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"A Dirty Carnival"

June 11, 2008

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There’s a couple of typos I need to have fixed in it, but check out my rave review of A Dirty Carnival, a self-reflexive gangster film from Korean poet-turned-director Yun Ha that defies everything expectation you might have about a self-reflexive gangster film — there’s nothing glib here. This is a remarkable piece of work that stands comparison with The Departed (which I thought was superior to the Hong Kong gangster film it was based on, Infernal Affairs) or any other recent crime movie you care to mention — or any other recent movie, period.

Brutally violent and deeply emotional, both sentimental and cynical — Billy Wilder never made a straight gangster film, but if he had, it’s spirit would have been a little like this one, though there’s also definitely a bit of John Woo (in his Bullet in the Head phase) and Sam Pekinpah in the mix as well. Maybe a bit of Jean-Pierre Melville (who influenced Woo, but still).

Speaking of great directors, I mention in the review that an American remake seems almost inevitable, for better or worse. I doubt Martin Scorsese would want to do another remake of an Asian gangster flick any time soon, but he might be a little bit tempted by this one. Among other reasons, the title, literally translated, is Mean Streets. And here’s a very good trailer (unsubtitled).

And here’s something from that other Mean Streets. (Might not be safe for work — exotic dancers in pasties and some racially charged dialog.)

From → entertainment

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