NIPPON NOIR: SNOW TRAIL (1947)

Senkichi Taniguchi’s Snow Trail aka Ginrei no hate (1947) begins with a bang. A montage of shadowy figures and fragmented images bombards viewers during the film’s opening credits while guns fire, alarms ring, windows break, trains whistle and sirens scream. We soon discover that three desperate men (Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Yoshio Kosugi) have just robbed … Continue reading NIPPON NOIR: SNOW TRAIL (1947)

MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015)

A quick search of Filmstruck brought up an impressive 24 films featuring the late great Toshirô Mifune including Drunken Angel (1948), Stray Dog (1949), Rashomon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Yojimbo (1961), Red Beard (1965) and Samurai Rebellion(1967). 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 … Continue reading MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015)

Fear of Flowers: Under the Blossoming Cherry Tree (1975)

“Without people, a forest of cherries in full bloom is not pretty, just something to be afraid of.” - Ango Sakaguchi Although typically described as a horror film, Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees (1975) defies simple categorization. This grisly adult fairy tale, currently streaming on FilmStruck, is a strange amalgam of traditional Japanese theater, folktales, ghost stories, social … Continue reading Fear of Flowers: Under the Blossoming Cherry Tree (1975)

Plucking the Petals of Masahiro Shinoda’s Pale Flower (1964)

“Tokyo… After three long years. It makes my head spin. Just look at it. Why so many people crammed into tiny cage-like boxes? People… Such strange animals. What keeps them all going? They look like they’re half dead. Making a frantic pretense of being alive. What was so wrong about killing one of these stupid … Continue reading Plucking the Petals of Masahiro Shinoda’s Pale Flower (1964)

Survival Instincts: THE INSECT WOMAN (1963)

THE INSECT WOMAN (’63) is not easy viewing. Shôhei Imamura’s film recounts the hard-fought life of Tome (Sachiko Hidari), a fatherless peasant woman born into abject poverty in rural Japan. Beginning with her birth in 1918 and concluding sometime after WWII, the film takes place over three turbulent decades in which Tome faces sexual abuse … Continue reading Survival Instincts: THE INSECT WOMAN (1963)

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 … Continue reading My Favorite Films of 2017

Favorite Film Books of 2017

With the holidays fast approaching I thought I would recommend an eclectic selection of my favorite film books released in 2017 in case you’re looking for gifts to please the cinephiles in your life. My picks include a variety of reading material for all budgets and tastes including many titles that are closely linked to … Continue reading Favorite Film Books of 2017

Japan’s Home Alone: ALL MONSTERS ATTACK (1969)

Forget the overplayed John Hughes comedy HOME ALONE (’90). If you want to watch a fun family-friendly film during the holidays look no further than ALL MONSTERS ATTACK (’69) now streaming on the Criterion Channel of FilmStruck. This kinder and gentler Godzilla sequel was designed to appeal to kids of all-ages and features a young … Continue reading Japan’s Home Alone: ALL MONSTERS ATTACK (1969)

WOMEN AT WAR: ONIBABA (1964)

In feudal Japan, war is being waged between Imperial forces loyal to the reigning emperor and those who support the shogun. Samurai warriors wearing expensive armor and carrying powerful weapons fight side by side with peasant farmers conscripted into military service. Amid this bloody chaos women, children and the elderly suffer unimaginable horrors including rape, disease … Continue reading WOMEN AT WAR: ONIBABA (1964)

Film Writing Nov. 2016 – April 2017

It's been awhile. Work obligations, as well as personal projects and other responsibilities, have taken precedence over updating my blogs. Of course, you can always find me on my Tumblr as well as Twitter & Facebook. Before I let another month get away, I thought I'd finally share an update to the film writing I've … Continue reading Film Writing Nov. 2016 – April 2017

Celebrating Gay Pride

As a film journalist I have often tried to focus my attention on underappreciated films, actors and directors. Unsurprisingly, this has led me to write about a number of gay/LGBT films as well as gay/LGBT filmmakers and actors. So in celebration of Gay Pride weekend and the Supreme Court decision that now makes gay-marriage a … Continue reading Celebrating Gay Pride

Jan. & Feb. 2015 at TCM’s Movie Morlocks

Links to my writing at TCM's official Movie Morlocks blog in January & February. 15 FAVORITE FILMS FROM 2014 Excerpt: "I know what you’re thinking. Another list?! Forgive me my trespass but as a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists I’m asked to compile a list of my favorite films each year and … Continue reading Jan. & Feb. 2015 at TCM’s Movie Morlocks