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A feast in a time of plague.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Give thanks for Linn Hayne's recap of the Shaw Brothers' 2004 lineup. A real public service.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Filipino action film star Fernando Poe Jr. has decided to run for president of that sometimes troubled Asian nation.


The last news update at Synapse included this brief snippet on Singapore Sling, one of the most awaited movies on their upcoming slate:

SINGAPORE SLING: The transfer has been finished and we are working on cleaning up some of the various dirt and scratches on a few of the reels. The element we were able to get was a 35mm fine grain print that has stunning detail. Once the digital cleanup is finished, we will head it off to get the subtitle translations done on the few minutes of Greek spoken language.



So it's on the way, even if there isn't a release date just yet. And to whet your appetite just a smidgen more, here's a nice piece by Doug Dillaman at MHVF.


China Daily has put up an excellent item on the great Tony Leung. Meanwhile, over at Time Asia, it's all about Satoshi Kon--and why shouldn't it be? He's had a great year.


Since I'm a believer in not reading reviews of films that I already know that I want to see, I won't be reading J. Hoberman's review of the new animation film The Triplets of Belleville. But you can, if you want.





Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Hey, there's all kinds of new stuff over at Cinemasie, including an interview with director Edmond Pang.


FilmFreakCentral interviews William Macy, and he laments the loss of Sports Night. We all do, Bill. We all do.


Did I write about how I'm waiting for the supposedly excellent documentary Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes to get here from Benson's UK? (Next Benson's import: Springtime in a Small Town, which looks aces as well). In any case, this is supposed to be a lot beter docu than Exhausted (and I'm quite sure it'll be better than Wonderland, though I'm waiting to rent this one--I can't quite stand Val Kilmer as the lead) , so I'm looking forward to its arrival. It seems like it's going to be a big year for Golden Age porn retro--what with Desperately Seeking Seka, the upcoming Vanessa del Rio book from Taschen with help from the Metasex crew and what looks to be a great book called The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry by Legs McNeil, whose book on punk rock was excellent. So, who's working on the Annette Haven book???


So I've been agitating about how Norman Mclaren, one of the world's great filmmakers, was utterly underrepresented on DVD....only to find that this week there's a cool Collector's Edition coming from Milestone. Cool. So who should I agitate about next?




Monday, November 24, 2003

Do you live anywhere near the Fort Wayne Museum of Art? If so, check out their exhibit on the art of the animated film. It just opened, and it looks right fine.


It's time for Tokyo FilmEx, so go have a look at the films in competition or the excellent special screenings.


The AFI awards were given out Friday in the Land Down Under. Check out the winners at MovieHole.


On the fence about the ALien quadrilogy?? Then take a gander at the Digital Bits' huge review of all the disks. This should help you make up your mind.


Friday, November 21, 2003

There's a streaming trailer up for the next del Toro flick (Hellboy). Check it out.


Indian pop star Anaida is reportedly going to make a film here in the States, favoring Tinseltown over other local Bollywood offers.


Who is Faye Wong? Will we ever get to see her play a robot for Wong Kar-Wai?


Now me, I'm pretty tired of the remake parade. Every opening weekend this years seems to me to have brought a new update of some treasured chestnut, be it Texas Chainsaw or Bob le Flambeur. I know remakes are a grand old Hollywood tradition and all, but c'mon. You'd think the guys up at the widget factory should be able to do something new besides CGI once in a while. But I digress. This all leads up to the news that Steve Martin will reprise the role of Inspector Clouseau that the great Peter Sellers defined. I guess you could have picked worse people than Martin, so maybe this one'll be OK.


I hadn't gone to The Film Journal site for a bit, but I checked it out today and there's all kinds of good stuff there. There's an excellent article on Battle Royale, a cool piece on "paracinema", and an examination of Soderbergh's Solaris. Heck, there's even a review of A Tale of Two Sisters, but I'm not reading that one until after I see the flick.


Thursday, November 20, 2003

The next AFI "100 Best" list will consist of the hundred best songs used in American cinema. Won't be out 'til next June, though, so for now you'll just have to hum the score from Lost Horizon.


If you've missed the news on China coming up with an alternative to DVD, the Register has the story. I don't think this format has much of a chance, but it'll be interesting to see how this competition plays out. Just the fact that they're even attempting this speaks volumes about where China is in the world economy these days. No amount of foolish bra quotas in the US can stop this juggernaut.


So you thought selling 8 million copies of Finding Nemo domestically was good last week, right? So, how does 15 million worldwide sound? In two weeks. Dang.


So who reads Italian? Looks like Serena Grandi, the voluptuous star of Anthropophagus and Lady of the Night got busted in a drug raid in Italy, along with some other minor celebrities. (Including Tinto Brass ingenue Lyudmilla Derkach). My knowledge of the language of Roma is pretty poor, so near all I can tell is that the cops called their action "Operation Cleopatra"--and I have no idea what the hell that's supposed to mean.


The New Zealand Film Awards almost didn't happen this year--due to lack of funding--but I guess they've been saved in time to make the nominations a Whale Rider fest.



Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The cameos of Alfred Hitchcock! (Hat tip to things magazine for this one).


The Korean Film Critics Association has issued their Crtiic's Choice Awards for the year, and the big winner was Memories of Murder, Bong Joon-ho's film. The other winners (including Lee Mi-sook for Best Actress) are all listed here, and there's also a list of the ten Korean films that they felt were the best of the year. I'm just about to buy the DVD of A Tale of Two Sisters, but now maybe I'll toss in Save the Green Planet and The Uninvited.


Hey Cube fans: still mad that Cypher has fallen through the cracks and not gotten a US theatrical release? Well, teach the bastards a lesson and go pick up the great looking German Special Edition DVD of Vincenzo Natali's film that Miramax is still sitting on. It doesn't street until 12/9, but here's the specs:


  • Audio commentary w/ director Vincenzo Natali, film script author Brian King, Jasna Stefanovich and actor David Hewlett
  • 'Elevated' short film with audio commentary by director Vincenzo Natali and actor David Hewlett
  • The Making Of 'Cypher'
  • Interview with Cast & Crew
  • Behind the Scenes material
  • Pre Visualizations
  • 9 deleted scenes
  • Isolated film music
  • Multi-angle Storyboard/Film comparison
  • 5 photo galleries (markers -, Requisiten -, costume Designs, turning places and international Artwork)
  • Trailer, Biographies, Production Notes

Not bad for a bunch of Euros--even if it is look out below for the dollar these days. (Special thank to Steve Guariento, who pointed this out over at MHVF).


Cool Criterion news at the Criterion Collection Forum: they'll be releasing editions of Corridors of Blood, The Haunted Strangler, First Man Into Space and The Atomic Submarine in 2004. Excellent.


Not much info in this brief Ring 2 update, but there is a picture of Naomi Watts, at least.


Will Wong Kar-Wai's 2046 ever come out? Jesus, I sure hope so. I've been waiting for this one forever, it seems.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Asian DVD Guide has posted a great list of the Shaw Brothers' releases from Celestial for 2004. Wow, there's a lot of great stuff on there. Could someone lend me a couple grand?


Some new info has hit the web for The Machinist, the new horror film from Brad Anderson the man responsible for Session 9. There was a trailer, initially, but I don't see it there right now. Hopefully it'll reappear by the time you click this link. If not, just surf the site for the other interesting projects here--such as the new Jaime Balaguero film or Romasanta, a spiffy looking lycanthrope offering.


In his update at Synapse the other day, it seems that the hardworking Don May Jr neglected to mention that they are actually working with the great Radley Metzger to make a DVD of Madame O, which I guess was handled by Metzger's Audubon Films. Coooool.


Bollywood goes digital!

Gullermo del Toro was on the chat boards again, giving updates on all his future projects. Here's a nice recap of what he had to say.




Monday, November 17, 2003

The last couple of updates to the release list at Mondo Digital have some nice surprises, though we'll ignore for the moment that the Dawn of the Dead SE seems to have slipped from February 2004 into future undated. But there's great news here as well--Mondo Macabro's Dangerous Seductress, Crazy Love and Lady Terminator, Synapse's Effects, Anchor Bay's Simon, King of the Witches, Guilty Pleasures' The Thrill Killers and The Incredibly Strange Creatures who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies, Blue Underground's Blind Dead Collection. Not to mention that Fangoria is going to put out the Region 1 version of Great Britain's The Last Horror movie, which looks quite good I must say. I'd give you links to entries on a couple of these, but IMDB is all screwed up this morning, so you'll have to look 'em up yourself.


From the plus ca change, plus ca meme chose Department: film serials are back! They're just a little more overblown and expensive, these days.


Things have been a bit slow over at Midnight Eye of late, so i haven't tossed out links from there for a bit. But catching up: check out this report from the Yamagata Film Festival, read a review of the first Sogo Ishii film, or take in a great little chat with Takeshi Kitano.


Don't miss this news update from the good folk at Synapse, with all kinds of tasty tidbits on their 2004 slate.


Thursday, November 13, 2003

Since blogger was down during my usual posting time this AM, all you get today is a brief item on Huo Jianqi's film Nuan, which was awarded the top prize at this year's Tokyo Film Festival. Oh, and Shinobu Terajima won the Best actress prize.


And in one other bit of festivalish news: at London's Raindance Festival, Julian Richards' The Last Horror Movie was awarded the Best UK Feature Prize.


Wednesday, November 12, 2003

If'n you live in New York, be sure not to miss the excellent Japanese horror series coming in December at the Japan Society. Along with all the great films, they're also showing some episodes of Gakko No Kaidan--a TV series from Japan that I'd just love to see. So go check it out, Gothamites.


What with the holiday yesterday and all, I went and missed Hypatia Lee's birthday. Darn it.


Here's an interesting piece about Taiwan's animators, who do a lot of the work on many big budget Hollywood epics. It seems that local production is ramping up there, so hopefully we'll see some cool new projects coming forth from there soon.


Monday, November 10, 2003

Over at the Something Weird Yahoo discussion board, there's been a list posted of Something Weird's planned 2004 DVD releases. I'm probably most excited about Peggy Church in The All-American Girl, but that's not to say I'm uninterested in Little Red Riding Hood and the Monsters, Swamp of the Lost Monsters, Alice in Acidland, and Curse of the Crying Woman. Well, and all the films those are double-billed with in the great Something Weird tradition. Many thanks go out to Mike Vraney, the genius who has saved so much of film's rich history for us.


Last week, I had Riya Sen pictures that I linked to with no real excuse save for how beautiful she looked. This week, it's the amazing Bae Doo-na. Again, I have no justification but the lusting in my heart.


Pet peeve: I've been reading about the experimental films of Peter Tscherkassky for a while now (this piece especially intrigued me), and yet there seems to be little of his work on DVD. Outer SPace does at least turn up on this release from Other Cinema, but I'd sure like to see a full-fledged DVD devoted just to Tscherkassky himself. I feel much the same way about Canadian animator Norman McLaren, one of the greatest short filmmakers of all time whose work I'm still waiting to turn up on a nice digital disk.


The New Yorker has a "where are they now?" piece on the man who was "Banjo Boy" in Deliverance.



Friday, November 07, 2003

Here's some good news: Palm Pictures has picked up distribution and DVD rights for both Michael Haneke's Time of the Wolf and Lou Ye's Purple Butterfly. I love Haneke's stuff (La Pianiste and Funny Games are especially amazing) and Lou Ye's Suzhou River was incredible, so I'm really looking forward to his sophomore effort.


Production IG has a new trailer up for their sequel to Ghost in the Shell, which will premiere under the name of Innocence.


Nominees for the 40th annual Golden Horse awards are out, giving me some food for thought on what I'll buy myself at DDDHouse for Xmas. I've seen two of the Best Picture nominees (PTU and Infernal Affairs), but unfortunately Blind Shaft and Goodbye, Dragon Inn haven't gone to DVD yet. I'm also now a bit more interested in Night Corridor seeing that Kara Hui Ying-Hung garner a Best Supporting Actress nod.


While we're near the subject of Tsai Ming-Liang's latest, don't miss this piece on actress Yang Kuei-mei, who just picked up an award at the Asia Pacific Film Festival for her work in the film.


Vitreous glass tesserae mosaics of Alfred Hitchcock films in London. (Tip of the chapeau to Incoming Signals.


Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Japanese website for the next Takashi Miike flick (Chakushin ari--which translated is You've Got A Call) is up and running, with a trailer and everything. Wow, is this guy ever prolific. And turning from Japan to Hong Kong, The Twins have a new horror movie on the way, and that site has also just gone live to the web.


On the first day of its release to stores, Finding Nemo sold 8 million copies.....yowza, that's a boatload of revenue. Does Pixar hold all the cards in their renegotiations with Disney on a new contract, or what?


China's Golden Rooster Awards have been given out for the 23rd time, and MonkeyPeaches has the results. Promising young actress/director Xu Jinglei, who won the supporting actress award, is supposedly now hard at work helming a new film.


Some DVD upcoming release news: DVD Maniacs has the word on some Mondo Macabro fare (ooooh, Lady Terminator), and the great Blue Underground has new release pages up for their January Jess Franco offerings: Sadomania and The Girl From Rio.


The incredibly awesome Sitges Film Festival has announced their lineup for this year's extravaganza, and it looks just great. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit in that Fango note though is their reference to Mondo Macabro showing Jigoku....a new MM DVD of that one would just make my heart stop dead. Flat out dead.


I have no real excuse for posting this. None. But all that aside: Riya Sen.


Best news of the day: Rialto Pictures to strike new prints of Gojira!!!


Wednesday, November 05, 2003

It's time for the Tokyo International Film Festival, and the good folks there have been good enough to put up daily news in english, so take a look. They had some interesting looking films playing this year--it's just too bad that when the Japanese ones come out on DVD they likely won't have subtitles and they'll run you like fifty bucks to mail order from cdjapan. I mean hell, the new Kiyoshi Kurosawa film (Bright Future) does have subs and even I can't bring myself to pony up that kind of cash for a DVD. Here's hoping for a Hong Kong edition (god bless the currency peg!).


The new DVD section over at Xploited Cinema is really burgeoning, and I can highly recommend this outfit so go on over and buy yourself an early Xmas present. I've got my eyes on a Clouzot film, an Italian Golden Age XXX classic, a neosphaghetti western, and Ich, ein Groupie. But who wouldn't want a movie called "Ich, ein Groupie"?


Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A bit of news out of the Chiller convention on 2004's most awaited release to DVD, George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. My opinion is that this should come out tomorrow, dammit. And while you're over at Creature Corner you may as well look at the awesome specs for the Alien Quadrilogy. Dang, that's a lot of stuff--and the price is even pretty reasonable.


A new Guillermo del Toro horror film? Sounds good to me.

It seems a slow day for news 'n stuff, so I'm mostly out here perusing the DVD reviews this AM. Fangoria tackles Captain Kronos and Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell. DVD Drive-in looks at The Thirsty Dead and Swamp of the Ravens. Over at DVD Maniacs, it's all about Escape 2000. And DVD Journal has a mix of lots of daily news plus a review of To Have and Have Not.


I love the sort of documentary renaissance in film of late, and in that vein let me just allow that I'll be really excited if I get the chance to eventually see Mayor of the Sunset Strip. And I've written about this one before, but I'm also even more interested in Desperately Seeking Seka now that I've seen the trailer.


Whoooooaaaaaa. Shots of the new Takashi Miike movie. Though I'm still waiting for a legit release of Gozu.





Monday, November 03, 2003

Now that the list of contenders for the Foreign Film Oscar have been announced, it's time to start trying to actually find out what some of these movies are. I've seen Hong Kong's Infernal Affairs, and it was quite good. Checking around the web (for skimming only in these parts, I really don't want to know too much about these), here's some info on China's Warriors of Heaven and Earth, Japan's Twilight Samurai, Taiwan's Goodbye, Dragon Inn, Korea's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter....and Spring, Thailand's Last Life in the Universe, Norway's Kitchen Stories, the Netherlands' The Twins, the Phillipines' Dekada '70, Canada's The Barbarian Invasions, Brazil's Candiru, Sweden's Evil, Turkey's Distant, Iceland's Noi the Albino, Indonesia's The Stringless Violin, and Mexico's Aro Tolbukhin: In the Mind of a Killer.


Well, my delivery service screwed up and forgot to deliver my Sunday New York Times so I'm stuck reading the always interesting Holiday Movies section on the web. There's lots there, so check it out.


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