Saam gaang yi (2004) aka:Three Extremes
Dumplings (Hong Kong)
Duration: 37 minutes
Director: Fruit Chan
While most horror films surround themselves with the supernatural, malice or insanity, Fruit chooses a theme of absolute
normalcy ? one that we all come face to face with in our lives ? what is scarier in the real world than the inevitability
of getting old and our bodies wearing down until death is a welcome guest. We fight it with workouts, plastic surgery and
vitamins but in the end it always wins.
Aging is terrifying to Mrs. Lee (Miriam Yeung) who after having retired from her successful career in television is approaching
middle age and witnessing her husband?s (Tony Leung Ka-fai) growing lack of interest in her. He tries keeping himself young
with a series of affairs with infantile women, while Mrs. Lee turns to Aunt Mei (Bai Ling) who reportedly has a secret for
keeping one?s youthfulness.
In a plot point that could outrage many, Aunt Mei obtains the remains of aborted babies in the Mainland and turns them into
delicious juicy dumplings. As she explains to Mrs. Lee there are many sources in Chinese literature and history that show
that the eating of human flesh keeps your youth and vitality ? and if she is doubtful ? just look at me ? and shows her a
picture of herself in her twenties ? from forty years ago.
Mrs. Lee is sold and begins a diet of dumpling fetuses cooked with loving care by Aunt Mei ? there is no remorse ? no sense
of wrong doing ? only a need to floss her teeth afterwards. With the rejuvenation taking longer than she would like, Mrs. Lee
demands something faster working ? no problem ? all we need is a five-month fetus ? the most nutritious ? soft like kittens
As quickly as Miike can churn out a film, making one as short as this probably took him an afternoon. It is nearly all mood
and imagery with an ethereally chilly story as a backstop.
It is far from typical Miike in many ways as he eschews violence and the bizarre for a surrealistically dreamy tone poem
that slowly crawls up on you but never really bites.
In some ways it feels influenced by the Korean film ?A Tale of Two Sisters? in style, plot and a sense of lingering melancholy.
Reality becomes interwoven with dreams and the supernatural as we peer into the life of Kyoko (Kyoko Hasegawa)
who seemingly drifts from the present into her past and from reality into fantasy until all these lines are blurred and it becomes
A reclusive writer, she carries the painful memories of her childhood along like a bag of bricks ready to fall on to her head.
When she was a child, she and her sister (Mai and Yuu Suzuki) danced in their father?s entertainment act and she feels responsible
for a tragic accident that took place.
Ghosts and suffocating memories swirl about her head until it is ready to explode in despair and madness.
Evocative, perplexing and lyrical, this is a nice change of pace for Miike though it may not feed the hunger of fans of his more "extreme fare."
Duration: 48 minutes
Director: Park Chan-wook
Park Chan-wook has received much international acclaim for his two unnerving and gut-wrenching vengeance films,
?Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance? and ?Old Boy? and his contribution here follows along those same lines though not to nearly the
same powerful effect.
Bloody yet playful at times, one is never quite sure how serious this is supposed to be or whether Park is partly poking
fun at himself and parodying his earlier efforts.
Shot in bold clean colors encompassed within a classic giallo horror tableau, this is really the only part of the trilogy
that might comfortably earn the ?Extreme? aspect of the title.
Successful film director, Ryu (Lee Byung-Hun), returns to his movie setting home after shooting a vampire scene at the
studio and is captured and knocked out by an intruder.
When he gains consciousness he finds himself attached to an elastic material that allows him to roam for a specified distance.
He also finds his wife (Gang Hye-Jung) trussed like a marionette with her fingers glued to piano keys by a film extra
(Lim Won-Hee) who has lost his mind and is insanely jealous of Ryu?s fame.
More than this, though, he hates Ryu because Ryu is so ethical and treats everyone with respect. The captor gives Ryu a
choice ? to show that he can be evil or he will chop off one of his wife?s fingers every five minutes.
Surprising confessions spill out of Ryu but this does not satisfy his captor and he gives him one more opportunity to save
his wife ? commit murder.
All the above info was taken from SUNNYDOWns AVI torrent.
Bai Ling ... Mei (segment "Dumplings")
Pauline Lau ... Li's Maid (segment "Dumplings")
Tony Leung Ka Fai ... Lee (segment "Dumplings")
Meme Tian ... Connie (segment "Dumplings") (as Meme)
Miriam Yeung Chin Wah ... Ching (segment "Dumplings")
Sum-Yeung Wong ... Old Hairdresser (segment "Dumplings")
Kam-Mui Fung ... Vomiting Woman (segment "Dumplings")
Wai-Man Wu ... Nurse (segment "Dumplings")
Chak-Man Ho ... Wang (segment "Dumplings")
Miki Yeung ... Kate (segment "Dumplings")
So-Fun Wong ... Kate's Mother (segment "Dumplings")
Kai-Piu Yau ... Gynaecologist (segment "Dumplings")
Byung-hun Lee ... Director (segment "Cut")
Won-hie Lim ... Stranger (segment "Cut") (as Won-Hee Lim)
Hye-jeong Kang ... Director's Wife (segment "Cut")