Jewel Thieves & Giant Monsters

After recently reading and writing about Peter H. Brothers’ book Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda, I was motivated to watch one of Honda’s lesser-known films that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see yet, Dogora (1964). I’m not sure how I managed to overlook this little gem involving a … Continue reading Jewel Thieves & Giant Monsters

Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog (1949)

Stray Dog (1949) was the ninth film made by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and I think it's one of his very best. Like many of my favorite Kurosawa films, Stray Dog features no rogue samurai or mad emperors and it's set in modern Japan instead of feudal Japan, but it does contain many of the … Continue reading Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog (1949)

Remembering Yasuharu Hasebe (1932-2009)

Akira Kobayashi in Yasuharu Hasebe's Black Tight Killers (1966) While I was trying to compile a post for the Japanese Cinema Blogathon currently happening at Wildgrounds I read the sad news that one of my favorite Japanese directors, Yasuharu Hasebe, has died after he contracted pneumonia on June 14th. Hasebe was 77 years old, but … Continue reading Remembering Yasuharu Hasebe (1932-2009)

Resurrecting Yusaku Matsuda

The many faces of Yusaku Matsuda (1950-1989) Toru Murakawa's Resurrection of the Golden Wolf (aka Yomigaeru kinrô; 1979) is a wildly uneven Japanese crime film that left me wishing it had been helmed by another director. The film's script was adapted from a popular novel by Haruhiko Ooyabu and directors like Seijun Suzuki have had … Continue reading Resurrecting Yusaku Matsuda

20 Favorite DVD Releases of 2008: Part I.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but overall 2008 was somewhat of a lackluster year for new Region 1 DVD releases of 1960s and 1970s era films when compared to the previous two years (See: 2006 and 2007). Some of my favorite DVD companies such as BCI Eclipse and most recently New … Continue reading 20 Favorite DVD Releases of 2008: Part I.

The Decadent World of the Black Lizard

Akihiro Miwa and Yukio Mishima on stage together in the '60s "Ever since I first met him here, I've dreamt about Akechi. A vain man who acts like a critic. When his face appears in my dreams it disturbs me. I've never before had such an experience. He looks as if he knew and understood … Continue reading The Decadent World of the Black Lizard

The Devil with Seven Faces (1971)

Top: Carroll Baker has just seen the final cut of The Devil with Seven Faces (1971) Bottom: Even a cheap gorilla mask couldn't make the movie any better. Normally I neglect to write anything about movies I dislike. I never have enough time to write about all the films I like so why waste my … Continue reading The Devil with Seven Faces (1971)

My Top 20 Favorite Films of 1968

At the Britannica blog Raymond Benson has finished listing off his Top 10 Favorite Films of 1968 so if you're interested in the final results stop by and give them a look. I've mentioned on numerous occasions how much I dislike making lists of favorite films myself since they're limited by what I've seen and … Continue reading My Top 20 Favorite Films of 1968

Fashion & Passion in The Thomas Crown Affair

Fay Dunaway & Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) A lot has been written about Norman Jewison's 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair. If the reviews available at IMDb.com are any indication critics and audiences are split over it. I love this stylish '60s crime film. It's one of my favorite movies from … Continue reading Fashion & Passion in The Thomas Crown Affair