minute documentary produced and directed by Jeanette Petrie.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries.
They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; children’s and family counseling programmes; orphanages; and schools.

Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give “wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.”
This inspiring film is considered the definitive portrait of the 1979 Nobel Peace winner, Mother Teresa.
Shot on the run over a period of 5 years in 10 countries on 4 continents, this film follows Mother Teresa into the world’s most troubled spots.
It is such an inspiring and thought-provoking film that it certainly moves your spirit and lifts your soul.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

So, Kato, you now understnd what Chrisianity is all about, don’t you?

Yes, I think I do.

Since you’re going to Japan, Kato, you can see none of the festival movies.  So, on your behalf I think I can see whatever you wanna see.  Which one do you wanna watch?

Diane, you’re very considerate.  You might just as well see the following movie for me.


Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son (Japan, 133 min.)

Koreeda HIrokazu’s prize-winner asks: what if two male babies were accidentally switched at birth and, six years later, the parents decided to restore the boys to their “rightful” homes?

The conundrum is a clever pretext for a study of differences in class, temperament and the ability to love.

Winner, Jury Prize, Cannes 2013

Sat. Oct 5, 1:00 PM, Playhouse
Tue. Oct 8, 6:30 PM, Centre for Arts

Page 137 of “The Georgia Straight”
Sept. 19-26/2013

It sounds quite interesting.  I can’t promise, but I’ll do my best to see the above movie on your behalf.

I’d really appreciate that.  Once I’ll be back from Japan, you might just as well tell me about the whole story.

I’ll keep it in mind.


【Himiko’s Monologue】

I like a film about natural disasters among all the movies in the above list.

Natural Disasters

National Geographic Classics

This is a nearly six-hour-long documentary about natural disasters.
Disc One contains two programs: Storm of the Centry and Violent Earth.
Disc Two has two programs: Drowning New Orleans and Tornado Intercept.
Disc Three also shows two programs: Avalance—The White Death and Tsunami—Killer Wave.

It is such a fascinating and informative film that you should be able to prepare yourself for all those natural disasters.
The “Tornado Intercept” is quite thrilling and interesting because an enthusiastic twister chaser has created a huge tank-like vehicle so that he could get into the center of tornado to film an unprecedented inside look.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

It really sounds thrilling and exciting!

In any case, I hope Kato will write another interesting article soon.
So please come back to see me.

Have a nice day!
Bye bye …



If you’ve got some time,

Please read one of the following artciles:


“Bliss for Diane!”

“Romantic Bohemian”

“TD Bank or Mozart?”

“Diane@TD Bank”

“Tear Jerker”

“Diane in Chorus Line”

“Pork or Friend?”


“Easter Bloopers”

“Beauty is Heart-deep”

“Romance@South Pacific”

“Art Gallery”

“Diane Hypatia”

“Cherry and Silk”

“Price of Your Life”

“Elephant Cries”

“Banana @ Eden”


“Go Bananas”


“Stanley Boardwalk”

“With Your Tiger”

“A Second World”

“Asexual Thought”


“Stanley 125 Years”

“Sushi @ the Globe”

“Peace@Syria & Pentagon”

“Sweet Memory”



Hi, I’m June Adams.

There have been at least five mass extinctions in the history of life on earth, and four in the last 3.5 billion years in which many species have disappeared in a relatively short period of geological time.

The massive eruptive event is considered to be one likely cause of the “Great Dying” about 250 million years ago, which is estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time.

There is also evidence to suggest this event was preceded by another mass extinction known as Olson’s Extinction.

The Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event occurred 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period and is best known for having wiped out non-avian dinosaurs, among many other species.

Cause of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction?

Many scientists believe that a comet or meteor triggered the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

You might wonder if another comet collides with the Earth in the near future.

Super Comet After the Impact

This is a 2007 speculative documentary produced by ZDF and the Discovery Channel.
It was directed by Stefan Schneider.
The 84-minute film hypothesizes the effects on modern-day earth of a large comet impacting in Mexico near the same location of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, the ancient impact of a comet or meteor that is believed to have triggered the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

It alternates between interviews with climatologists and researchers and dramatized scenes following several groups of people as they attempt to survive in the days and months after the disaster: a separated family in France, a pair of scientists in Hawaii, a man who manages to survive for a period of time near the ground zero impact in Mexico, and a tribe in Cameroon.
It is such a thrilling, exciting and profoundly astounding docu-drama that you would forget to take a pee during the show.

SOURCE: “Kato’s comment on the DVD”

The film seems quite fascinating and interesting.
If there is a rental shop around you, why don’t rent the above DVD?









『軽井沢タリアセン夫人 – 小百合物語』






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