Resurrection of the Little Match Girl

Discussion in 'Asian General Cinema' started by Midori no Saru, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. Midori no Saru Invoker of Azarak

    I missed this film at the London Film Festival (I was blinded to the other choices by the presence of BRII).

    Anyhow, the write-up looked interesting, so I bought it. It is excellent. It is influenced by "The Matrix", but less like "Equilibrium", and more like a kind of vivid, extremely playful magic realism that blurs the boundaries between reality and illusion to an even greater extent than "Avalon" does. In terms of spiritual and philosophical depth, it is much closer to "The Matrix" than "Avalon": i.e., in the words of Andy Warhol, look at its surfaces, and there you will find it. However, although it borrows much from the Matrix, it surpasses it, and leaves the whole trilogy behind. As sheer art of form, color, movement, and excitement it is unequalled among cyberpunk films apart from, perhaps, Ghost in the Shell. Not as spiritually engaging as "avalon" but beautiful visually: watch it if you can.

    By the way: don't be fooled by the low key start: the film is dynamite. And check out Lara Croft in this film: astonishing! :)
  2. Yani The Observer

    Unfortunately I have to disagree. The first hour is good (check out that Leon and finnish girlduo Nylon Beat singing in english at some points :lol:) but the second one... didn't like. This movie tries to be too much I think. Howerer, it still remains watchable and rentable because of its not-so usual plot. But funny characters :wink:
  3. Thanks for the opinions! I've been reading about this one, and was thinking about picking it up myself. One of those I will probably get to eventually, after I knock a few others off my list. :)
  4. Vertigo Guest

    I've been reading a lot about this one for a wee while now (on and off the forum) and most of the reviews I have come across have been very positive and not far away from what Midori has said above (and he's been right on the money with everything I've read so far) so I'm going to pick this one up soon.

    From what I can see, the only official DVD available so far is one from a company called Enter One and appears to be without english subs. As usual, ebay is littered with subbed bootlegs which seem to have been struck from the genuine disc (the cover-art is a giveaway) but the big question is....which one do I go for? there an official subbed release hiding in some dark corner waiting to be discovered....?

    Any ideas learned friends? Any help would, as always, be much appreciated.

  5. Midori no Saru Invoker of Azarak

    The one I got was this one:

    Match Girl

    Hopefully they're still offering the same one because I found this to be very good. The subs are good, too, in that they provide translations of explanatory text as well as dialog. Of course I have no way of checking if the translation is good, but the image quality is good and all the extras are there, with full access from the menu. 5.1 and DTS soundtracks are there. I don't know if there are two layers but I suspect there might be as there is a momentary freeze about half way through.

    However, as for the film... I tend to love a lot of films that lots of other people dislike a lot. For example I liked St. John's Wort. Also, although I love Resurrection of the Little Match Girl, half of the rest of the world most emphatically does not. So I hesitate to recommend it to you if you happen to be strapped for cash.

    However, I like the film a lot more than the Matrix, although it borrows heavily in some places. However, it takes the ideas of VR and computer games, and has more fun with them than any other film I have seen. For example, the mackerel gun I found hilarious. But then we are in a computer game right? - so why not have a gun which is also a mackerel and can swim back to its owner? I also love the way the film is in part a piece of cinema terrorism, where one can use a much lower budget, yet create something more interesting. However, the film does go on a bit, and is a bit pretentious (the director is an art house director) so I fear you may be cursing me after you have bought it :)
  6. Vertigo Guest

    Thanks for the Midori - -I have place an order. I really like the look of this. And thanks again for the info.

  7. Midori no Saru Invoker of Azarak

    I hope you like it Vertigo, though there is a reasonable chance that you may not. I think it is a much underrated film, but shows what fun you can have with the ideas of cyberpunk, and it is certainly far more inventive than all of the Matrices put together.

    In terms of cyberpunk films that I like, I would put them in this order (best to less good)

    Match Girl

    All of these are miles better than "The Matrix", in my very humble opinion.
  8. Vertigo Guest

    From what I've seen so far - screencaps and plot shots...I think I'll like this one.

    Thanks again Mid.
  9. Vertigo Guest

    My 'Match Girl' DVD arrived this morning. I haven't watched it all yet but I like what I've seen so far.

    Basically I just wanted to thank Midori for yet another spot-on recommendation.

  10. Midori no Saru Invoker of Azarak

    Thanks V. The second half doesn't quite live up to the promise of the first half, but then it would have a great deal of difficulty doing that!

    Just two words for you: Ave Maria! Heh heh heh! :twisted:

    The most in-depth review of the film I have seen is here:
    Match girl on www_koreanfilm_org
    You'll have to scroll down a bit...
  11. Vertigo Guest

    Okaydokey...finished watching this. I absolutely loved it!

    Again, as is my usual practise, I'm not about to start ruining the plot for folks here - it would be hard anyway...the forum doesn't have that much space. But this is my MUST-SEE movie of the month....and it's only the 4th (of course that'll likely all change with LOTR on the 17th)....

    This is a very involving, hilariously funny, extremely touching, action packed movie which , as Midori so accurately said earlier, has much more to offer on the subject of perceived reality etc than all The Matrix movies combined. I have to disagree on the views that the latter half of the film was weaker than the first half. I could see how one could come to this conclusion though. The tone of the film does shift somewhat around midway through but I didn't find it diminished my enjoyment of it. I actually found it to be a natural (if there could be such a thing in this movie) progression of the storyline. Sure there are a few awkward bits here and there but the sheer charm of this movie glossed over them for me at least.

    A heeeeeuge thanks to Midori for flagging this one up in the first place. Cheers!
  12. Del Demoni Guest

    I liked the film very much. It reminded me of the alternate realities that my favorite writer, Philip K. Dick, wrote so often about.
  13. Midori no Saru Invoker of Azarak

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Vertigo!

    Philip K Dick predates cyberpunk, but he may be the father of it?...

    I have more to say about this film than I can do in one post, but here's a start...

    When I saw Existenz, I was astonished at the handling of the whole "levels of reality" thing. When I saw "THe Matrix" I loved the whole wire fu and slow motion bullet phenomenon, but they didn't have the insight to put in more than two levels of "reality", one of them clearly the real world. The problem with the Matrix is that the concept was just too silly: Aliens using brain power for electric power... they would have to put in more energy than they were getting out, and anyway, the only really interesting world seems to be inside the Matrix. Whenever the movie series entered the real world it all got a bit too much like Waterworld...

    Anyway, when I saw Avalon I was blown away be the concept. The game player was in a world that looked real, and then competed in a game that was slightly less real, but clues were put in the film to show that the "real" world was not real either (non-player characters who don't move, books with blank pages, a pet dog that may or may not be there).


    We then move to a world called "class real" which looks like our own world, but it turns out that this is not real either. Once the main character (Ash) completes the game, it loops back to the beginning, with the words "Welcome to Avalon." Words that are aimed at the main character, but also at the movie audience as they grab their coats and head for the door.

    Genius, I thought. There is no reality. As Mamoru Oshii himself stated, cinema is virtual reality in itself, so there is no necessity for a "real" world. How can The Matrix top that? I thought... I was hoping they would do something similar in the sequels. Well they didn't as we all know: they probably didn't have the guts.

    So where is "The Resurrection of the Little Match Girl" on this continuum? It is different in having an almost seamless continuum between levels of "reality." You hardly notice when you are moving from real world to game and vice versa. There is even a daydream scene early in the film, which may hint at the "game" parts of the film being a kind of "daydream reality" that maps on to events in the "real world" that we never see. Alternatively, there may be no real world, as in "Avalon," but the fluid transition between reality and game takes the ideas behind Avalon and takes them one stage further.

    Did anybody notice the vague similarity between the Mackerel gun and the Gristle Gun in Existenz? :)
  14. Midori no Saru Invoker of Azarak

    Again, sorry tho double post, but this bit of text from might shed some light on the ending of the film:

    "Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming that I am now a man. "

    I believe this is from an old Taoist text... or somewhere like that.
  15. Vertigo Guest

    Thanks for the info Midori. That is interesting. I've set this one aside for another viewing at some point this week.
  16. Yani The Observer

    I read today the original short story "Little Match Girl" by H.C.Andersen. The story is so touching and reminded me to watch this one again. :p And this one is released soon here.
  17. Yani The Observer

    I don't remember this one from the actual film, but... the trailer I saw on 'The Blue Light' DVD... the "game menus" in the trailer were direct copies of Xbox system menus, with the same effects and all. The just had placed 'Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl' stuff on the icons. :lol: It fits the mood of the movie though... :unsure:

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