14 June, 2012

Let Me Turn My Chair Backwards (We Need to Talk)


Hey kids, I don't normally use this blog to talk about real issues. I usually just dick around, but I was recently made aware of the Look East Festival by a friend of mine and I was reminded of something that has been troubling me for a long time in movies (and not that A Bittersweet Life has been around for seven years and I won't have gotten around to seeing it until this film festival). And it was then that I realized that I've been shirking my responsibility as both a blogger of importance and an integral pillar of the community. I need to talk about some serious things. We need to talk about some serious things.

We need to talk about hammer crime.

Yes, that's right. Every year literally tens of fictional characters are killed or wounded with hammers. Some hammers, some not, some without even names. And we need to make our voices heard and put a stop to this senseless form of tool-based violence.

Dracula, perhaps the patron saint of hammer crime.
Er, no, wait. No. Sorry. Wrong kind of Hammer crime. (Though they are using a hammer to put that stake into Dracula. Note to self: Investigate Hammer hammer violence further. Also, under what statutes is killing a dracula a crime? Is the burden of proof on the state or the vampire slayer?)

 
Watch out, Korean mook, there is a hammer on the loose!
Most memorably though, we have to go back to Korea in Oldboy, which not only has one of the most egregious hammer fights of all time, but one of the most brilliantly shot and edited hammer fights, making its sins even more heinous. After all, a hammer fight in a hallway is one thing, but it is quite another to hide behind the precepts of art. Have you no shame, Chan-Wook Park?

I'd go on and on about what makes this one scene in the movie so fantastic, but it'd just read like a list so instead I'd just recommend that you never watch Oldboy except under the strict auspices of learning about hammer and hammer-related crime.

Also, was there any hammer murders in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance? I don't know. Probably! I can't remember! Their were tarps! And bizarre editing choices! That seems damning enough for my tastes!

Then there's The Chaser where most, if not all, of the deaths are hammer related. What's going on, Korea? You got nothing but hammers going into people's heads! That's not what hammers were invented! They're invented for building houses! And cracking nuts! People aren't nuts, they're people!

Beautiful? Yes. Dangerous? Oh, you better believe it.
But the problem doesn't end with that! Oh no, it's crossed the Pacific as is documented in the dangerously stylish Drive. You think it's cool for the guy from The Notebook to bash up a skuzzy strip club owner? Maybe it is, but maybe someday you'll be dressed in a track suit telling a future porn actress to put a sponge in there because she's losing him money and then who will watch out for you? The Goz? Nope. Not him. Too late. You had your chance and now he's hitting you with a hammer and maybe he's not going to stop.

I even podcasted about it.

Then there's London Boulevard, which not only features several instances of hammer crime, but is also a cinematic crime. How can we live in such a world? How can we hand this world off to our children? How will the returning ancient Mayan space-gods devour their essences when they live in a world where such things can come to pass. I don't even think we deserve to be destroyed by returning ancient Mayan space-gods, I just want to vomit. I want to die and I want to vomit and I don't even care who cleans up the mess.

Now, besides making you aware of one thing, this blog entry did have a point, which is that I am going to go see A Bittersweet Life at the Look East Festival and I would recommend that you do, as well (There are other movies, one being hosted by an awesome professor I had, but none of them have a chain-smoking hitman in a tailored suit with serious Le Samourai inflections, so, there you are). I've wanted to see it for quite a long time, but it's never been available (legally) in the United States, so I am going to strike (symbolically) while the iron is hot (also symbolically).

(Oh, hey, the director of A Bittersweet Life also directed The Good, the Bad, and the Weird! That's fun.)

Does it have hammer crime? I don't know! Only time will tell. But if there is I plan to be writing a letter to both Korean governments lodging my complaints. What is acceptable is if some full blown gun fire goes into some peoples' faces. I'll let you guys know on the 23rd when the festival starts. Until then keep your conscience clean and your tool belt buckled.