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Even With My Eyes Wide Open I Can’t See A Thing

Another weekend is upon us, and it’s going to be a busy one. Replete with crappy weather. That should help, actually. I’ll be more inclined to stay in to catch up on mundane minutiae…like cleaning and bills. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to take a break to see something from the International Film Fest. The classic blind swordsman series, Zatoichi, has been remade by Beat Takeshi. His update is showing Saturday night at the perfect venue…the Riverview Theater. If I miss it, though, it seems that Miramax has it slated for a wider release in June. Another selection of note, The Tesseract, screens next Thursday and Friday. Based on a book by Alex Garland (author of The Beach and 28 Days Later):

What might happen if you transported the heady demimonde of Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Hotel to contemporary flashy and trashy Bangkok? You might get something that resembles this visually atmospheric film, based on Alex Garland’s novel of the same name. A motley crew of tenants inhabits a rundown hotel in a gritty part of Bangkok, a city whose economy breeds a virulent capitalism based on crime, drugs, prostitution and an army of abandoned and abused children. Sean (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), a drug runner for the local mafia, is holed up when he finds himself drawn too deeply into a corrupt business; Saskia Reeves plays a British psychologist overcome by grief at the loss of her child; a Thai hit woman, wounded and on the lam after trying to retrieve a stash of dope, hides out; the hotel bellhop ransacks guests’ rooms stealing stuff he can sell on the streets. The lives of these marginal figures intersect in this forgotten space. But they also begin to invade and rearrange cause and effect, scrambling time as the same scene is repeated from varying points of view. Resembling a grittier version of The Matrix, the film features a visual style and musical score (by James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins) that underlines the hip permeability of time in this city steeped in Buddhist tradition and reeling from capitalist exploitation. An arresting, bizarre vision, the film builds a gothic, noir vision of alienation and connection that calls reality into question. Oxide Pang was born in Hong Kong and moved to Bangkok in 1992. With his twin brother, Danny, he has co-directed the high-octane horror film The Eye and the kinetic anti-travelogue Bangkok Dangerous.

Even with my eyes wide open I can't see a thing