“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)
Steve McQueen in THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963) Me and my dad (1972) From my latest at the Movie Morlocks: "I recently became an aunt again so I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately and with Father’s Day right around the corner I thought I’d share some thoughts about my own dad and how the … Continue reading Celebrating Father’s Day
Peter Lorre and Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon (1941) Peter Lorre and Humphrey Bogart. They're one of my favorite film pairings and over at TCM's Movie Morlocks blog I just posted an appreciation of one of the movies they appeared in together, Michael Curtiz's Passage to Marseilles (1943). It's not the best film that … Continue reading Lorre & Bogey
Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune in 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 … Continue reading Happy Birthday Akira Kurosawa!
A day late, a bit slime on content, but not forgotten... Since the death of Robert McNamara last week I've been thinking a lot about the man who was often called the "Architect of the Vietnam War." And I was reminded of one of my favorite films of the last decade that explored the American … Continue reading Modern Mondays: The Quiet American (2001)
I recently had the opportunity to see Norman Jewison's extremely silly and sometimes smart 1966 comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming for the first time in about 20 years when it played on TCM. When I was a kid The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming was one of my favorite … Continue reading The Terrorists Are Coming, the Terrorists Are Coming!
There's not a lot of serious war films that I like. So many of them are badly put together propaganda filled with ridiculous ideas about heroism and patriotism that have very little basis in the reality of war and rarely convey the true horrors of it. Oddly enough I'm also fascinated with WW1 and WW2. … Continue reading Overlord & The Futility of War
Seijun Suzuki on the set 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. Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill, Tokyo Drifter, Youth of the Beast, etc.) shot … Continue reading “Dead man coming through!”