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

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 contracting pneumonia on June 14th. Hasebe was 77 years old, but he was still an active director and his last project was … Continue reading Remembering Yasuharu Hasebe (1932-2009)

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

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 Yorker Films have folded. Boutique DVD companies are releasing fewer … Continue reading 20 Favorite DVD Releases of 2008: Part I.

End of the Summer Reading

Summer is coming to an end and I thought I’d make mention of a couple of new and upcoming book releases that I’m looking forward to reading. First up is John Phillip Law: Diabolik Angel written by Carlos Aguilar and his wife Anita Haas. They worked closely with John Phillip Law on the book before his unfortunate death this summer and it promises to be … Continue reading End of the Summer Reading

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

Delinquent Girl Boss – Blossoming Night Dreams (1970)

One of my favorite films from Panik House’s 2005 Pinky Violence DVD Collection was Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless To Confess (Zubekô banchô: zange no neuchi mo nai, 1971), which was directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi for Toei and starred the strikingly cute Japanese actress and occasional pop idol Reiko Oshida as Rika. Not only was Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless To Confess one of the best looking … Continue reading Delinquent Girl Boss – Blossoming Night Dreams (1970)

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

Masaru Konum’s Tattooed Flower Vase (1976)

There were some good DVD re-releases this week such as the Special Collector’s Edition of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) and a Deluxe Edition of Richard Lester’s Help! (1965). But my DVD pick of the week is the Kino/KimStim release of the Japanese Roman Porno film Tattooed Flower Vase (aka Kashin no Irezumi: Ureta Tsubo; 1976) directed by Masaru Konuma. Kino released four of Konuma’s Pink … Continue reading Masaru Konum’s Tattooed Flower Vase (1976)