Three . . . Extremes

Rated NR 2005

Devotees of Asian cinema -- especially those with a thirst for blood -- will probably delight in this horror sampler featuring three short films by Hong Kong's Fruit Chan, South Korea's Park Chan-wook, and Japan's Takashi Miike. Fruit's Dumplings (this is the abridged, 35-minute version) is an unsettling variation on the old fountain-of-youth theme, and it wouldn't do to reveal the crucial ingredient in the crunchy pot-stickers consumed here by an aging TV actress (Miriam Yeung) who's made a bad bargain with vanity. In Chan-wook's Cut, a resentful movie extra takes a famous director and his pianist wife hostage, and the bloody Grand Guignol effects are soon set loose. Miike's Box is a surreal visit to the vivid mindscape of a beautiful novelist (Kyoko Hasegawa) who's haunted by the fiery death, in childhood, of her twin sister. Horror connoisseurs are bound to play favorites here, but all three films feature the brilliantly versatile work of cinematographer Christopher Doyle (2046).

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