All posts tagged: Crime/Noir

Red Snow Feature Image

Red Snow

Thirty years ago, a young boy disappeared amid mysterious circumstances involving a sociopath, her troubled daughter, and a devastating fire. Today, what is known of the tragedy is shrouded in a morass of clouded and fictionalised memories, stubborn silence, and well-rehearsed lies. When a journalist arrives intent on getting to the bottom of the long-closed case, a tinderbox of pent-up emotions and misplaced guilt ignites; a spiral of violence erupts from the clash of competing histories and debilitating psychological injuries. (Int’l FF Marrakesh) The first thing one will notice about Red Snow is its distinctive palette and cinematography. At face value this accomplishes to provide the crime-centered story a noir aesthetic, but it is also safe to say this director who originally worked in the short film format and in video art was also looking to visualize the muddled nature of human memory at the core of the characters’ psyche also essential to noir. Strong thematics and powerful imagery have been a hallmark for Kai who has co-directed several acclaimed short movies, while her solo directorial shorts have …


Innocent Prayer

“Kill ’em all. I hope he kills everyone.” The tagline for Kamei Toru’s independent movie, Innocent Prayer, based on Hirayama Yumeaki’s short story collection, certainly isn’t mincing words. Only more shocking than the  request itself is the young heart and mind uttering it. Child-abuse and bullying are subject matters often dealt with in movies through varied ways, from over-the-top fantasies of heroism to grave calls to attention for previously unknown injustices. Revenge, of course, is one of the genres employed to achieve an effect, both in fiction and sadly, in real life. With Innocent Prayer, however, there is an interesting wrinkle which deserves notice. A 10-year-old girl, Fumi, is subjected to vicious bullying at school. Even at home, the daily abuse inflicted on her by her step-father worsening day by day, while her mother, seeking a spiritual solace from her husband’s abuse, is sinking deeper into a new religion. With no place for respite nor anyone to help her, Fumi’s endless despair is never-ending. Until one day, she learns of a series of murders occurring …