This film had two very larg asian Directors and then some guy named Fruit Chan. Do not get me wrong Dumplings was not the weak point of the film but it was not the strongest either. My question is why did they not use Sion Sono or someone more well known(for lake of a better word).
I completely dispute that Dumplings was not the strongest part of the trilogy. It’s an incredible opener and it sets a tone and context without which the other two parts would not work as well as they do.
My favourite part of the trilogy is Takashi Miike’s. It had echoes of Bergman. Absolutely stunning.
The Dumplings feature dwarfs the edited version in this anthology. Just sayin’.
I have not seen the feature version. And Dumplings was not the first part, that was Box. I thought the best segment was by far cuts.
Dumplings is the only part I liked.
In the version I saw, it goes Dumplings, Fruit ChanCut, Park Chan-wookBox, Takashi Miike
so Dumplings went first.Box is actually my favorite (yeah, MAO I can also hear those Bergman echoes), although it’s arguably the least extreme of the three. Dumplings I thought excellent for any number of reasons, not least of which is it’s incredibly dark exploration of vanity and narcissism, and some great camerawork early on.
The version I own starts with Box and ends with Cut, with Dumplings in the middle. I second all of Mr. Boo’s thoughts on Dumplings, and I urge him (and everyone else) to check out the feature-length version ASAP. I’m sure the DVD is very cheap by now. It blows the short cut away and alters the story significantly. I think Box is one of Miike’s strongest works, while I found Cut to be Chan-wook’s weakest.
Well I found Cut to be one of the strongest things Park has ever done, passed only by Mr. Vengeance. Anyway I never said any of the film’s were bad. I though Dumplings was better than box, not that I thought box was bad(I love Miike). What I’m questioning is why Fruit Chan. I have looked up his film’s(Not seen any other than this), and can’t find anything to really warrent his place with these two. He held up and did a great job. This has been something that has always bothered me. I have not even seen anything from him after he made a name for himself with this. I like that they released diffrent versions of this though.
It’s a fair question, I’d never heard of him before and wondered what his story was when I watched the film for the first time. Perhaps the people who compiled the films just felt Dumplings fit in with the others? I’d certainly be interested in checking out anything else he’s done. By the way, I like all three shorts, I just thought Cut was both the weakest in the collection as well as the weakest of Park’s films. It’s still a fine piece of work, but it failed to resonate with me as strongly as the rest of his output.
Yeah, Cut…doesn’t quite cut it for me either. It’s a bit too melodramatic for my tastes, not as creepy as the other two. I didn’t like the obvious use of a macguffin (the wedding ring), and although I appreciate the power play between psycho-disgruntled extra and yuppie career driven film director, the vampirism and mirror-image sub themes to this also seemed underdeveloped.
OK so the question: who is Fruit Chan? as a screenwriter/director, he’s very respected in Hong Kong (c.f. Made in Hong Kong, Little Cheung and The Longest Summer – his Hong Kong Trilogy) which is not work that Westerners have much seen, but which is considered in the East to be something of a breakthrough work – it’s really a question of context. I can very well see Miike and Chan-wook wanting to work alongside him: Fruit Chan is the outsider in Chinese cinema, and in many respects more political and directly “controversial” (read, outspoken) than the other two, more famous, directors. Fruit Chan will quite happily paint cinematic pictures in a uniquely Chinese way (i.e. no concession to a Western audience expectation, which is explains his anonymity here and our bemusement at his inclusion alongside what we consider to be the masters of pain)— In Dumplings, he meditates for long painful minutes on the ancient country singing of the semi-immortal Aunt Mei, while a chopped up foetus boils in a glass pan— read in context, he’s making a very powerful, political point about Chinese culture, its roots and its old medicines/magics, its dark history at odds with a modern world of repressed politics and emotions: a moment where the very old feeds upon the very new, and the latter lies dead while the other looks barely touched by the ravages of time. Compare that vampirism with the vampirism of Cut. There’s no comparison.
So you see from the outside, neither of those two big names can touch Fruit Chan for content and metaphor, and they know it, and THEY want to be associated with HIM.
I thought Three Extremes to be one of the most exciting collaborations in years. Very very interesting. An extremely auteur driven project.
That is a lot of good info and think you for that. I think you all have taken my statment to say I did not like the film. I found Box a bore. Miike has done much better work in regards to everything in that film. I think you should go back a re-watch cut. The vampire thing had nothing to do with the story but was put the just to be misleading and play with the audiance. I also felt that Cut had humor that the other two lacked and had as much to say about People as Dumplings did. You could even say that Cut was itself about vanity. What happens when a guy that is trying to be perfect get’s confronted by someone trying to destroy everything in his life. The guy was not perfect but he tryed to keep up that aprience so other people would like him. How much would we have to see someone we know go through before we got our own hands dirty and killed the illusion.
I know it is very VERY big headed of me as an American to ecpect a film made in asia to involve only director I have heard of. It’s a wonder I knew of two of them. However I do think it’s a little strange that they have not released many of his films in the US. People look forword for the next film by Miike or Park and numerous other asian film directors and I hear nothing about Chan. Even the reviews I have read of his other films do not seem to be very positive or even in this genre. My question was “Why him?” and you answered “He’s big in China”. That works but I wish there was more. The Hong Kong Trilogy, are they very good? By break through what do you mean, in what way? Has he done better than Dumplings because I have enjoyed it enough to seek out his other works. I guess, when you get down to it I’m just looking for recommendations. As far as Chan being more controversial and Political than the other two. How? Do you say that just because of this, because I have seen works by both the other directors that are MUCH more extream in both regards than Dumplings. Thats what there known for. Again what I am saying is Dumplings was not bad, but is that it? I hope not.
By extreme, I don’t mean bloody and shocking. And he’s not that big in China, it’s more a Hong Kong thing. I guess what I mean is… ah, look check out Public Toilet (2003). See what you think. And Hollywood, Hong Kong (2001), They are my only recs that relate to Dumplings, anyhow. He’s a bit of a dark horse from what I can tell, jumps from social realism to extremely surreal and dark without blinking an eye.
I am not sure who produced the 3 Extremes (I know it was conceived as sequel to 3— Peter Chan, Kim Jee Woon and Nimibutr Nonzee)—
but as for 3 Extremes: whose brain sparked it as an idea? I have a feeling it might have been Chan himself, which would explain his inclusion. Anyway, that information would probably answer your initial question directly. Whose hand was on the rudder, and whose wallet financed it?
To the best of my knowledge, Fruit Chan makes films periodically, with long gaps inbetween. I don’t think he’s done anything since Dumplings in 2004.
Park Chan-wook’s installment is probably the best and most concise meta-film statement I have seen…
As far as my vampirism comment goes… I realize it’s not supposed to be a major theme, and that’s why I didn’t like it. It seemed schlocky and pointless, although I guess it was funny, if a little incongruous with the other two.
what other humor did people find in these three? I found the singing in Dumplings hilarious, but that’s because it seemed so sickly surreal to me.
I don’t remember the singing. I recently picked up the DVD for another viewing(3$), This time it was Dumplings then box followed by cut. I watched both Box and Cut but am putting of dumplings untill I get time to watch the feature. Who knows it may jump to my number one. What I found funny was the bad man reinacting all of the directors past films. As for the vampire part I thought it had two point’s. To trick the audiance and sho the director at work in a vastly moor entertaining way than just pointing it out. I also like how the end kinda circles back around to what he was filming. I don’t think there was any meaning behind it, just a little ironic.