Sticky post

BELMONDO LEAVES ME BREATHLESS

Like many people, I fell in love with Jean-Paul Belmondo while watching BREATHLESS (1960) and I can still remember when he first won my affection. It happened during a lengthy scene between Belmondo and his beautiful costar Jean Seberg that takes place in a hotel room. After turning a poster into a makeshift telescope Seberg looks through it to see Belmondo starring back at her. … Continue reading BELMONDO LEAVES ME BREATHLESS

Spies Among Us: ANOTHER COUNTRY (1984)

“And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago, Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know; We may not count her armies, we may not see her King; Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering; And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase, And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths … Continue reading Spies Among Us: ANOTHER COUNTRY (1984)

NIPPON NOIR: I AM WAITING (1957)

In recent years I’ve seen a critical push to apply familiar terms like Film Noir to all manner of Japanese crime films made during the 1950s and 1960s. The term has even been applied to the culturally specific Sun Tribe films (please see my previous post that discusses Sun Tribe films) as well as Pink Films of an adult nature and the more experimental and … Continue reading NIPPON NOIR: I AM WAITING (1957)

Everyone’s Gone Crazy: VIOLENT COP (1989)

“Beat” Takeshi Kitano has been making headlines recently. Late last year the 70-year-old Japanese filmmaker, actor, author and entertainer was awarded France’s coveted Legion of Honor for his contribution to contemporary arts while film retrospectives in New York and Rio de Janeiro, along with a spate of fresh Blu-ray releases from Film Movement and Third Window Films, have spawned renewed interest in his work. Kitano … Continue reading Everyone’s Gone Crazy: VIOLENT COP (1989)

THE ART OF BOLLYWOOD

In recent years the exciting world of Bollywood cinema has been slowly gaining the interest and admiration of western audiences. The popularity of Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning film SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008) along with the rising interest in Indian actors like Naveen Andrews (LOST, BRIDE & PREJUDICE, THE ENGLISH PATIENT, BOMBAY BOYS, etc.) seems to have gained Bollywood movies a larger American audience that is willing to put aside cultural differences … Continue reading THE ART OF BOLLYWOOD

GUN AND SWORD: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JAPANESE GANGSTER FILMS 1955-1980

I first became familiar with Chris D.’s (Dejardins) writing in the early 1990s thanks to his work for a small-press magazine (or zine) called Asian Trash Cinema. At the time I was utterly obsessed with Japanese pop culture and history and for a 10 year period roughly between 1991-2001 I spent many of my weekends in San Francisco’s Japantown where I’d rent movies and anime … Continue reading GUN AND SWORD: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JAPANESE GANGSTER FILMS 1955-1980

ART MEETS ARTIFICE IN SHOHEI IMAMURA’S A MAN VANISHES (1967)

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” – William Shakespeare (from As you Like It) “I’d like to destroy this premise that cinema is fiction.” – Shohei Imamura The fuzzy line that separates fiction from reality has become increasingly blurred in recent years. Reality … Continue reading ART MEETS ARTIFICE IN SHOHEI IMAMURA’S A MAN VANISHES (1967)

WHEN INSECTS ATTACK: GENOCIDE (1968)

Springtime has arrived in California and do you know what that means? BUGS! During the past week I’ve battled a couple of spiders in my kitchen, wrangled with a beetle that invaded my bathroom and took up arms against a small army of moths raiding my closet. These creepy critters seem to be everywhere so it seemed like a good time to revisit one of … Continue reading WHEN INSECTS ATTACK: GENOCIDE (1968)

Celebrating Asian Film Artists

May is Asian Heritage Month or to be more exact, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate I decided to collect links to some of the Asian films, filmmakers and actors that I’ve written about. I’m particularly fond of Japanese cinema so my writing reflects this but I’ve also written about Hong Kong and Bollywood films as well. This is a master list … Continue reading Celebrating Asian Film Artists

TOKYO GONE GAGAGA: OTAKU (1994)

Otaku: In Japan a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills. (definition from The Oxford Dictionary) Otaku: Obsessed fan; geek; nerd. Not restricted to anime fans, otaku is a general and relatively insulting word used to describe people obsessed with some particular hobby. (definition from AnimeWorld.com) I’ve never referred to myself as … Continue reading TOKYO GONE GAGAGA: OTAKU (1994)