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
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
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
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)
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.
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
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)