save the green planet!

another korean film. i was tempted to place it in the “recently watched genre films” thread but i am having a hard time coming up with a genre for this: science fiction? comedy? horror? police procedural? love story? all these and more are mashed up unpredictably in this film and the tone shifts as abruptly and yet organically. a young man, who seems increasingly deranged, is convinced that aliens from andromeda are among us and preparing to destroy the planet. he kidnaps a sleazy industrialist who he believes is one of the key players in this plan and begins a very specific program of torture/questioning to get him to divulge the details. or is something else going on? is he in fact taking revenge on the industrialist (and maybe others) for things done to him and his family in the past? this is what the industrialist claims as he begins to turn the tables on his captors (oh right, i forgot to mention that our protagonist is being helped by his lover, a not-all-there tight-rope walker from what seems like a very low-budget circus). meanwhile, the police circle–including the wonderfully loopy detective chu played by our own hungarian, mark mauer (see below).
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a few recently watched genre films

looper. pretty good but a little overhyped, i think.

lockout. yes, it is escape from new york in space. and yes, it’s a luc besson production. but goddammit, guy pearce is magnificent as a knowing action star knock-off. worth watching for that reason alone. alas there are as few people of colour in the future in this film as in looper.

sorum. a south korean film, billed as horror, and certainly utilizing many horror film tropes but not really a horror film; or at least you’ll be disappointed if you come expecting genre goosebumps. but it is really quite good, with some great performances and a very bleak view of lives on the fringes of global capitalism and the dislocations and ruptures of community attendant on it.