Winners, Losers, and Survivors: A Crime Blog [The City of Violence]

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If, after watching The Chaser, you felt like killing yourself, this film should lift your spirits. Instead of looking at Asian crime action films of a darker subject matter, I’ll look at one that is just plain fun, bright, and fast paced, which tends to obscure its very heavy subject matter. Seung-wan Ryoo’s The City of Violence (2006) is a light-hearted gangster film, about former friends fighting to the death over the fate of their hometown. Continue reading

Cover Story: The Moon Song

The sky was an ugly shade of grey. There was a woman screaming in the distance somewhere, like someone had died or like she was dying or something inconvenient like that. The buildings had been burning for hours, and the soft blue lights from the wispy clouds continued to move gently over people panicking in the streets, calming their writhing motions and quickly dissipating the atoms of their flesh. The black-clothed, stoic figures continued to move down the streets of the falling city in lines, their metal guns in hand. Continue reading

PICKUP REAL: SWORD OF DOOM

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The Sword of Doom is a brutal 1966 samurai film made by Kihachi Okamoto. It’s sanguine, dark, and brilliantly shot by Hiroshi Murai. It’s not a terribly high brow movie and definitely not a sterling example of jidaigeki (period pieces focusing around samurai) but it contains brilliant moments of “real grunt-and-groan sword-swinging” (as the 1967 New York time review says.) This same article referred to the Tarrantino-esque climax at the end of the film as being the most “chop-choppingest climax, ever.” And this scene is without a doubt really good: paper screens sliced through into tatters, sprays of bitumen-black blood dappling tatami mats, kimonos ripping, keen blades whistling through the air. The voyage however, leading up to this particular scene is slightly ill-plotted (mostly because it was planned to be many movies based on a episodic novel), but overall immensely entertaining. Continue reading

Here’s the Dish: Andytown

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Top of the morning fellow advent foodies! Welcome to the new installment of Here’s the Dish. Have you ever spent an absurd amount of time deciding where to get a nice cup of joe? If so, have no fear because you’ve come to the right place! Since San Francisco has a plethora of cafes within a one-mile radius of wherever you are, I’ve decided to try a few coffee shops in a specific district. In this mini-series, I will be focusing on the ever-so-gloomy Sunset district. What better way to fight the foggy weather than to indulge in a hot steaming drink? Continue reading

The View From Here: Inspiration Point

DSCN2845This week’s question: Where is your favorite place in the city? Why?

 “The overlook on Arguello, just over the Presidio. The view is the best, because when you’re there, everything is covered by trees except the bay. When you stand there, it’s like the city doesn’t exist. All you have to do is stand there and watch the water and the bridge and the ships passing through.”

– Wilson, San Francisco resident Continue reading

Thrifty Business: The Richmond

Originally, I planned on thrifting over the weekend at a store in my neighborhood, but a multitude of work and tests prevented that from happening. Instead, I stopped by the Goodwill on Clement after school with my friend, to make up for my lack of thrifting over the weekend. My previous visits to this Goodwill, were okay, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. This time around, however, I was surprised by how well organized the store has become.  All the dresses and tops were organized by color and the bottoms were organized by size. I got there with my friend just 45 minutes before they were closing and we were both able to find things we loved. Continue reading