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A feast in a time of plague.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Phillip K. Dick has always had a hard time at the movies, in my opinion. And now, he's going to suffer the utter ignominy of having Keanu Reeves star in the film version of A Scanner Darkly. Bummer.

Former femme fatale Jan Sterling has passed away at the age of 82. Noir fans reminisce over on The Blackboard.

A happy 52nd birthday to Golden Age Latina star Vanessa del Rio. The woman also known as Ursula Passarelli supposedly has a book coming out about her from Taschen, though I haven't heard anything about that project for some time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

This is a day late, but actor Peter Ustinov has died, and the Independent eulogizes him.

Nice interview at CHUD with Guillermo del Toro where he claims he may be making another Spanish language film after Hellboy. Coooool. (Thanks to Doran Gaston for the tip!)

Via CartoonBrew, I read about some films that really, really, really need to be released to DVD: stop motion fairy tales from the forties by the great Ray Harryhausen. I had no idea.

Kyoko Suzuki is going to step out in her next film (to be directed by Yoichi Sai), according to Wai Wai.

Monday, March 29, 2004

It's a slow Monday again, but at least Bruce Holecheck reveals all sorts of stuff coming from Cult Epics in the next year or so. Good stuff.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Well, I had a nice, long post for today and then IE spontaneously shut down all my windows and tossed it into the void. The shorter recap: Sylvain Chomet's new film for Dimension and the take on that from Cartoon Brew; Actress Kim Min-sun is chosen as the envoy for the Jeonju Film Fest; and Nicole Kidman seemed not to enjoy her time with Lars von Trier.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I'm coming to this one a bit late for the screenings, but Ed Halter's item on the Anthology retros for Craig Baldwin and Jon Moritsugu is still worth a glance.

From the "in case you missed it" file: Jack Valenti is going to retire as the head of the MPAA. And as long as we're talking about the living dead, I'll point out that Tom Savini has posted a couple of photos of his from the legendary lost alternate ending from the 1978 Dawn of the Dead. (Thanks to Don May Jr for the tip!)

Hey New Yawkers....the Film Forum spring calendar is out. Here's the front, and here's the back. The apple is still rotten to the core, but parts of it are very sweet. (Block that metaphor!)

My feelings about Lars von Trier are extremely mixed, but the IHT does have a nice piece on the filmmaker and Dogme95 that I guess ran in the Grey Lady previously.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

After ordering Duel in the Sun yesterday (for like 9 bucks at deepdiscountdvd), I was poking around the web looking for westerns that I haven't seen or that I'd like to see come to DVD. Stumbling over this MHVF thread on the best westerns of all time didn't touch on too many I hadn't previously viewed, but I am now pretty tempted to buy Cut Throats Nine, My Name Is Nobody and Captain Apache. This quest also reminded me about how many old movies by Budd Boetticher need to be released--most notably Seven Men From Now.

Time Asia takes a close look at Zhao Wei, who I hear is in some movie that Miramaxe is attempting to destroy.

Let's hear it for Lion's Gate Films, who have decided to let Haute Tension go out with an NC-17 rating. Excellent.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The good folks at LoveHKFilm have announced their awards for the past year. Lots of good to be recommended there, though I'm sad to say I've seen very few of these movies. It may be time for a trip to Layoyo to place an order.......

Dang, people are getting their copies of Mill of the Stone Women already, but mine is nowhere to be seen. What the hell is up with that?

As the Sitges Festival wrapped quite some time ago, I had almost given up on hearing anything about how it was. But Lars Erik Holmquist comes to the rescue with a late recap. This piece led me to the website of Cecile de France, let me know that Curtis Harrington had a new film, almost made me want to see Tobe Hooper's remake of The Toolbox Murders, whetted my appetite for Into the Mirror, gives a terrible review for Raul Ruiz's Ce Jour-La which only makes me want to see it more and finally increases my desperate desire to view Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Doppelganger and Alexandre Aja's Haute Tension. I would like BOP to fly me to this festival next year, please.

Gorezone has the word that Mondo Crash will be bringing a whole slew of Euro-thrillers to DVD in the coming months: Horror Rises From the Tomb, Night of the Sorcerers and A Candle For the Devil. He also mentions that Creature Corner has announced that Anchor Bay is going to release George Romero's Season of the Witch! And what's really sounding good about this latter release is that it also sounds like it'll include There's Always Vanilla. Coooooooooool.

Monday, March 22, 2004

It's a slooooowwwwww Monday over here in filmblogistan. But the news is in that Eye 2 topped the Hong Kong box office. I think there was some zombie remake in the US that did OK too.

Creature Corner's tribute to the great Mercedes McCambridge mentions a tidbit that I overlooked last week upon her passing: she was the voice of Regan for The Exorcist.

This year's Annecy Animation Film Festival will have a spotlight on the animation of South Korea. There'll be all kinds of other cool stuff playing too, of course. Like the Bill Plympton feature Hair High, the Canadian P3K--Pinocchio 3000 and the Spanish El Cid la Leyenda (though this one looks a little too Disneyfied for my tastes). There's all kinds of other cool stuff beyond the features as well--like shorts by Mirek Nisenbaum, Bob Sabiston of Flat Black Films, Mark Kausler's It's the Cat and a whole host of other things from around the world.

Friday, March 19, 2004

My heroes at Rialto Pictures have announced some cities and dates for their release of the uncut Japanese version of Godzilla. But where are the Boston dates, dammit?

The Chinese film One Million will debut at the New York Film Festival in April.

If you poke around the Austin Chronicle this week, you'll find lots o' stuff about SXSW--such as brief reviews of some of what's showing and whatnot.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Box office update, dateline South Korea: Taegukgi, a Korean war film, has passed ten million admissions faster than any movie in that industry's history.

Today's sad passing is Mercedes McCambridge. A great and underused actress that I'll always remember most fondly as Emma Small in Nicholas Ray's brilliant Johnny Guitar. Though also memorable is her prison warden bit in Jess Franco's 99 Women.

The Midnight Eye reader's poll for the best Japanese film has been published; the big winner is A Laughing Frog. Also faring well were Miike's Gozu, the Zaitochi remake, and my personal Japanese-film-I'm-most-dying-to-see, kiyoshi Kurosawa's Bright Future. If only the Japanese DVD didn't go for like $60......

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The Japan Times interviews Mamoru Oshii, whose last animated film was the 1995 Ghost in the Shell.

According to this post at MHVF, there's a Paramount chat at Home Theater Forum that details how the studio is bringing Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik to DVD. See if you can find the chat amongst the many HTF options--me, I find this site to be almost Byzantine in complexity. I can never find what I'm looking for there.

Hmmm, now maybe I'll hafta stop swiping news items from Cartoon Research....since Cartoon Brew, a new animation blog is now live. Very cool.

Don't miss the newest issue of Kinoeye; a great collection of articles on Michael Haneke.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Mark Schilling reviews Moju vs lssunboshi, the new shot-on-digital film by Teruo Ishii.

Hideo Nakata assumes the helm of the Ring 2 Hollywood remake. This is really interesting--especially since this sequel is not a remake of Nakata's own Ring 2.

Via Bruce Holecheck over at MHVF, we find that the great ol' outfit Blue Underground will release Mark of the Devil sometime this year.

Via Greencine, I found out about the Fearless Tales Genre Fest, a horror festival in SF this weekend. You already missed yesterday's shows; so get out there this weekend, Bay area types.

Shameless plug for someone I know: Ted Widmer writes about Bertolucci and Kurlansky and 1968. See also: J. Hoberman's The Dream Life, a masterful evocation of the sixties through the movies.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

A happy 45th birthday today to one of the great XXX stars of the eighties, Nina Hartley.

Masters of Cinema has a nice breakdown of some of the Warner Brothers DVD's that were announced in the chat I linked to yesterday, if you didn't feel like reading that whole transcript. Me, I'm verrrry excited about a lot of these, especially The Big Parade by King Vidor and Bad Day At Black Rock.

This year's International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) will be held in Singapore, and the Straits Times will be there. In semi-related news, Shilpa Shetty says she's "genetically blessed", and after some painstaking, exhaustive, and downright grueling research, I have concluded that she is in fact correct.

If you happen to be lucky enough to live in the LA area, there's some killer animation screenings on the way shortly. (And Jerry Beck, where's that animation blog, by the way? Too busy with the Tom and Jerry box?)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

It's not good times in acting land this week; actor Robert Pastorelli dies in Hollywood Hills.

Here's a don't miss article in the Village Voice on the battle over the archives of legendary underground filmmaker Jack Smith. Weird stuff.

Amaaaaazing stuff coming to DVD this year (and after) from Warner Brothers. Read the transcript of the HTF chat at The Digital Bits. Coming two disc SE of Bonnie and Clyde! Demon Seed!! Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Cable Hogue and Ride the High Country!!! Val Lewton 9 film box set!!!! And a whole bunch of film noirs, notably The Set Up (with commentary by Robert Wise and Martin Scorsese) plus--the ultimate plum--Gun Crazy!!!!!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The New York Times profiles Czech animator Zdenek Miler, creator of Krtek or the Little Mole. I'd love to see some of his shorts come to DVD. (Link via Cartoon Research, who should have their own blog at some point in the future.

Today's sad news: actor Paul Winfield has passed away, and they fished Spalding Gray from the East River. Sigh.

In other news, it looks like Orson Welles' Oscar is one step closer to getting auctioned off.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Via HK Entertainment Review, I found this interview with actress Angelica Lee Sinje.

You'll have to live in Korea for this one, but here's a solid looking Kiyoshi Kurosawa festival. I would kill to see The Excitement of the Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl, myself.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Since I'm off to see Millennium Mambo after work today, I may as well point to this look at a recent box set of work by its director, Hou Hsiao-Hsien. And heck, that's a damned good reason to point to a pic of Shu Qi.

According to MonkeyPeaches, Zhang Yimou's latest is in rough cut form and ready to be pieced together. Excellent.

Ed Halter eulogizes indie filmmaker Sarah Jacobson.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Do you live in Brooklyn? Then be sure not to miss the sweet looking British horror fest at BAM. Great lineup.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Still feeling a bit blah on this venture this week....in any event, Masters of Cinema has a bit of info on the Bela Tarr DVD's from Artificial Eye and a look at the May slate from Criterion.

Here's one for the Larry Cohen fan: a DVD release of Special Effects.

And a final word on the Oscars: just when you thought they couldn't get any worse, they did. The most sucky event in memory....few memorable moments, and Billy Crystal is overrated and unfunny. Bleccch.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Trying to get things going here again, but I'm not that enthused. But at least be sure to check out Bruce Holecheck's exclusive news on some upcoming releases from Fantoma. Wow.

And I'd sure be remiss if I didn't wish Georgina Spelvin a happy 67th birthday.

Lastly, don't miss this animation op-ed by the director of Triplets of Belleville. Everyone's game for potshots at Disney these days.


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