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

“Just Shut Up and Watch!” – Remembering Seijun Suzuki (1923-2017)

On February 13, 2017 we lost Seijun Suzuki. The Japanese director, screenwriter, actor and producer was 93-years-old at the time of his death and a titan in my own cinematic universe but I haven’t had the opportunity to properly mourn his passing. Today (May 24th) marks what would have been his 94th birthday so I thought I would devote some time to discussing the life … Continue reading “Just Shut Up and Watch!” – Remembering Seijun Suzuki (1923-2017)

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

Happy Birthday Mr. Dynamite! Akira Kobayashi Turns 72

Akira Kobayashi One of my favorite Japanese actors turned 72 yesterday so I thought I’d make some time to wish Akira Kobayashi a very happy belated birthday. Earlier this year I had planned on paying tribute to Kobayashi during the Japanese Cinema Blogathon but at the last minute I decided to write about director Yasuharu Hasebe instead due to his unfortunate death. After mentioning this … Continue reading Happy Birthday Mr. Dynamite! Akira Kobayashi Turns 72

Spend Springtime in Japan

We’re only four months into 2009 and the year is already becoming more interesting in terms of DVD releases than 2008. I’ve been impressed with Warner’s decision to open up their film archives and I’m glad that Facets is now offering a mail order rental option for their vast selection of rare films on DVD and video. And if you’re interested in Japanese cinema some … Continue reading Spend Springtime in Japan

Nikkatsu Action Cinema

Tetsuya Watari and Joe Shishido This week the Nikkatsu Action Film Series made its way to San Francisco and the nice guys over at the Outcast Cinema site who manage the event were kind enough to remind me with a friendly email. Unfortunately due to my current work schedule, ongoing apartment maintenance and various family obligations, which are leaving me with very little free time … Continue reading Nikkatsu Action Cinema

The Dirty Joker Turns 74

One of the great action stars of Japanese cinema turns 74 today and I’d like to wish Joe “Dirty Joker” Shishido a very Happy Birthday! It’s hard to put into words all the joy that Joe has managed to give me over the past 18 years or so since I first discovered his work, but I will say that whenever I’m asked what my favorite … Continue reading The Dirty Joker Turns 74

12 Favorite Foreign Language Films

I didn’t want to just list the 12 films I sent in for inclusion that didn’t make the final list of nominees for the Foreign Language Films List without writing a bit about them and why I love them so much. My entire list is filled to the brim with Japanese, Italian and French films and that’s not just because they’re easily available. It means … Continue reading 12 Favorite Foreign Language Films

“Dead man coming through!”

Seijun Suzuki and the cast of of Gate of Flesh (a.k.a. Nikutai no mon), 1964 To put things simply, Gate of Flesh is one of Seijun Suzuki’s greatest films and without a doubt one of the best films produced in Japan in 1964. Suzuki (Branded to Kill, Tokyo Drifter, Youth of the Beast, etc.) shot Gate of Flesh for Nikkatsu studios at the time as … Continue reading “Dead man coming through!”