(1965) + Avida (2006/Cinema Epoch)
C+ Sound: C/C+ Extras: C-/D Films: C+
Epoch has picked two interesting black and white films that are worth seeing
and have their interesting moments to boot.
One is a stylish Japanese thriller called The Bite about a male prostitute, his female counterparts and
murder, while Avida is a surreal Freaks/Eraserhead type of surreal tale about two zookeepers and a mute
animal handler who intend to kidnap the pitbulls of a very large, wealthy woman
played by large-size model Velvet D’Amour.
she likes to think about the human body’s slow decay after death and is not for
sure how she wants to be dealt with when she leaves her dead corpse
behind. It is that kind of film, but it
is consistent and if you can stand the quirkiness and focus on death. Co directors Gustave de Kervern and Benoit
Delepine accomplish their goal of surrealism in this kind of monochrome world.
The Bite is smart, slick, owes something
to the French New Wave and Director Kan Mukai (aka Hiroshi Mukai) adds some
erotic subtext that is as stylish as anything, making the world within all the
more seductive. I also liked the look of
the film, a modernist Japan Jean Luc-Godard could have appreciated and I only
wish it had gone on longer. Only 63
minutes, it still delivers more than most films twice its length and much fun.
letterboxed 2.35 X 1 scope image on The
Bite is sadly not anamorphically enhanced like the 1.78 X 1 image on Avida, but both have good black and
white for their period. The former has
the clean, clear type in the last glory days of real black and white, while the
later is inky and heavy as if to make sure it does not look like the grayish,
non-silverized monochrome most productions are made in today. Both also have Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, with
the former in Japanese Mono and the latter in simple stereo.
- Nicholas Sheffo