Friday, February 22, 2008

Oscar study guide

People love to talk about all the films and directors and actors that never got Oscars in order to discredit the Academy Awards. Whatever. It's Hollywood. It's a money machine. I love the Oscars, because it is all about movies all the time. And for once, I don't think there is too much to complain about with a good batch of films nominated and some good ones that will probably win. I love a good surprise, but for people studying up, here are the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
What the polls say: No Country for Old Men
What I say: For once there are only two movies that have the potential for pissing me off for winning: Juno and Atonement. Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men are in a category way above those other two movies, even with that amazing shot in Atonement. In this case, I think the film that will win is deserving of the award. No Country for Old Men is an amazing film.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
George Clooney Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen Eastern Promises
What the polls say: Daniel Day-Lewis
What I say: Daniel Day-Lewis. As much as I admired George Clooney's performance in Michael Clayton, Daniel Day-Lewis went above and beyond.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie Away from Her
Marion Cotillard Môme, La
Laura Linney The Savages
Ellen Page Juno
What the polls say: Julie Christie
What I say: No doubt about it, the race is between Christie and Cotillard. Cottillard's performance as Edith Piaf was a transformative performance in that I don't think I could pick out Marion Cotillard in a line up if I had to; she simply became a different person, emotionally and physically. Julie Christie's performance is more nuanced and deserving of the award. I think Christie will win for Away From Her and for her lifetime of nuanced performances.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Casey Affleck The Assassination of Jesse James
Javier Bardem No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson Michael Clayton
What the polls say: Javier Bardem
What I say: Javier Bardem. I am on the soapbox for Michael Clayton, and Tom Wilkinson is awsome (especially for the opening rant, where he is not even on screen), but Javier is just unbelievable.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Cate Blanchett I’m Not There
Ruby Dee American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan Atonement
Amy Ryan Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton Michael Clayton
What the polls say: Cate Blanchet, Ruby Dee, Tilda Swinton
What I say: This category seems to be one that is a toss up. I can see Ruby Dee getting the award, but I really think this is a contest between Swinton and Blanchett. Both were amazing. I hope Tilda Swinton wins because she so often gets overlooked.

Best Achievement in Directing
Paul Thomas Anderson There Will Be Blood
Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman Juno
Julian Schnabel Scaphandre et le papillon, Le
What the polls say: Coen Brothers
What I say: Coen Brothers, although I think Schnabel did some amazing work in adapting The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Juno Diablo Cody
Lars and the Real Girl Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille Brad Bird
The Savages Tamara Jenkins
What the polls say: local stripper made good Diablo Cody
What I say: If Diablo Cody does not win this award, she will be wearing those fancy shoes for no reason. Because of the media darling, Tony Gilroy will not win.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Atonement Christopher Hampton
Away from Her Sarah Polley
Scaphandre et le papillon, Le Ronald Harwood
No Country for Old Men Coen Brothers
There Will Be Blood Paul Thomas Anderson
What the polls say: No Country for Old Men
What I say: This is where There Will Be Blood might be better than No Country for Old Men. No Country will nonetheless win.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
The Assassination of Jesse James Roger Deakins
Atonement Seamus McGarvey
No Country for Old Men Roger Deakins
Scaphandre et le papillon, Le Janusz Kaminski
There Will Be Blood Robert Elswit
What the polls say: The Assassination of Jesse James
What I say: Okay, I am ashamed to admit that I haven't seen The Assassination of Jesse James, and if it wins, perhaps that will actually push me to rent it. Seamus McGarvey deserves some respect for that centerpiece shot in the middle of Atonement.

Best Achievement in Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum Christopher Rouse
Scaphandre et le papillon, Le Juliette Welfling
Into the Wild Jay Cassidy
No Country for Old Men Coen Brothers
There Will Be Blood Dylan Tichenor
What the polls say: The Bourne Ultimatum
What I say: The camera work in The Bourne Ultimatum was over the top, the editing was great. Where is Micheal Clayton?

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Persepolis Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Ratatouille Brad Bird
Surf’s Up Ash Brannon, Chris Buck
What the polls say: Ratatouille
What I say: Persepolis deserves this award so much more. But it is in French and it did not have the overwhelming critical and commercial success that Ratatouille did.

Best Documentary, Features
No End in Sight Charles Ferguson
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience Richard Robbins
Sicko Michael Moore, Meghan O’Hara
Taxi to the Dark Side Alex Gibney, Eva Orner
War Dance Andrea Nix, Sean Fine
What the polls say: no one cares
What I say: No End in Sight. Clear-headed and straightforward, this documentary is so reveling that I had tears in my eyes. That being said, it probably won't win. War Dance is the safe bet.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Atonement Dario Marianelli
The Kite Runner Alberto Iglesias
Michael Clayton James Newton Howard
Ratatouille Michael Giacchino
3:10 to Yuma Marco Beltrami
What the polls say: Atonement
What I say: Hello!?! There Will Be Blood!

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Fälscher, Die (Austria)
Beaufort (Israel)
Mongol (Kazakhstan)
Katyn (Poland)
12 (Russia)
What the polls say: Who knows
What I say: As much as I love foreign films, this category is always a head scratcher. Where is Persepolis? Where is 2 Months, 3 Weeks, 4 Days? There are about a dozen others that should have been nominated, but that is the way it is every year. My vote goes for Mongol because it stars Asano Tadanobu, and it is from Kazakstan.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
August Rush “Raise It Up”
Enchanted “Happy Working Song”
Enchanted “So Close”
Enchanted “That’s How You Know”
Once “Falling Slowly”
What the polls say: Once "Falling Slowly"
What I say: I know I am a jerk, but "Falling Slowly" is like nails on a chalk board, and after hearing like five times in the film, I would rather poke a stick in my eye than hear that song again. No doubt I will hear it again, and it will win. I look forward to groaning.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

DVD releases for February 19

This week we have something to suit everyone: low-brow, mid-brow and high-brow:

Nightmare Detective (2006) directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
To say that I am excited about this release is an understatement. My excitement isn't because it is guaranteed to be a great movie, but because this is a movie that could have languished in unreleased limbo for a very very long time and not too many people would have noticed. ShinyaTsukamoto is the quintessential Japanese cult director who stormed onto the scene with his audacious but very low budget Tetsuo, The Iron Man and continued to win fans with Tokyo Fist and Bullet Ballet. However it was his film Gemini that made me a true believer. The tone of his films has changed from boyish endorphin induced action to something that is thankfully a little more mature while maintaining an audacity all his own with A Snake in June and Vital. The little that I have read about Nightmare Detective has encouraging with some calling it his best. For Japanese culture vultures, it has a cast that would make you scream like a teenage girl watching the Beatles: pop mega-star Hitomi as the detective assigned to the case of mysterious suicides, the pretty boy Ryuhei Matsuda as the nightmare detective, and hunky Masanobu Ando the regal Ren Osugi in supporting roles. (I've put up the image from the Japanese DVD, because the cover for the US DVD is just dumb.)

Moolaadé (2004) directed by Ousmane Sembene
Groundbreaking Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene died last year at the age of 84. This film won Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2004 and is about three years late in being released in this country. Moolaadé takles the issue of female circumcision with direct compassion that is powerful, to say the least.

Zebraman (2004) directed by Takashi Miike
I have long resisted buying the over-priced Japanese DVD of this big budget Takashi Miike movie that seems about as goofy as it does interesting. School teacher by day, Zebraman by night, the title character is something of a homegrown superhero. Although I resisted buying it, I will not resist renting it.

Lust, Caution (2007) directed by Ang Lee
Somehow I forgot about Lust, Caution. When the end of the year hoopla arrived, Lust, Caution totally slipped my mind, and perhaps that is my biggest criticism of Ang Lee's newest film. It is a beautiful and well acted film that had no resonance with me beyond that. Maybe it suffered due to the unnecessary controversy of its NC-17 rating. I don't know. It's a great film with some sex in it where you can see Tony Leung's scrotum (no doubt a factor that made the film much more successful across the Pacific.)

Michael Clayton (2007) directed by Tony Gilroy
I am not ashamed to admit that I rented this film on Tuesday (yes, the day it came out) to see this film a second time. Seeing it for a second time only confirmed by conviction that it is a great film. Michael Clayton's biggest fault is seeming too pedestrian, because it couldn't be farther from your average movie. Fantastic acting, great script, spot-on pacing, and some of the most assured production work, from camera to editing, that you are likely to see.

Redacted (2007) directed by Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma's bomb is not as bad as you have heard, but it is also not as good as I wanted to be. Redacted is a personal film from a pissed off De Palma, and this shows through more than anything. Unfortunately, his attempt to make a film from what is meant to seem like found footage of a horrific, but no doubt common, casualty of war ends up seeming like a cheap scripted reality TV show. I applaud De Palma for his efforts, but he was off the mark. No one wants to really admit that our efforts in Iraq are anything but heroic, and obviously no one wants to watch it either.

Margot at the Wedding (2007) directed by Noah Baumbach
If you hated The Squid and the Whale, you will no doubt hate this film as well. But if you like watching pretentious, socially handicapped people muddle through life, this is a great film. Once again, Baumbach presents characters that are wholly original but somehow familiar. Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black are all great.

Other stuff that I feel apathetic about:

In the Valley of Elah (2007) directed by Paul Haggis
I'm still hatin' on Paul Haggis for Crash, but the consensus is that this is actually one of the better films dealing with our situation in Iraq.

Rendition (2007) directed by Gavin Hood
Taxi to the Dark Side might be a better choice if you are interested in this subject (which we in the US should be; yeah, this is what our country is doing; Britain just admitted today that they refueled plans in the Indian Ocean for these types of kidnappings; I seriously can't believe what this administration gets away with), but I have a hard time believing this film is as bad as everyone says.

Girl Boss Revenge (1973) directed by Noribumi Suzuki
Another 'Pinky' film for fans of the genre.

Kilometer Zero (2005) directed by Hiner Saleem
A good Kurdish film that played here last year during the Walker's Global Lens series.

Life is a Bed of Roses (1983), Love Unto Death (1984), Melo (1986), I Want to Go Home (1989) directed by Alain Resnais
Four film from Resnais, out for the first time in the US on DVD. I admittedly haven't seen a one of them.

Walker (1987) directed by Alex Cox
From Criterion. I love the Alex Cox.

Pierrot le Fou (1965) directed by Jean Luc Godard
I suppose if you have been waiting for the perfect time to watch this film, short of seeing it in the theater, this may be you best chance: two discs, restored transfer, loads of extra crap.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So long HD?

Well it looks like Toshiba's HD will be joining Beta and Laserdiscs in the format graveyard. Word is on the street that Toshiba is going to throw in the towel (or at least try to be the first to come up with the new new format.) The signs were written on the wall for a while. Major blows came to HD when Warner Brothers announced they would go exclusively with Blu-ray, and then our big box collective unconscious, Walmart, decided to dump HD. At the very least, any hesitation that studios had in which format to commit to will be over. As much as I hate the name, Sony's Blu-ray is the champ.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that a Blu-ray player or PS3 is pretty far down the line as a financial priority for me. My birthday is in May.

Friday, February 15, 2008

DVD releases for February 12

Yes there were DVDs released this week, but I am in denial. I already have so much crap that I want to watch but can't get around to, that I can hardly face more options. Fortunately , I have seen most of the following:

The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) and A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) directed by Peter Greenaway
I'm saddened by how Peter Greenaway has fallen from favor. We have barely heard a word about him in this country since 8 1/2 Women. In the past eight years he has been working feverishly on projects that seem wholly personal yet nonetheless fascinating: four films that chronicle alter-ego Tulse Luper and his suitcases (or what Greenaway called "a personal history of Uranium") and most recently a film about Rembrandt called Nightwatching. (Never mind that you probably nothing short of a doctorate to start to understand these films - I saw the first of the Tulse Luper films on DVD from some Godforsaken country where they have no qualms about cropping and pan-scan, and I honestly have no idea what they hell I saw.) I digress. The release of these two early films on DVD remind me that I should re-engage in a Greenaway search. A Zed & Two Noughts is easily one of my favorite Greenaway films, that stars to reveal the master filmmaker I believe he is. The Draughtman's Contract may not be as convincing on its own but totally worth the time.

Four Swords: Shaw Brothers Box Set - Vengeance is a Golden Blade (1969), Have Sword Will Travel (1969), The Water Margin (1972), and The Wandering Swordsman (1970)
The Shaw Bothers releases from Image Entertainment continue to trickle in and this four DVD box set is well worth the $30 price tag. Unfortunately, most interested in the Shaw Brothers have long ago acquired these DVDs from other shores. For those with a passive attraction, these films are finally available restored with original soundtrack from reputable video stores or your favorite mail rental service. Vengeance is a Golden Blade is probably the weak link in the set, with decent action but less than engaging story. Have Sword Will Travel is a must see; a Chang Cheh classic that often gets overlooked staring the stoic Ti Lung and dreamy David Chiang. The Water Margin is perhaps a failure in capturing the 108 heroes of classic Chinese novel, but is one of Chang Cheh's most ambitious projects. And lastly, The Wandering Swordsman is an average film that excels with the inclusion of David Chiang and Lily Li.

The Royal Tramp 1 and 2 (1992) directed by Wong Jing
The combination of Stephen Chow and Wong Jing may be irresistable to me but undoubtedly nails-on-a-chalkboard to others. My love for 90s Hong Kong cinema knows no bounds and The Royal Tramp is as juvenile as it is nonsensical - I absolutely love it! Released by Dragon Dynasty, the Weinstein's continue to repair their hack reputation: the DVD includes commentary with Bey Logan and interview with Wong Jing.
Lubitsch Musicals - The Love Parade (1929), Monte Carlo (1930), One Hour with You (1932), and The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
The title of the set and the date of the films says it all. If my financial status allowed me to be the DVD collector that I purport myself to be, I would have every one of these Eclipse releases on my shelf. As much of a commentary and special feature fan that I am, I rarely get to the fancy crap offered on most the DVDs I buy. Eclipse has it right: it's about the films! This is the eighth set from Eclipse. (Check out Series 9!)
Romance and Cigarettes (2005) directed by John Turturro
When looking over possible movie choices in the theater last Fall, someone said "How about Romance and Cigarettes?" which I quickly responded "Ah, no." Romance and Cigarettes is a movie that suffered from first impressions with me. The trailer portrayed a film that seemed to be aimed at an older and straighter demographic. I'm starting to think that was unfair. A musical by John Turturro deserves more of a chance. I'm not sure why this film is dated 2005, because it definitely opened locally in 2007.

Gone Baby Gone (2007) directed by Ben Affleck
Fortunately I have seen this. Gone Baby Gone may not be the best movie you will see, but it is not bad, and is willing to say a lot more than most movies. Casey Affleck is great as the guy next door, while the other roles seem like bit parts, at best. (Yes, even Amy Ryan who was nominated for best supporting actress.) Ben Affleck may have more of a career behind the camera.

We Own the Night (2007) directed by James Grey
I was going to check this out while it was in the budget theaters. Better yet, I'll check it out on DVD.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kon Ichikawa R.I.P.

Kon Ichikawa, acclaimed Japanese director, die today at the age of 92. Ichikawa was best known for his films Fire on the Plains, Burmese Harp and his documentary Tokyo Olympiad. I have seen far too few of his films to make an accurate judgment on his life and work, but personally, I found his better known films, although admirable, a bit of a slog. I did however find great pleasure in his highly stylized and visually stunning film An Actors Revenge (1963) and the surreal and engaging The Inugami Family (1976). His most recent film was in fact a 2006 remake of The Inugami Family that has been elusive on the DVD front.

Senses of Cinema has a great bio on Ichikawa.
Obituary on Variety Asia.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Prachya Pinkaew's CHOCOLATE

Prachya Pinkaew took Thailand by storm this weekend with his much anticipated new film Chocolate. Pinkaew is best known for his hyper-kinetic films Ong-Bak and Tom Yum Goong (aka The Protector) with Tony Jaa. Pinkaew had to change gears when he had a falling out with Jaa. One look at the trailer to Chocolate and you will see that Pinkaew is far from retiring from the action genre. He simply picked a new protégé in the form of Nicharee “Jeeja” Vismistananda, a woman who seems to be able to match Tony Jaa in agility and speed.

Chocolate is the story of a girl who is born amongst gang rivalry. The mother is left alone to raise her daughter who is diagnosed with autism. However she also displays a gift for physical quickness and is able to mimic moves she sees in movies and video games. As she grows up, she takes it upon herself to settle the score by taking on the men who abandon her mother. This may be a long-winded set up for the fights and stunts that follow, but it is far more interesting than most of this ilk.

The good news is that it has been picked up for US distribution. The bad news is that the Weinsteins picked it up, which means it will probably be slapped with a 'Quentin Tarantino Presents' tag, edited down a bit and given a new soundtrack by RZA...or at least that's what happened with Tom Yum Goong. (Some hilarious comments to a post over on Twitch have started guess what the US title will be, so as people won't get it confused with the Johnny Depp movie. I particularly like Lady Protector!)

I can't wait to see this film. Check out the trailer yourself (which includes 'injury outtakes' to prove it's the real deal):

Friday, February 8, 2008

DVD releases for February 5

This week there are a number of worthwhile mainstream releases out on DVD, as well as two very cool box sets:

The Films of Sergei Paradjanov: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964), The Color of Pomegranates (1968), The Legend of Suram Fortress (1984), and Ashik Kerib (1988)
If you like dense narratives and engaging visuals, these are films not to be missed. Georgian filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov demanded a lot from his audiences and he took his art very seriously. The Color of Pomegranates cost him 4 years in a labor camp until fellow directors we able to petition for his release. Although reviews of the set report very little if any improvement of picture quality from previous versions, there are plenty of special features on each disc to make it more than worthwhile. Hailed as a genius and respected by his contemporaries, most notably Tarkovsky, Paradjanov's films are largely under-appreciated, and until now, fairly hard to find. This set does wonders for making his art more accessible.

Jean Luc Godard Box Set
This is an interesting set from Lions Gate: three discs, four films (Passion 1982, First Name: Carmen 1983, Detective 1984, and Helas Pour Moi 1993) and one documentary (Jean-Luc Godard: A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma) all for 25 bucks.

Across the Universe (2007) directed by Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor's most recent film is full of razzle and dazzle and 60s melodrama that segues perfectly into Beatles songs. Although somewhat shallow, Across the Universe is exactly what a musical should be: entertaining.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) directed by Andrew Dominik
I am still dubious of a film boasting that Brad Pitt can act, and that has a title that long. (I mean, can't we decide for ourselves if Robert Ford is a coward?) Nonetheless, I am still curious about this film that has earned accolades not only for Pitt, but also his co-star Casey Affleck. The trailer looks fine, indeed.

Elizabeth - The Golden Age (2007) directed by Shekhar Kapur
I feel like I am going to have to watch Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth (2007) back to back in order to see the justification for the film. Kapur (Bandit Queen, Four Feathers) is obviously a director who is motivated by personal passions, so I don't doubt that he had good reasons to presue this subject matter for the second time.

The Brave One (2007) directed by Neil Jordan
This film would be a good one for home viewing, because when the phoney baloney music montages come up you can fast forward or take a restroom break until the music ends. The Brave One is an interesting movie from several different aspects, and Jodie Foster is hot...I mean, gives the performance of a lifetime, but the pseudo emotional chick-flick segues with Sarah McLachlan (no kidding) are just wrong.

Two other notable releases that I feel pretty apathetic about but are probably worth mentioning nonetheless: Great World of Sound (2007) directed by Craig Zobel, 2 Days in Paris (2007) directed by Julie Delpy.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS arrives via Hong Kong

I'm hardly a cinematic profit, but when it comes to the stupidity of US distribution companies, in this case MGM, I feel like I have my finger on the pulse. A new film by Wong Kar Wai is a no-brainer, especially when it's an English language film: do a little marketing and release the film. Now I'm not sure if MGM is over-strategizing with My Blueberry Nights or if they are just sitting on their arse until the film is dead in the water. Either way, it doesn't matter at this point.

Although no one took me up on the bet, I made a wager at the end of October that we would see a DVD of My Blueberry Nights from another country before it saw the light of day in the US. Sure enough, the Hong Kong DVD release of the film is due out on February 14, almost a full two months ahead of the official US release date of April 4. Most fans will have this DVD before the seductive trailer even has a chance to work its marketing magic on unsuspecting viewers. And even though WKW junkies would like to die in front of the lushness of one of his films on the big screen, early reports make it sound like it may not be worth it.

The irony is, of course, if My Blueberry Nights had been released last year, the WKW fans would have been there, the Norah Jones fans would have been there, and, if they exist, the Jude Law fans would have been there. At this point they will be lucky to get the Norah Jones fans in the theater in April.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Nikkatsu Action Cinema in WI

In a perfect world, there would be a high speed train that connected the Twin Cities to Chicago, that would make Madison a nice three hour trip. I would most certainly be hopping on that train today for the first of two double features at the University of Wisconsin Cinematheque. The four film series, entitled "No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action Cinema 1960-64," offers a rare opportunity to see some of these lesser known titles within the Nikkatsu vaults.

Nikkatsu was best know as the studio who gave Shohei Imamura and Seijun Suzuki their start. The most prolific period for Nikkatsu was from the mid-50s to late 60s when the studio was producing some of the most interesting films being made. Aside from the superstar directors and the innumerable porn films, most of the Nikkatsu films have been long forgotten.

Enter Mark Schilling who started taking a look at some of the lesser known Nikkatsu films while he was doing research for his book The Yakuza Movie Book. The result was this traveling series and a subsequent book of the same title. These films have been making the rounds at festivals and such, but so far, these Madison screenins are the closest they have come to the Twin Cities. For those lucky enough to be in Madison area, here is the lowdown:

February 2, 7:30pm
The Warped Ones (1960) Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara
"Released shortly after Godard's Breathless, The Warped Ones is among Kurahara's boldest departures from studio conventions. Akira, a jazz-crazydelinquent, wreaks twisted revenge on the reporter who sent him to the reformatory, beginning with the brutal rape of the reporter's fiancée."
February 2, 9:00pm
Plains Wanderer (1960)
Directed by Buichi Saito
"The 'Eastern Western' Plains Wanderer marks the fifth installment of a nine-part series starring Kobayashi. Armed with a guitar and a bullwhip, Kobayashi wanders the Japanese countryside atop his trusty steed. This time out, he sides with Japanese aborigines in their struggle against a developer."
February 23, 7:30pm
Red Handkerchief (1964) Directed by Toshio Masuda
"After years of self-imposed exile, a cop returns to Yokohama to unravel the truth about his fatal witness shooting. A career landmark for both superstar Ishihara and director Masuda, and the third highest grossing Japanese film of 1964, Red Handkerchief defines Nikkatsu's 'mood action' aesthetic."
February 23, 9:25pm
Glass Johnny: Looks Like a Beast (1962) Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara
"Inspired by La Strada, Glass Johnny marked a sharp departure from the Nikkatsu Action norm-notably, its central character is a woman. In the film, a pure-hearted whore bounces between her cruel pimp and an apathetic gambler, passing from victim-hood to transcendence."

Personally, I think these films look awesome. It seems pretty obvious that I am not going to make it to the first two films, but a February 23 roadtrip is not out of the question. Interested parties who have a vehicle that gets better than 12 mpg, should contact me.