The Day after Tomorrow (LAlba del Giorno Dopo). The main problem with disaster movies is that once youve had your actual disaster, the surviving characters need to undergo a good hour of really juicy peril in order to keep the audience interested. In The Day After Tomorrow, the stakes are high; director Roland Emmerich trashes the entire northern hemisphere with cataclysmic climate change and a turbo ice age that transforms anything above Mexico into a landscape popsicle. The trouble is, having blown its wad so early, the film has nowhere left to go, and the remaining hour and a half is merely a series of numbing variations on: "Phew, its a bit nippy innit?" This is a serious fault, and all the script doctoring in the world cant make up for the fact that, once the weather calms down, this multi-million dollar event blockbuster is a great big bore even for the most undemanding fan.
Spring, summer, fall, winter... and spring. A Buddhist monk (Oh Young-soo) and his disciple, a young boy, live in an enchanted setting a temple set at the centre of a very still lake high in the mountains of Korea. The boy grows up, makes mistakes, and receives punishment from his master, but all is calm and orderly until a young woman enters the scene a disruption that leads to violence and, eventually, to renewal. Kim Ki-duks movie has a formal grace that is nearly intoxicating; the cinematography revels in the exquisite quiet of the lake, with its natural abundance rendered in a palette of infinitely subtle greys and pale blues. The formal perfection makes one willing to overlook an implicitly priggish rejection of sexuality and the normal glories and temptations of the world outside. And the movies piety is redeemed by a vagrant and rather subversive sense of humour that keeps the ritual of Buddhist discipline fresh and humanly appealing.
The New Yorker
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The Day after Tomorrow.
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