casualwastrel

casualwastrel

I log films on here after watching them.
Sometimes I write shit about them.
Yep.

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  • The Hotel Venus

    The Hotel Venus

    ★★

    Only watched this because the poster resembled Asyl: Park and Love Hotel, so I was hoping for a similar vibe.

    This one is a complete slog though. Most of the dialogue is so drawn out that it's inevitable for the performances to come across as hammy beyond belief. The drab aesthetic is supposed to magnify the characters' hopelessness, but it lacks any subtlety. Everything is grey because they're unhappy, get it?

    The music is so fucking unbearable as well. The same few songs feel as if they're on an endless loop.

    So yeah, this is a pretty insufferable melodrama.

  • Still Life of Memories

    Still Life of Memories

    ★★★

    While this is certainly a laudable exploration on identity and desire, it's also way too inscrutable on pretty much every level. The initial premise is compelling because it raises the possibility of revelation through dismantling the self. That never really happens though as the film mainly just goes in circles.

    The real highlight is from Isao, whose masterful framing creates a sense of forlorn alienation that the narrative lacks. It's inquisitive without being ostentatious. If Hitoshi keeps working with him, all is good.

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  • Tremble All You Want

    Tremble All You Want

    ★★★★

    This is primarily a welcome excuse for Mayu Matsuoka to emanate the most charm possible, which works exceedingly well. It's been pointed out that the story isn't the most original. A young woman cannot let go of a past crush while a new suitor in her life waits for his moment to shine. The synopsis sounds incredibly overdone and more akin to the fluff that Takahiro Miki churns out nowadays.

    However, Tremble All You want excels for a number of…

  • All About Lily Chou-Chou

    All About Lily Chou-Chou

    ★★★★★

    The mesmerizing music and stunning visuals make All About Lily Chou-Chou one of the most powerful viewing experiences in all its unbridled melancholy. This sentiment is only intensified upon repeat viewings once you become more immersed in the story's unconventional structure. There are sequences where one cannot help but feel deeply involved in the characters' emotional turmoil as they confront the unbelievably cruel world that surrounds them.

    At first, Iwai's narrative can feel too aimless and meandering (hence why a…