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A feast in a time of plague.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Boston Globe profiles the great cinematographer Christopher Doyle, who has shot films like In the Mood For Love, Rabbit Proof Fence, 2046 and so many others.


International Herald Tribune weighs in with a piece on crime novelist Georges Simenon, whose crime novels have been made into films many times over.


Sounds like QT will stitch together the two segments of Kill Bill into one big film for theatrical release. Count me in.


This is a week old or so, but the WaPo took a look at the state of megaplex building after years of little growth in the number of domestic screens. Registration required, so it's nice that bugmenot is back online.


Hollywood North scores some pix from the set of the Fantastic Four movie. In the meantime, Monkeypeaches notes that Seven Swords, the new Tsui Hark film, has been cast. The most exciting news of all, though, is that Liu Chia-Liang (aka Lau Kar-Leung) will do the action choreography. There's few better.

Please make it be better than the Legend of Zu remake

Monday, August 30, 2004

Kitamura's Godzilla: Final Wars really will feature a climactic final battle dripping with symbolism: rubber suit vs cgi, USA vs the world, Kitamura vs Emmerich.


See this space here?






That should be where there's all kinds of cool stuff--plenty of notes on the Hero box office (and a personal mea culpa), the return of Bitter Cinema, the history of Pifan, a cool picture and so much more. And then blogger, in its finite wisdom, lost everything on me during the "save as a draft" step and so this is all you get 'cause I don't have 45 minutes to re-do it. HATE.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

How's your French? Mine, it's lousy as hell--but that didn't stop me from drooling over this website detailing the L'Étrange Festival that'll run for a couple weeks in early September in the land of croissants and Sartre.


It's a big birthday tribute today from the Golden Age of Pornography Department, as this not-safe-for-work segment turns its eyes towards two pioneers who have both now broken the six decade barrier. And so, a very happy 64th goes out to Gloria Leonard (does she really live on a secluded tropical island?) and best wishes on her 60th to the legendary Kay Parker.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Thanks to epicurean bloggers The Food Section for hipping me to the fact that the new Gourmet is a special movie issue. Epicurious has a sample of the recipes inside the print edition.


The Filmmaker Magazine blog has a great rundown of a lot of the Toronto Film Festival lineup with handy links if you want to follow up. A real public service.


SIght and Sound has a excellent feature on music in the movies, with input from lots of people working in the industry today.


Creature Corner points out that Neil Gaiman's official site has some stills from his film project Mirrormask. These images make the movie look super cool, that's for sure.


From the Why-God-Why Department: it looks like the Xmas DVD release of the Japanese superhero film Cutie Honey has no subtitles. Sigh. For once I would have thrown the cash to the high priced cdjapan, but I guess I'm just hoping for a Hong Kong release with subs at this point. Unless Warner's wants to get hip and pick this one up for distribution...

No english subtitles makes Hyde something something

Thursday, August 26, 2004

You'd have to ask one of the box office geeks around here whether this is getting more common these days, but I think it's interesting that The Girl Next Door's DVD, released on Tuesday, will "top the film's $15 million box office gross by week's end". Many of the sales are supposedly going for the unrated version--which just goes to prove the old saw: Sex Sells.


The war of words between Bo Vibernius, the director of Thriller: A Cruel Picture and Synapse, the company that'll shortly be issuing the film to DVD continues to simmer. Seems like maybe he's started his own little astroturf campaign against the company, though he has been paid--as pointed out in this official response. Weird.


In their quest to make every comic book they ever put out into a film, Marvel appears to be going ahead with plans for a Deathlok the Demolisher movie. So where in the hell is my Inhumans flick????

I bought this when it came out!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The director of Fort Apache: The Bronx and the TV movie Moon of the Wolf, Daniel Petrie, has died.


It's time for the unveiling of the schedule for this year's TIFF. As usual, it's loaded with great stuff--I'm intrigued by the Belgian film Calvaire, Yuthlert Sippapak's Rahtree: Flower of the Night (which I assume is the same as this), the Hou Hsiao Hsien documentary on Ozu Cafe Lumiere, Nimrod Antal's Kontroll, David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabee's and so many more. Check it out.

Oh, Ozu

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Is Hong Kong film on the wane or are things picking up? Me, I'm looking forward to Kung Fu Hustle. (The Movieblog notes some online pics of this one).


News of a John Woo Metroid movie may have been premature.


Did you ever want to be the shark in the water, ready to rend some tasty human flesh right off the bone? Soon enough, Xbox and PS2 owners will get the chance.

I hate the ways summer ends so fast

Monday, August 23, 2004

This just in: 40's B-movie queen Acquanetta has passed away at the age of 83. Famous for her roles in Captive Wild Woman and Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, this former film siren will be missed. (thanks to Marty McKee and James Cheney for the tip).

Aquanetta, 1921-2004

It doesn't look like the official site has been put up yet, but the lineup for the 42nd New York Film Festival has been announced.


Comic art legend Will Eisner's most enduring creation, The Spirit, will be made into a feature film.


The reviews are in for the weekend Korean premiere of Three: Monster. I'm already convinced and so I skipped reading these, but they might be worth a look.


Via Incoming Signals come a couple movie related items: a cool story from March on Stanley Kubrick's archives and an amazing gallery of Mexican movie poster art.

Una mala pelicula

Friday, August 20, 2004

How about some Hong Kong/Bollywood synergy? Now that's the kind of globalism that I like to see.


There hadn't been an update on the Kung Fu Cinema news page for a bit, but they've apparently fought off the summer doldrums to post one. There's a couple reviews and all sorts of other tidbits like specs on Artsmagic's Kickiku SE and details on the first two releases in the J-Horror Theater series.


Via Greencine Daily comes word of a nice looking movie blog by Frank Booth that looks like it'll bear watching. Good reading, and hopefully there'll be lots more to come before blog burnout sets in.


In other totally unrelated news, I don't think I ever posted the second part of Fangoria's triumvirate interview with Miike, del Toro and Roth. I think that this bit is especially interesting:

Roth: We're seeing a revolution in Asian films influencing U.S. productions. What is it about Asian cinema that's so far ahead of the curve?

Miike: Maybe it's the limited space and locations. Perhaps Hollywood should try to use lower budgets...

I've often felt that when you give artists barely enough to work with and they are forced to be creative, the results are generally better than when you wash them in cash. Hollywood certainly isn't always profligate, but I bet Miike's on to something here.


Meanwhile, across the pond the Independent has a brief preview of London's Frightfest. I wish I could be there, blast it.

The motto of this blog is Never pass up a chance at cheesecake

Thursday, August 19, 2004

ESC, the special effects firm known for their work on the awful Matrix sequels and the supposedly even more terrible Catwoman (though I don't think it was the effects work that sank any of these films) has failed to win the Superman contract and is laying off people right and left. And it looks like Warners' has selected Mark Stetson as the person to take control of the CGI and et cetera for the Man of Steel's next trip into celluloid.


It's been a rough year for classic composers: this time it's the great Elmer Bernstein who has passed on.


Teleport City News has a couple of recent updates, from a lengthy review for Hammer's Revenge of Frankenstein to a look at the Marx Brothers' A Day at the Races to some capsule reviews in the recurring trip through the Netflix queue section. (Though with the taste over there you'd think they'd be better off at Greencine or Nicheflix).


Anyone else reallllly excited for the Night Stalker/Night Strangler twofer that's on the way from MGM? I remember staying up really late to watch Darren McGavin as a kidlet and getting sort of freaked out. Good stuff.

C'mon, this is scary

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Eccentric Cinema takes a look at the new Anchor Bay release of Goodbye, Bruce Lee--the film that was finished after he was killed. Here's hoping AB brings some higher quality kung fu flicks to their lineup soon.


Meanwhile in Japan, the new Takashi Miike film (Izo) is opening this weekend. I'm happy to see samurai films make a comeback, even if I did have pretty mixed feelings about Kitano's Zatoichi remake.


Apple has the new trailer for the new Shinobu Yaguchi film Swing Girls.


Lovers of Chinese videogame swordplay (you know who you are, Talim and Xinghua fans) should be thrilled to hear that there will be a House of Flying Daggers computer game. I'm not sure if that means it'll be just a PC game or if it'll actually make the console scene too. But I'll be keeping my eyes open. (Oh and in another Soul Calibur aside, I just stumbled over this hilarious movie of Voldo dancing with himself.)

Hope you have a long life...Just kidding!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Did you ever want a quick primer on kung fu films that'd give you an easy introduction into the genre? Well over at MHVF, luminaries Linn Haynes and Brian Camp have engaged in a discussion that hits lots of highlights. I'm ashamed to say how many of these titles I haven't seen--I thought I was steeped pretty well in this tradition, but it looks like I've got some homework to do.


John Woo, who has done little beyond making crappy Hollywood movies for the last decade, is reuniting with Chow Yun-fat for a new Chinese language film. Here's hoping that it returns some quality to the work of the man who made The Killer.


A whole slew of great cartoon sites have aggregated themselves under the Golden Age Cartoons banner, making it far easier to access all the excellent information they've collected.


All sorts of horrific stuff over at Fangoria: Shaun of the Dead cast members in the next Romero film; Sam Raimi in talks on Freddy vs Jason vs Ash; and Eli Roth is going to remake the recently released to DVD classic The Bad Seed. I'm not sure how I feel about this, though:

The original was a great psychological thriller, and we are going to bastardize and exploit it, ramping up the body counts and killings. This is going to be scary, bloody fun, and we're going to create the next horror icon, a la Freddy, Jason and Chucky. She's this cunning, adorable kid who loves to kill, but also loves 'N Sync.

Hmmmm. I'll be there opening day, but they'd best not screw it up too bad. And there sure as hell should be some sort of cameo role at least for Patty McCormack.

Soooo scary

Monday, August 16, 2004

You thought that when 2046 played at Cannes that it was finally ready, didn't you? Well, you were wrong. Wong Kar-wai's latest has been pulled from the Edinburgh film festival because it isn't finished. Sheesh.


No one told me that the Egyptian Theater's tribute to the musicals of the 70's and 80's included a restored print of the legendary piece of junk Lost Horizon. Can a DVD release be far off?


There's no stopping the cretins from hopping. September 27 sees the UK release of Ramones Raw, a DVD featuring one of punk's greatest bands. Vintage concert performances, tv appearances, home video and the like should make this one a necessity for aging stage divers.

1-2-3-4

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Two weeks behind on this one, but Offscreen had a two part wrap on Fantasia fest: Part One covers the offerings from Japan and Korea; Part Two tackles the international fare. Peter Rist chimes in with a look at the Hong Kong International Film Festivals of 2002 and 2004.


From the Not-so-safe-for-work Birthday Department: a very happy 56th to the legendary Uschi Digart, supervixen extraordinaire.

Hey, you try finding a relatively safe pic for this one

Friday, August 13, 2004

I'm running a little behind in noting an update from the excellent Japanese film site Midnight Eye; there's new pieces on the new Tsukamoto film, a review of the Meiko Kaji vehicle Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (I just ordered this one up from deepdiscountdvd); interviews with Katsuhito Ishii and Yusaku Matsuda; and even a not-so-safe-for-work roundup of recent pinku films. This last piece also has a nice short bibliography of some pink film websites, and this brief history of pink eiga by Roland Domenig is especially worth a look for the uninitiated. (And that one's pretty safe for perusal, too).


I was not the hugest fan of Vincenzo Natali's Cube, though it certainly had its cool moments. Still, I'm not sure why we can't seem to get Nothing or Cypher in anything but import editions. What is up with that?


Mao Xiaorui, who acted in Lou Ye's excellent Suzhou River, has directed a new horror film called Bloodstained Kite. The director is pretty up front about how it's a ripoff of The Shining, but me I often like these bits of crosscultural thievery. Heck, Suzhou River is pretty much a Vertigo riff, and that was just fine. (Thanks to Hong Kong Entertainment News in Review for pointing this one out.)

Yeah, two pics of Zhou Xun in a week.  So sue me

Thursday, August 12, 2004

There's not very much to go on here, but the site for the US premiere of Shaun of the Dead has gone live. Can't wait.


German historians have located a lost Laurel and Hardy (aka "Dick und Doof") film in which the comedy duo speak their lines in phonetic German. Ach du lieber.


Cartoon Brew has some additional specs for what'll be on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection 2. This looks like another amazing set and you can be sure I'll be buying mine right fast. The Brew also pointed out a passing a couple days ago that I neglected to mention--composer David Raksin, a veteran of classic Hollywood film.


The Horror Channel has an interview with Blue Underground head honcho Bill Lustig and sidekick David Gregory. A few notes in there about some 2005 "Eurosleaze" releases like Mark of the Devil and The Night Train Murders. (Tip of the brim to Don Guarisco for pointing this one out.)


Oliver Berry has written part one in what I assume will be a series on the British horror film; this introductory article focuses on history through the seventies.


In a recent educational supplement in the Village Voice, the always interesting Ed Halter takes a look at the academic study of porn and sexploitation films; special note is made of scholar Linda Williams' recent tome Porn Studies.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Just the other day in a DVD Wish List column that I wrote here at BOP, I had an aside begging for a DVD release of the UK series Tales of the Unexpected. Well, whaddya know, it ships on 9/28. Also cool is the news that Brian Clemens' Thriller and the second season of Terry Nation's Survivors are coming to R2.


Semi-random notes from the horror front: Lions Gate Entertainment picks up the video rights to Tobe Hooper's 2003 The Toolbox Murders; The Korea Times reports on the Park Chan-wook segment of the soon to be released sequel to Three; next up on the 70's horror remake parade is When A Stranger Calls; and Teleport City News examines a pair of old Hammer films.


The documentary phenomenon hits Japan with Deep Blue, a film on fish that's gotten a nice start at the box office in the Land of the Rising Sun.


Here's a really cool piece from a UK mag that has Tilda Swinton talking about the classic Judy Holliday performance in Born Yesterday--which really is aces. (Hat tip to Movie City News).

Soooooo underrated

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

From the Political Correctness Gone Rampant Department: LA screening of Griffith's Birth of a Nation cancelled due to complaints and threats. What a world, what a world.


Via Cartoon Brew comes word that September's Ottawa International Animation Festival will contain a special retrospective of the work of Fred Crippen, former UPA animator best known for Roger Ramjet. Some of the competition films look nice too, though that Pinocchio one freaks me out a little. More to come on this event as it approaches, I'm sure.


Actress Fay Wray has passed away at the age of 96. The Canadian born star was in a host of films, but of course her most memorable role was as the screaming woman menaced by Kong.

Fay Wray 1907-2004, RIP

Monday, August 09, 2004

It's a release date shuffle, as the Amityville Horror remake and Ring 2 get pushed around. And it sounds like maybe there's some difficulties on Hideo Nakata's set...


All I'm going to say about this Loch Ness movie with Werner Herzog is that it looks completely fascinating and I love it already. It's all sort of believable since no one's really sure if Herzog isn't completely crazy as a loon.


Author Jin Yong appears to be unhappy with the idea of Zhou Xun as the Little Dragon Girl in the filmed adaptation of his novels.

She looks OK to me....

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Awwwww, rats. I missed Brigitte Maier's 52nd birthday yesterday. (Possibly NSFW).

Ach du lieber

Friday, August 06, 2004

Wow, is blogger ever useless in the mornings these days. 45 minutes to bring up the posting window to make a new post....what fun. In any case, that's my excuse for the brevity of today's update. I guess one really does get what one pays for.


Anyway, you ought to check out Peter Nepstad's article on the Black Rose movies. The earliest incarnations were as 60's Cantonese films, though there are some more recent remakes. And it'd sure be nice to see that one that was shot in color be released on something other than a black and white VCD...


I think that this is fairly new material, though it may have been around for awhile. But whatever, The Unknown Movies has a great interview with producer Sam Sherman of Independent-International.

If stewardesses still dressed like this, I'd fly a lot more often



Thursday, August 05, 2004

Between September 2 and 6 at the American Cinematheque, Cinecon 40 will take place. Full schedule still doesn't seem to be up, but they're promising She Loves Me Not with Bing Crosby and Miriam Hopkins and Norma Shearer in After Hollywood. I'm sure there'll be plenty else besides, so go if you can.


Actor Fumio Watanabe, a veteran of many films by great Japanese directors, has passed away at the age of 74 Cult aficionados will likely know him most from the Meiko Kaji vehicle Female Convict Scorpion. (Hat tip to Stuart Galbraith IV).


Reading blogs often leads to reading other blogs (and so, ad infinitum), like when my perusal of Cartoon Brew led me to Anipages Daily, a really nice page focused mainly on Japanese anime but without the sort of breathless fannishness that accompanies so much coverage of the genre. Add this one to your bookmarks--with any luck it won't disappear into the void like some of my other recent finds. Bitter Cinema, where have you gone?


Here's news to warm the cockles of any horror film fan and video game player's black, black heart: Creature Corner reports that George Romero has partnered with publisher American McGee to creat a zombie game called City of the Dead. Now I dunno if you've played this company's insane version of Alice in Wonderland (or if--like me--you're breathlessly anticipating their take on the works of L. Frank Baum and The Brothers Grimm), but this twisted platformer is one of the better PC games I've played in recent years. Their sensibility should be a perfect match for tales of the undead. When can I place my pre-order?


Fangoria has the awards from Fantasia Fest. Last Life in the Universe does quite well, and the odd looking One Point 0 does too. Other good stuff got noticed too, so be sure and take notes so that you'll be up to speed when these things hit the US.

She loves a man in a uniform?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Hey, do you ever try to go to a linked site from here and come up against the annoying registration barrier that nearly every damn newspaper online makes you go through these days? (You'd think with all the media consolidation you wouldn't have to do this that much!) If so, be sure and bookmark bugmenot.com, where you'll likely find a workaround.


A hearty get well soon goes out to the star of Benji: Off the Leash, who's recovering from cataract surgery.


I generally avoid political commentary here (mostly because I'm so sick of the level of political discourse these days that I'd usually rather stick my g-d head in a giant garbage disposal than attempt a real conversation in a climate poisoned by terminally lame partisanship), but the Sharon Stone/Halle Berry non-kiss story has me up in arms. If it's really the prez's fault that this single reason to go see this piece of dreck didn't happen, then I guess he's really got to go.


Well now, this looks pretty promising. DVD Drive-in notes that VCI Entertainment is breaking out a couple cheapie DVD lines of old stuff for us. There'll be a "Cinema Pop" run of titles that'll include gems like Sisters of Satan and Death Game, and then there's the ACME DVD Works bunch which will be double features of publically available stuff such as Black Dragons/The Corpse Vanishes. All for the low low price of 10$ or less. Cool. And I'm also eyeballing VCI's release of Fractured Flickers, the Jay Ward/Bill Scott comedy series.


Haven't seen all that many reports on PIFF this year, but there's at least one at koreanfilm.org, with a promise of more to come. That's good enough for me.

Mighty mighty big and brighty

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Venice Film Festival's line-up has been been announced, and there's lots of good stuff. Hollywood has a fair presence, there's films by Otomo, Tsukamoto, Miyazaki, and Miike and Golden Lions will be awarded to Manoel de Oliveira and Stanley Donen. There's also the Italian Kings of the B's portion of the program, loaded with Fernando di Leo and Antonio Margheriti films.


No self respecting fan of the world of film should ever miss a new edition of Bright Lights Film Journal. Always loaded with great content, this issue has some especially interesting pieces: a look at the 50's big bug monster movie, some blathering on the work of Tarantino, capsule reviews of all kinds of stuff from all over the world, and even one piece that details a comparison of Howard Hawks and Guillermo del Toro. (Hmmmm. I like del Toro and all, but he's no Howard Hawks). In any case, there's even more over there for you to peruse--what exactly are you waiting for?


Seriously? A live action remake of Rankin and Bass' Mad Monster Party? The idea factory must really have gone bankrupt.

When I see mommy I feel like a mummy

Monday, August 02, 2004

Criterion has finally announced that they'll be putting out an edition for Franju's Eyes Without a Face in October. DVD Drive-In has the specs.


The sad news department is getting a real workout of late--this time it's Laura Betti that has passed on. Betti had a fine career and appeared in many films by Bertolucci, Pasolini and other Italian greats. She's also in Mario Bava's Hatchet For A Honeymoon.


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