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)

On Vampyres and Other Symptoms (2011)

ON VAMPYRES AND OTHER SYMPTOMS (2011) is the clever title of a new documentary directed by Celia Novis focusing on the reclusive Spanish filmmaker, writer, and artist José Ramón Larraz. If Larraz’s name doesn’t ring any bells don’t be alarmed. Despite the fact that the 83-year-old director is well regarded by his peers which include Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, and author Stephen King, Larraz remains relatively … Continue reading On Vampyres and Other Symptoms (2011)

Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)

Ettore Scola might not be as renowned as his lifelong friend and fellow filmmaker Federico Fellini but before he died in 2016, Scola’s work had earned him ample critical acclaim and numerous Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. Four of Scola’s films are currently streaming on FilmStruck including UGLY, DIRTY AND BAD (’76), A SPECIAL DAY (’77), LA NUIT DE VARENNES (‘82) and … Continue reading Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)

The Doors Are Always Open at The Phantom Playhouse

A gentle reminder that The Phantom Playhouse – Cinebeats’ sister site focused on horror cinema – is open for business and the tickets are always free. Its been updated recently and collects articles or links to all of my horror focused writing. If you know me you know that horror is my favorite film genre and I’ve spent a considerable amount of my time researching … Continue reading The Doors Are Always Open at The Phantom Playhouse

OUT OF THE CLOSET: TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (2015)

Everyone loves a Hollywood tragedy. The violent murders of Sharon Tate and Sal Mineo generate more press and web articles than the body of work they left behind while the estates of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean continue to benefit from our endless fascination with early death by misadventure. For better or worse, we obsess over stories of fallen stars who died while they were … Continue reading OUT OF THE CLOSET: TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (2015)

Knock Down the House (2019)

Knock Down the House is a sobering and uplifting account of four formidable grassroots female candidates (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Amy Vilela and Cori Bush) running for office against Democratic incumbents during the 2018 primary. This intimate documentary illuminates the obstacles these working-class women faced on the campaign trail while trying to navigate a political system that is openly hostile towards progressives advocating for real change. … Continue reading Knock Down the House (2019)

MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015)

Mifune was a giant in the world of Japanese cinema and although I’ve written a little bit about his background in the past in pieces such as Toshiro Mifune, Japan’s John Wayne and in my review of his first film, Snow Trail (1947), I wanted to know more about the man who had appeared in so many of my favorite Japanese films. My curiosity led … Continue reading MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015)

CREATIVE COLLABORATION: JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. (1988)

When Jane Birkin (Blow-Up [1966], Wonderwall [1968], La Piscine [1968], Don Juan (or If Don Juan Were a Woman) [1973], Je t’aime moi non plus [1976], Death on the Nile [1978], La Belle Noiseuse [1991])) was getting ready to celebrate her 40th birthday in 1986 she confessed to filmmaker Agnès Varda, that she had reservations about growing older. Varda, who was almost 60-years-old at the time, told Birkin that she was about to enter a wonderful phase in … Continue reading CREATIVE COLLABORATION: JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. (1988)

My Favorite Films of 2017

I contributed a list of my 20 Favorite Films seen in 2017 to the annual Senses of Cinema World Poll in the form of an illustration scanned & cleaned up in Photoshop. I wanted to have fun with the process this year and didn’t feel much like writing about all the films on my list although there are a few I’d like to discuss further … Continue reading My Favorite Films of 2017

Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)

Ettore Scola might not be as renowned as his lifelong friend and fellow filmmaker Federico Fellini but before he died in 2016, Scola’s work had earned him ample critical acclaim and numerous Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. Four of Scola’s films are currently streaming on FilmStruck including UGLY, DIRTY AND BAD (’76), A SPECIAL DAY (’77), LA NUIT DE VARENNES (‘82) and … Continue reading Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)