December 2006 Archives

Vengeance Is Hers

Yeong-ae Lee in 'Lady Vengeance'The unfathomably fashionable torture film has spun off a welcome girl-power subgenre, in which determined, attractive young females facilitate the agonizing dispatches of men who have committed atrocities against youth.

In Hard Candy, a teenage girl meets a lecherous and possibly pedophilic photographer online and ends up at his house, where she aims to punish him for the sins she’s certain he’s committed. In Lady Vengeance, a young woman emerges from prison with a grudge against the man responsible for her incarceration: a serial murderer of children who forced her to confess to one of his crimes by threatening to kill her daughter.

It’s a curious but promising phenomenon — invoking Virgin Spring-style outrage and justice — and if it develops into a trend, I imagine that in its mature state it will produce a gruesome but meaningful masterpiece or two. But the early entries — these two come from 2005 — are misguided.

Review Haiku for You

'Wordplay': What's a 17-syllable poem for 'derivative'?Just in case you’re wondering, I’m still alive, although you’d never know it from this Web site.

For those of you whose existence feels meaningless without my wisdom, I’ll run through all the movies I’ve watched recently but won’t be writing essays about. (You’ll still be lacking wisdom, but something is better than nothing, right?)

You might think it’s dismissive to dispense with these seven labors of love in 17 syllables apiece, and you’d be correct. And you might wonder how Balthazar Getty shows up in two of these movies, and it’s an excellent question to which I have no answer.