Got to Be Like Miike

And maybe a little Imamura too

If not for Hong Kong exploitation films, master movie plagiarist Quentin Tarantino would still be working at a video-rental store. If not for Bollywood, a billion fans of high-end motion pictures would be lost, unable, of course, to rely on Hollywood for anything exceeding schlock. Despite the staggering financial aspects, Asia has it all over the United States when it comes to cinema, providing one example of how the “global” concept is Ameri-centrist nonsense. We are not the world, just one planetary player. The Miami Beach Cinematheque shines the light on achievements in Japanese filmmaking all month with its pairing of works by the late master Shohei Imamura and current hotshot Takashi Miike, and on how directors in various parts of the world cinematized an American tragedy, with tonight's Miami premiere of “11'09"01 -- September 11.” Beginning at 8:30, the latter includes Imamura’s entry in French producer Alain Brigand’s collection of eleven films -- each required to be eleven minutes nine seconds plus one frame in length -- by auteurs from Israel, Egypt, Iran, India, and other nations. Length is the only restriction -- Imamura’s take is said to be especially powerful and, of course, controversial. Tomorrow at 8:00 p.m., “Musings by Two Great Directors” resumes with Imamura’s The Pornographers, an irony-defining and surrealism-touched tale of a man who sincerely believes it to be his mission to provide porn to all. Though it forgoes actual sex, the movie shocked 1966 audiences, and remains surprising for its technique alone. It is followed at 10:15 by Miike’s City of Lost Souls, which mixes cocaine with a Japanese-Brazilian (guy) and Chinese (gal) couple in a high-stylized piece that draws its irony from references to Hollywood (and even Tarantino specifically, a joke that works on many levels). Tickets range from $6 to $12. Call 305-673-4567, or visit www.mbcinema.com.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: July 7. Continues through July 28

 
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