Tuesday, December 16, 2008


My poll 40 ended with nine votes. Thanks very much to everyone who participated in it. Here is the result:


1.FUNNY GAMES (1997, Michael Haneke, Austria)
+THE MIST (2007, Frank Darabont, USA)
Each of them got 4 votes or 44 %.

3.DOGVILLE (2003, Las von Trier, Denmark)
+DIE NIBELUNGEN (1924, Fritz Lang, Germany)
+THE SON (2002, Jean-Pierre Dardenne + Luc Dardenne, Belgium)
+SURIYOTHAI (2001, Chatrichalerm Yukol, Thailand)
Each of them got 3 votes, or 33 %.

7. GOOD LAWYER’S WIFE (2003, Im Sang-soo, South Korea)
+M (1931, Fritz Lang, Germany)
Each of them got 2 votes, or 22 %.

9.UN ABOLITIONNISTE (2001, Joel Calmettes, France)
+THE COLOR OF LIES (1999, Claude Chabrol, France)
+FREVEL (1983, Peter Fleischmann, West Germany)
+LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008, Tomas Alfredson, Sweden)
+LONESOME DOVE TV SERIES (1989, Simon Wincer, USA)
+NIGHTFALL (1999, Fred Kelemen, Germany)
+THE REFLECTING SKIN (1990, Philip Ridley, UK)
+RUNNING SCARED (2006, Wayne Kramer, USA)
+SOPHIE’S CHOICE (1982, Alan J. Pakula, USA)
+UNINVITED (2003, Lee Su-yeon, South Korea)
Each of them got 1 vote, or 11 %.

19.SMALL SACRIFICES (1989, David Greene, USA)
+SUCH IS LIFE (1999, Arturo Ripstein, Mexico)
Each of them got 0 vote.

--I assume that most films don’t show child killing onscreen, because it is one of the worst things in the world. In M, we only see the balloon that the child held floating into the sky. In THE SON, we only hear the story of the murder, but see nothing of the crime. What we see in THE SON is what happens after the crime was committed many years ago.

There are also some films which deal with child kidnappers and murderers, though these films don’t show us the crimes. This kind of films include FLIGHT OF THE INNOCENT (1993, Carlo Carlei, Italy), BATTLE IN HEAVEN (2005, Carlos Reygadas, Mexico), MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974, Sidney Lumet, UK), IN DREAMS (1998, Neil Jordan, USA), and CLASS TRIP (1998, Claude Miller, France).

However, some films shows the child killing onscreen, such as the two Korean films A GOOD LAWYER’S WIFE and UNINVITED, though there is no gore in these scenes.

The killing in A GOOD LAWYER’S WIFE is unexpected for me, because in most films the child character should be saved in time.

--Some Thai films portray child murders, but I don’t include them in my poll, because I don’t like them that much. These Thai films are ZEE-OUI (2004, Buranee Rachjaibun + Nida Suthat Na Ayutthaya, B+) and WHITE MONKEY WARRIOR (HANUMAN KLOOK FOON) (2008, Sakchai Sribonnam, B- )

--As for the accidental death of a child character, the one which makes me feel the saddest maybe the one in A PLACE ON EARTH (2001, Artour Aristakisian, Russia, A++++++++++). This film portrays a group of people who live as a community in a building. In one scene, a sleepy man goes to bed and sleep in a room full of people. He does not notice that he sleeps on a little baby. The baby dies. The mother cries. And my heart is broken.

--My favorite film in this topic may be FREVEL. As I said before, the topic of child killing makes me wonder why some people want to hurt innocent people, and why some Thai supporters of the fascist group called PAD want to trouble many tourists and other innocent travelers. I don’t understand them, and I think I have to accept the fact that human nature is something beyond my understanding.

FREVEL seems to confirm me about this. In this German film, a policeman tries to understand why a woman kills a child. He tries hard to understand this woman, but he tries so hard that he himself becomes insane. At the end of the film, we still don’t know the motivation of the murder.


Matthew Hunt said...

Danny Lee's Bunman: The Untold Story has a notorious scene in which an entire family is killed on camera, including the children.

But the balloon in M is much better!

celinejulie said...

--I haven’t seen BUNMAN:THE UNTOLD STORY (1993), but the film seems very interesting. I think the film might have been shown in Thailand, but I misunderstood at that time that the film is a low-grade horror film, so I didn’t go to see it. I regret it now.

--That scene in M is a real classic. I also like it very much that HITLER: A FILM FROM GERMANY has a scene in tribute to M. I guess CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING may have something in tribute to M, too, because in a scene in CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING, there is a handprint appearing on the back of a character.

I haven’t seen Joseph Losey’s M (1951). I have read that David Wayne gave a great performance in this film, and the use of Los Angeles location in this film is very good.

--As for scenes/stories depicting family killing, the ones that I can’t forget include:

1.LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL (1994, Luc Besson, A+)
A child is also killed in this scene, though it is not shown directly. However, the scene does not make me feel too sad.

We don’t see the killing. The heroine just came home and found that her family is killed, including her son. If I remember it correctly, we don’t know the details. I just assume that it is resulted from a robbery, because the heroine seems to be a rich woman. However, this small flashback scene affects me much more than LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL. I think it is because the heroine’s family is innocent, so the scene makes me afraid that innocent family can be killed like this, too. But the murdered family in LEON is not entirely innocent, so I still feel safe and can tell myself that things like this won’t happen to me.

3.THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006, Alexandre Aja, A-)
The father, mother and pregnant daughter-in-law are brutally killed in this film. I think this killing scene is one of the saddest scenes I have ever seen in horror films. I think it is because most horror films depict the killing of horny teenagers, so I don’t feel too sad watching them. But to see a mother and a pregnant woman being murdered in this film makes me feel very sad. Another factor that makes me feel sad is because the audience has spent some time with these characters and has started to like them before they are killed. It is not like watching a family of strangers being killed. It feels like watching a family of our own neighbors being killed. I think this part of the film is very effective and makes me feel traumatic after watching it.