I may not be too interested in Spectacle Theater's Midnite pick for Friday, but they have more than made up for it with a 42nd Street-style double feature on Saturday Night. I'm not much of a perv myself, but getting to see these two classics on a double bill isn't going to happen too many more times in my life, if at all.
The show starts at midnight with the film that brought porn to the masses, Deep Throat(1972).
IMDB says -"Linda, frustrated that her hugely energetic sex life leaves her unsatisfied, seeks medical help. The doctor informs her that the reason for her problem is that her clitoris is mistakenly located at the back of her throat - but there is a very simple remedy, which the doctor, and various other men, proceed to demonstrate..."
There aren't many movies out there that can top the Linda Lovelace classic. If any movie can do it, it would have to be the Devil in Miss Jones(1973).
IMBD says -"Miss Jones is tired of her life and commits suicide. She comes to a place where its decided if she will end up in Heaven or Hell. Because of her suicide she should go to Hell but she has the option to return to Earth and live life according to one of the mortal sins for some time. She picks lust and a few days of carnal pleasure follows."
Saturday, April 2nd at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
I think Spectacle Theater is throwing a curveball this Friday Night. After months of regularly scheduled "Midnite" movies on Friday and Saturday nights, Spectacle is doing something quite a bit different tomorrow. Rather than the cinematic trash that is the reason for this blogs existence being a Friday night standard, they decided to kick it up a notch with some art and high drama. These aren't concepts I am a stranger to, but after covering the majority of the Yakuza film series and all the Miike shit a couple of weeks ago, Japanese drama isn't really high on my list this week, but it doesn't mean everybody else won't enjoy seeing Black Rain(1989) tomorrow night.
IMDB says -"Mr and Mrs Shizuma, and their niece Yasuko, make their way through the ruins of Hiroshima, just after the atomic bomb has dropped. Five years later, Yasuko is living with her aunt and uncle, and her senile grandmother, in a village containing many of the bomb survivors. Yasuko does not appear to be affected by the bomb, but the Shizuma's are worried about her marriage prospects, as she could succumb to radiation sickness at any time."
Black Rain gets 8.1 out of 10 stars on IMDB, which is pretty impressive, so I don't think this is going to be a bad way to spend Friday Night. I just prefer the company of biker zombies over a really deep film to end a long week of non-work.
Friday, April 1st at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Like many of the tech-obsessed generation of Americans who can't put their smart phones down for five minutes, I play some of the more popular games available. Although I'm not much of a video game guy these days, unless it's classic and I don't have to commit, so a great deal of my time is spent playing word games. Every once in awhile I get the urge to play me some Angry Birds, and it usually last for a couple of days. I'm not quite sure whether it's the strategy or the comedy I like more, but once I start playing I don't usually stop for a couple of days.
However, due to the comedic/cartoony aspect of the game, anytime I see a live action trailer for some kind of faux movie I can't help but take a few minutes to watch it, no matter how stupid it is. So when I came upon this current take on the Angry Birds storyline ala Michael Bay-style,, nothing was stopping me from taking a few minutes to watch the latest in a long line of Angry Bird related memes. If there is one thing that those in the genre cinema can come together for, it's usually a deep-seated hatrd for most things related to Michael Bay(although there are still a couple of you weirdos out there that eat the shit up, just to be different). So any meme that takes the piss out of Bay is good enough or me to repost. Think of it as spreading the Good Word, dork-style.
It's nice to see that Boston isn't the only city getting the indie-weirdness that is Frankie Goes To Blunderland(2011) this weekend. I was actually bummed out that I couldn't make it up north to the Boston Underground Film Festival, but seeing that one of the festival highlights is playing in my stomping grounds makes the pain fade away.
The Facebook page says -"A dark comedic drama, Frankie in Blunderland tells the story of Frank Bellini played by Aramis Sartorio (also known as adult film star Tommy Pistol). Frank’s life is a mess. His wife Katie hates him and his best friend Tommy Spioch who asked to crash on Frankie’s couch two years ago never left. After two possibly accidental homicides, two kidnappings and a visit from a talking butterfly Frankie’s world is turned upside down as he drifts and searches for his wife. He encounters a band of misfits along the way including an Alien Mormon, a Mystic Hobo, Robots and a beautiful Spider."
Fuckin' A Right, Buddy! Sounds like the best film of 2011 has already been made. To top it of, the Director and a couple cast members will be present for the 9:30 screening.
Friday, March 25th at 9:30PM & Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
It looks like whoever is doing the Midnite Movie programming over at Spectacle is a really big Jess Franco fan. It couldn't have been more than three weeks ago that Vampyros Lesbos screened. Regardless, the person is doing a great job and obviously has great taste in bad movies. This Friday at midnight, the good people of Brooklyn are blessed with a screening of Marqis de Sade: Justine(1971), one of a couple of movies Franco directed based on the writers of the Marquis himself. Frankly I'm surpised he didn't do more, considering the Jesus is the King of European Sleeze.
Spectacle says -"Euro-sleaze maestro Jess Franco’s (Vampyros Lesbos) take on Marquis de Sade’s tale of a nubile young virgin's sexual awakening. Naïve waif Justine (Romina Power) must fend for herself when she and her dissolute sister Juliette (Maria Rohm) are thrown out of an orphanage and cast into the decadent world of 18th century France. Juliette slides easily into her new role as the main attraction in a Paris brothel, whilst innocent Justine delivers herself into humiliation, depravity and torture at the hands of a succession of would be benefactors.
Jack Palance gives a delightfully maniacal turn as the head of a crazed sect of debauched monks and glorious freak Klaus Kinski bookends as the Marquis himself."
Friday, March 18th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
50% of all ticket sales will go to Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund.
We have even more Yakuza action continuing throughout the weekend at the Japan Society. This time with the First International release of the drama Ryuji(1983).
The Japan Society says -"Ryuji is more than just a film, it is the final testament of a dying man, a young stage actor eager to find an interesting role on the big screen. His name is Shoji Kaneko. He likes writing and yakuza cinema, and chooses to write the story himself--the portrait of a young yakuza who (following the usual conceit) wants to leave the underworld, for the sake and love of his wife and daughter, after a long stint in jail. A fragile film, not unlike the performance of the lead actor/writer, who succumbed to cancer one week after the film's release. Ryuji seems to be haunted by his disappearance, as if anticipating the mourning of its own central figure. With a realism reminiscent of the Actors Studio's famed method (the actor joined a real gang to capture the essence of the role and the world in which the yakuza live), the drama comes to life with the support of a formidable cast (notably, the actor's real-life daughter). An anti-noir film with unusual sheen and clarity, Ryuji is touched with breathtaking moments of loveliness and hints of peace, the blend of moral brinksmanship, and restrained visuals. The pleasures of the film reside in the mischievous yet tolerant recognition that behind brutality lies human frailty, in its infinite range. The manner of its delivery is so disarmingly graceful--lacking neither emotional impact nor aesthetic punch--that you can almost feel the blood of the film flow."
Friday, March 18th 7:30 PM @ Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue
Holy shit, there sure is a lot of action from Japan going on this month, both good and bad. My heart goes out to all the Japanese people, here and there, who have had to suffer through two natural disasters and now a possible nuclear meltdown. We all know you are a nation of survivors and have the support of all the world to get you through this horrific set of circumstances.
On a lighter note, between the Japan Society, Film Society at Lincoln Center, and Subway Cinema, there is a whole lot of fun going on. Fun that should keep you rabid Japanophiles busy until the end of the weekend. Thursday night the Walter Reade Theater is showing for, count them four, movies from the prodigal director, Takashi Miike. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond his control, Miike had to cancel his trip to NYC, but there are obviously more pressing issues at hand. We wish the best for him and his family. The fun kicks off with The City of Lost Souls(2000) at 2:15pm.
Filmlinc.com says - "Japanese-Brazilian hit-man Mario (Teah, Dead or Alive 2) and Chinese hairdresser Kei (Hong Kong actress Michele Reis, Fallen Angels) are desperate to escape the country–and their psychotic exes. To pay for their passage, the pair plot to steal a briefcase of cash from dueling, drug-dealing gangs. Instead, Mario accidentally swipes a couple kilos of cocaine and Kei is kidnapped by the yakuza. Effortlessly blending comedy, film noir, and HK-action, the endless plot twists and hilarious visuals are unadulterated Miike, and the film’s Matrix-inspired CGI cockfight scene is now a legendary part of the director’s filmography. Possibly the most succinct encapsulation of the director’s themes of displacement, multi-ethnic strife, outsiders in Japan, and the relationship between love and violence, The City of Lost Souls is also a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish." Second round starts at 4:30PM with Sinjuku Triad Society(1995)...
Filmlinc.com says -"Turf wars, rent boys, and so-bad-its-good club music abound in the first of Miike’s ultra-violent, serpentinely-plotted “Black Society Trilogy,” and the first film the director made specifically for cinema release in Japan, as opposed to his direct-to-VHS “V-cinema” titles. Tatsuhito Kiriya (Kippei Shiina, from Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage), a half-Chinese, half-Japanese policeman in Tokyo’s hard-boiled Kabuki-cho red light district, attempts to track down and arrest Wang, a vicious and lethal, gay Taiwanese Triad leader (played by Miike regular and original Tetsuo the Iron Man Tomorow Taguchi). To alleviate the heat from running a prostitution ring, baiting the yakuza, and evading the police, Wang hires a lawyer––Tatsuhito’s little brother. Unblinkingly documenting real-life brutality and ethnic tensions, it’s essential viewing for Miike completists and a gritty, hard-edged thriller, much of it shot guerrilla-style on location in the back alleys of Shinjuku." At 7:00pm, the reason to celebrate this retrospective...13 Assassins(2010)
Filmlinc.com says -"Japan was violently rocked, swallowed by the ocean as the lives of many disappeared amid the rubble. I had wanted to be here with you all. I had wanted to thank you all for coming from the bottom of my heart. But that wish was not granted. It is unfortunate and I am very sorry. Please accept my regrets. But, from this adversity -- on our lives -- we will all rise up without fail. As a start, I would be grateful if you could enjoy Japan from this film."
Miike’s latest is an exciting, blood-stirring, totally faithful remake of the 1963 samurai-siege classic from director Eiichi Kudo, and a welcome respite from the typically antiseptic, overly melodramatic TV fodder that passes for swordplay cinema in Japan in recent years. Koji Yakusho (Shall We Dance?, Babel) stars as Shinzaemon, loyal retainer to Lord Doi (Mikijiro Hira, Pistol Opera), who gives him a difficult, delicate mission from which there will be no return: assemble a team of expert swordsmen and slay the half-brother and heir apparent to the current Shogun, a sadistic madman named Naritsugu (pop star Goro Inagaki) who will destroy the country if he comes to power. But after over 200 years of peace, the samurai are all but government functionaries, trained in the sword but without any experience in fighting. For Shinzaemon, however, it’s a perfect opportunity to realize the ultimate reward a warrior craves: to die in battle at the service of your master. So the plan is set in motion: stop Naritsugu’s caravan of soldiers at a small mountain town, trap his men, and slaughter them. The odds? An impossible 200 to 13.
With 13 Assassins, Miike finds the perfect opportunity to prove to audiences around the world that he is capable of a big, action-filled matinee crowd-pleaser, almost (but not completely) devoid of many of the bizarre quirks that define his films, yet filled with great performances, a strong screenplay by Audition scriptwriter Daisuke Tengan, and action action action. Easily taking its place beside many of the best swordplay films of the 1960s, 13 Assassins is bloody, dirty, and downright mean, and one of the manliest, most rousing big-screen adventures you’re likely to experience this year, with an unbelievable forty-minute battle royale finale. Magnolia Pictures will be offering the film on nationwide video-on-demand starting March 25th and opening it in cinemas at the end of April — here’s your chance to catch an early preview." and the night ends at 10:00pm with a screening of Fudoh:The New Generation(1996)
Filmlinc.com says - "Among the first of Miike’s films to play overseas, and the first to come to home video in the U.S., Fudoh also marks the first time all the elements came together that audiences would later associate with his films: splatter, over-the-top plot devices, a mischievous sense of black humor, crazily-drawn characters, and a healthy dose of sex and violence. Originally made for the home video market, after completion producers decided it was good enough for a domestic theatrical run! Riki Fudoh is the son of a yakuza boss forced to execute his own son, Riki’s older brother Ryu, in penance for offending a rival gang. Ten years later, 17-year-old Riki leads a high school yakuza gang of his own making: a group of machine gun-toting rugrat hitmen, schoolgirl assassins, a transsexual stripper, and a hulking giant of a transfer student. After asserting control over the rival adult gangs in the area, Riki sets his sights on his ultimate target—his own father, to avenge his brother’s murder. Featuring an early appearance by V-cinema stalwart Riki Takeuchi (later the co-star of the Dead or Alive series) in a mullet that has to be seen to be believed, Fudoh is a crazy, sex-and-violence-filled tornado. It’s one of the wildest rides from a filmmaker who specializes in shocking his audience, and is guaranteed to offend you in one way or another. You have been warned."
Walter Reade Theater, West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, on the upper level, Upper West Side
The Japan Society says -"A dark, delicate, comic and complicated telling of a hard-as-nails, simple love story. Boy meets girl; boy falls in love, boy drugs girl. Boy and girl start a rather twisted, chemical-fueled affair. Things get sour. The boy is a low-ranking ne'er-do-well yakuza in an ill-fated gang, fighting a losing battle with their rival gang. The girl... well, the girl is just a waitress who should probably know better. Auteur Mochizuki (Onibi: The Fire Within; Another Lonely Hitman), director and co-writer, has fashioned this unlikely romance between two mismatched lost souls into a black comedy of startling directness and intensity, following the old boy's fumbling (and often funny) attempts at romance through questionable methods of courtship (which include kidnapping into the bargain). Generously spiced graphic sex scenes alternate with moments of lyricism and otherworldly calm, subtly layering the characters and their path to ruin. As the strange relationship blossoms, the yakuza's drug addiction and unstoppable habits of destruction threaten to destroy everything..."
To Celebrate the release of Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, in cahoots with Subway Cinema, are producing a 13 movie retrospective to celebrate the works of a cinematic Master. Miike's torturous thriller, Audition(1999), is set to kick off the series, which runs from March 16th to the 23rd. If you are unfamiliar with Miike or his large body of work, this experiment in terror is a good way to kick off a future love affair with the director.
IMDB says -"Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive Aoyama is invited to sit in on auditions for an actress. Leafing through the resumés in advance, his eye is caught by Yamazaki Asami, a striking young woman with ballet training. On the day of the audition, she's the last person they see. Aoyama is hooked. He notes her number from her file, calls her and takes her to dinner. He hesitates to call again, worried that he'll seem too eager. When he does, Asami knowingly lets the phone ring for some time before answering. She's alone in her darkened room - alone, that is, apart from the writhing victim she has tied up in a sack on the floor..."
Wednesday March 16th @ 9:30 PM Walter Reade Theater, West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, on the upper level, Upper West Side
If you are unsure what pinku cinema is, think of it as the Japanese version of Skinemax Late Night flicks, but with no camera focus on the genital regions. Because of this taboo, Japanese directors have had to get creative with camera angles and object placement over the years, typically giving the pinku film a unique style not seen in your run-of-the-mill sexploitation film. Fantasy and action elements are not uncommon within the genre, especially in the direct-to-dvd market, which I have sampled on more than one occasion (strictly for the ninjas). Seeing pinku eiga at a world-renowned film festival is a bit odd by my book, but I could be wrong.
Hopefully, we won't have to wait very long for a trailer release
The Japan Society says - "A mind-boggling carnival of ultra-violence, massive drug use, punch-drunk camerawork and unending stroboscopic editing, perfectly calculated to induce an outbreak of rapture that will leave the viewer shaking and ringing from the shock. Miike's legendary Dead or Alive pits a yakuza of Chinese descent (Riki Takeuchi) against a Japanese cop (Sho Aikawa) in the mean streets of Tokyo's crime-infested Shinjuku area, prowled by warring factions that vie for supremacy. Their fated encounter, propelled by an astonishing opening reel of hyperspeed action, leads a truly out-this-earth, apocalyptic conclusion, perhaps the most spectacular showdown ever committed to celluloid. Visuals, courtesy of "Hana-bi" D.P. Hideo Yamamoto, are slick and arresting and give a proud, bloody-minded majesty to the trip."
Tuesday, March 15th 7:30 PM @ Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue
Just because it's Sunday doesn't mean the action over at the Japan Society is honoring the Sabbath. In fact, Dog Eat Dog World Sunday is throwing NYC three bones in the form of Yakuza action. Starting with Cops Vs. Thugs(1975) at 3:15pm.
Japan Society says - "With this film, which has all the grunting doggedness of the real thing, Fukasaku puts the spotlight on the forces of grand corruption and the ferocious business of butting heads with the law. 1963: The Kurashima City police have spent the past seven years eradicating the yakuza gangs, at the root of much mayhem. The last two remaining gangs, Ohara and Kawade, are in tatters, with the Ohara boss in prison. But with the police force full of corrupt officers, the gangs begin to prosper once again. Soon it's not only Cops vs. Thugs, but Thugs vs. Thugs and Cops vs. Cops. With genre supremo Bunta Sugawara as a police detective who makes Dirty harry look like a rent-a-cop."
Japan Society says - "The centerpiece of the five-film postwar yakuza arch-epic/classic is almost impossibly alert to the constant transactions of power within the unrepentantly violent world of Hiroshima gangsters. Inspired by real-life events, these Battles breathlessly accumulates unabashed close-ups of bloodletting and wounded bodies flying left and right, front and back. The film has the most treacherous plot of the lot--plotting, counter-plottings, alliances and betrayals will leave viewers dizzy and with only one certainty, that of violence; by fair means or foul, mostly foul, we are led into battle and bloody murders, with jitsuroku ("docudrama"-style) star Bunta Sugawara at the center of it. This is your chance to witness Japanese gangster violence in all its seedy, futile but spectacular glory. "
Japan Society Says -"Seijun Suzuki's breakthrough film is faster, rougher and wilder than most of his other outings (except perhaps the outrageously off-the-wall Branded to Kill). Raw, rugged and tumbling out of nowhere, Jo (Joe Shishido, a frequent leading man in Suzuki's films) wants employment and wants it now. Closer in temperament to a human lava flow, he's not about to let little things like a bunch of big, bulky brawlers get in the way. He barges into the headquarters of a notorious yakuza organization and there he proceeds to beat the living daylights out of the goons, points a gun at the boss and politely asks for a job. The boss is impressed and puts him on the payroll. Jo then heads over to the rival faction's gang... Repeat. In other words, all-out gang war is around the corner. This early Seijun Suzuki masterpiece paved the way for the late 1990s visual extravaganza (Takashi Miike and others)."
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue
It's nice to be able to find trailers for all the movies this time.
The Hershell Gordon Lewis love continues through Saturday with an afternoon screening of Blood Feast(1963), a movie that could be considered single-handedly responsible for changing the direction of horror. This is the movie that put HG on the movie history radar.
(Edit: I've also just discovered that Spectacle Theater in Williamsburg is going to be screening Blood Feast at Midnight. For those of you interested in beer and popcorn with your exploitation I highly recommend hoofing in to Williamsburg if you can't make it to the East Village.)
IMDB says -"Egyptian caterer busies himself collecting body parts from young maidens in order to bring Ishtar, an ancient goddess of good and evil back to life. When he has prepared enough parts for the ceremony, he hypnotizes a woman giving an engagement party for her daughter, at which he plans to perform the ancient rites of summons, using the daughter as his final sacrifice."
Saturday March 12th at 5:15 PM, Anthology Film Archive 32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
Before he was knighted as the Godfather of Gore, Lewis had made a name for himself in the early exploitation department, making nudie cutie films. Stick around the East Village for a couple of hours after Blood Feast by walking a couple of blocks over to B-Side on Ave B for a couple of happy hour drinks. Then head back to Anthology for a 9:30 screening of Scum of The Earth(1963).
IMDB says -"Kim Sherwood is a young and naive teenager who is asked by a friend to model for a shady photographer, named Harmon, whom works for an unscrupulous businessman whom is in league with a local Miami teenage gang in illegally selling photos of young girls in the nude being used and abused. When Kim wants out, the gangster Mr. Lang, blackmails her into staying on by using his strong-armed thugs to enforce order."
Saturday March 12th and Sunday the 13th, at 9:30 PM, Anthology Film Archive 32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
The Japan Society says -"Forty-six years after its Japanese release, the most outstanding episode of the Abashiri series standing firmly on its own, is out in the world, and will have no issue attracting the uninitiated. Upon returning to his hometown of Nagasaki, recently released prisoner Shinichi Tachibana (Ken Takakura) wants to become a better man but must go back to his old gangster ways and former clan, the Asahi, in order to pay back a past debt. Trouble brews when the rival gang that was responsible for sending him to prison learns of his return. Left with no alternative, Tachibana decides to take them on."
Saturday, March 12th 1:00 PM @ Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue
Japan Society say - "With this film, the honorable yakuza formula loiters on the threshold of formal perfection. Returning imperial soldier Gennosuke (Ken Takakura) finds his hometown hardly more than a pile of rubble. In short, it is Year Zero for this man whose world has been reduced to a dead zone of rusted, unpopulated townscapes. With the sheer power of his will and moral rectitude, Gennosuke must rebuild the local marketplace and protect it from the unscrupulous hands of a rival gang that couldn't care less about chivalry and honor."
Japan Society says -"Tadashi Sawashima's Theater of Life launched the 1960s ninkyo eiga boom and is in many ways, the whole genre's blueprint. Hishakaku (Koji Tsuruta), as honorable a gangster as is humanly possible, is in love with Otoyo, a courtesan. But his obligations to the yakuza code keep them apart, not the least because of his stint in prison. During this time, Otoyo struggles against sinister gangsters who see her not as the sweetheart of a chivalrous gambler doing time for his gang, but as a simple commodity. The film made both Toei studio actors Koji Tsuruta and Ken Takakura superstars of the yakuza genre, though it's the fragile beauty of the actress Yoshiko Sakuma that impresses the most."
Japan Society says - "The outstanding performance by Koji Tsuruta, the yakuza genre's first star, is the most commanding reason to see this film, in addition to über-stylist Kato's masterly and distinctive mise en scène. Osaka, 1907: Asajiro (Tsuruta) lives between a rock and a hard place: he has to keep his business clean and running, tame his late oyabun's hot-blooded son and suffer the throes of his impossible love for beautiful geisha Hatsue (Junko Fuji). Life is tough, but misdeeds will not remain unavenged and trickling blood will swell to a flood, of course."
Looks like a pretty full day of gangsta shit..60's Japan style. Unfortunately I could only dig up a trailer for Blood of Revenge. These movies do go back almost 50 years, they can't all have trailers.
Awwww... and now on to my favorite part of the week...The What is Spectacles Midnite Movie Show! This Friday night we have The Death Wheelers(1973), also known as Psychomania, Britain's answer to the Bikerspoitation movie. Like a lot of these late-era biker movies, The Death Wheelers isn't just another movie based on the life of Sonny Barger. Nope, not at all. Like the trash classic Werewolves on Wheels, this particular biker movie involves our 1%ers dabbling in the supernatural. Ain't it great!
IMDB says -"A gang of young people call themselves the Living Dead. They terrorize the population from their small town. After an agreement with the devil, if they kill themselves firmly believing in it, they will survive and gain eternal life. Following their leader, they commit suicide one after the other, but things don't necessarily turn out as expected..."
I can seriously never get enough of this shit. Bikers, Satanism, zombies, and the Glory of Britain...this movie has to be a masterpiece. I gonna have to go just so I can do a review of a film this epic.
Friday, March 11th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
To celebrate the release of the documentary Hershell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore(2010), Anthology Film Archive will be screening a series of some H.G.'s most important film works. As I said in the latter post, this is a very big weekend for genre cinema buffs.
Anthology Film Archive says -"Throughout the 1950s and 60s, literally hundreds of American filmmakers journeyed into the realm of Exploitation. There was money to be made then from cheap movies, and the result was a vast sea of no-budget flicks pushing either cars, monsters, killers, or supple skin. Very few of these films rose above the norm of the time, and far fewer actually tried to reinvent a seemingly fixed genre. Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer David F. Friedman knew that staying ahead of the game was the best way to make a buck, and, thanks to the combination of their ambition and their skewed minds, they ended up blazing a trail for independent cinema that America hasn’t seen the likes of since. To celebrate the release of HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS: THE GODFATHER OF GORE, Anthology offers up a special program of rarely-screened H.G. Lewis films, which represent just a few of his absolutely madcap takes on Exploitation Cinema. This program is presented with Something Weird Video. All descriptions are by Mike Hunchback (Freedom School Records). Special thanks to Mike Hunchback, Frank Henenlotter, Mike Vraney & Lisa Petrucci (Something Weird Video), and Eric Caidin (Hollywood Book and Poster Company)."
The documentary's actual first screening is Thurday night, but the real funs begins with the screening on Friday Night.
Anthology says -"Filmmaker Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE, FRANKENHOOKER), co-director Jimmy Maslon, and Something Weird Video have joined forces to chronicle the amazing exploits of H.G. Lewis from the 50s to the present day. Featuring John Waters, Joe Bob Briggs, and a variety of cast and crew members from many of Lewis’s films, it’s a documentary as mad and unique as the story it tells. As someone who not only lived through 42nd Street’s sleazy reign as ‘the Duece’ but who enjoyed wallowing in it, Henenlotter learned a lot from the cheap gore and twisted sex films that painted the walls of 42nd Street’s grindhouses, and it’s that sensibility that shines in this cinematic exploration of H.G. Lewis’s outrageous career."
Thursday March 10th and Friday the 11th, at 7:30 PM, Anthology Film Archive 32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
Dont' forget to stick around until 9:30 for some more exploitation action with a screening of Something Weird(1967).
Anthology says -"The title hardly begins to describe the lunacy packed into this, perhaps Lewis’s strangest outing. Among the ingredients are an electrical accident that leaves a man with both a badly scarred face and the power to read minds; an evil old witch who can morph into sexy young Elizabeth Lee; and an FBI Agent who pushes the then-new drug LSD, resulting in a bad, bad trip, double-exposed celluloid and all. The original tag lines had it right: “SOMETHING WEIRD comes to haunt you…a boiling, bizarre tale of a mad love that crashes through the supernatural! An unbelievable journey into the awesome worlds of E.S.P. and witchcraft!”"
Friday March 11th , at 9:30 PM, Anthology Film Archive 32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
There is a whole bunch of shit going down this weekend ans it's going to be really hard for me to keep up with everything. Between two kick-ass film series and the midnight standards over at The Spectacle, There is nothing short of boredom going on for New Yorkers when it comes to genre cinema.
The Japan Society says - "Directed by award-winning filmmaker Hideo Gosha (Sword of the Beast) and scored by Kurosawa's legendary composer, Masaru Sato (Yojimbo, Throne of Blood), The Wolves features Tatsuya Nakadai (Harakiri, Ran, Kagemusha), who leads an all-star cast (alongside real-life yakuza-turned-actor Noboru Ando) and outstares the whole film with impossibly hollow and haunted eyes. In 1929, to celebrate the Showa Emperor Hirohito's ascension to the throne, hundreds of yakuza were pardoned and released from jail--men who, perhaps, would have been better off behind bars. As Seiji Iwahashi, one of these men, comes to realize, their world is disintegrating from moral rot and he finds himself at the tattered edge of what he takes to be civilization and the shattered remains of a once honorable underworld. The essential thrust of the tale--of uprooted men, strangers in a strange world--feels as acute and sharp as samurai sword, while the mood of resigned bitterness, hard to shake off, wafts through the film like incense. "
Friday, March 11th 7:30 PM @ Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue
I have actually been waiting for about three weeks to here anything about the much anticipated Attack the Block(2011), the latest future blockbuster starring Nick Frost. All I've been able to gleen about the film in the last couple of weeks, besides the image above, is a one-line synopsis on IMDB. Thankfully a trailer was released late last week, and the world received an eagerly-awaited idea of what the sci-fi comedy was about:
Kids from the projects vs. an alien invasion of South London.
Sounds like a fuckin' blast. With all the alien invasion films currently killing the big screen these days, it's nice to see a movie with an original ,yet fun, premise. From the looks of the trailer, I would guess Attack is closer to a horror than sci-fi, either way I'm envious of all of those attending SXSW next week. With all the hype surrounding Simon Pegg and his alien comedy Paul, I'm sure there are going to be many heads eagerly waiting in line for the US premiere.
South by Southwest(SXSW) Film Conference and Festival 2011,March 11–19 in Austin, TX
Japan Society says -"Coming from a man who started his career as a porn director, this is a surprisingly spare and emotionally savage film. Often regarded as Rokuro Mochizuki's masterpiece, Onibi injects both sexual passion and subdued sentiment into the macho world of yakuza cinema. Within the confines of the genre, Mochizuki artfully builds a parable of implacable fate, probing the leading performer's inner life with a calm intensity that is almost unparalleled. Noriyuki Kunihiro (Yoshio Harada, in one of his most unforgettable roles) is a yakuza who has just spent half a lifetime in prison, doing time for a double murder. Although his former acolytes try to tempt him back into the fold, he prefers to put his aging but still strong body to more honest work. He finds love in the person of young pianist... and trouble soon follows."
Thursday, March 10th 8:15 PM @ Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue
Tomorrow opens up The Japan Society's Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence series, ten days of the best cinema the Japanese underbelly has ever inspired. Sydney Pollack's East-meets-West classic, The Yakuza(1974) opens up the event. If you're a Robet Mitchum fan there is no reason you should miss this screening, unless, of course, you hate Japanese culture, in which case you are a dishonorable cur.
The Japan Society Says -"Few films show more deference and respect to Japanese film culture than Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack's overlooked 1970s gem, The Yakuza. Both a taut thriller and a touching, finely layered character piece, the film features Robert Mitchum in one of his finest roles and shows Pollack in absolute command of his skill. The Yakuza is a fine piece of American noir filmmaking from its golden age, perfectly fusing East and West. Between making The Way We Were and Three Days of the Condor, Pollack directed this little-seen homage to yakuza cinema from a script by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) and Robert Towne (Chinatown). The Yakuza stars Robert Mitchum as Harry Kilmer, a former soldier who returns to Japan to help rescue the daughter of his friend George Tanner (Brian Keith). Once he arrives in the country, Kilmer discovers that the daughter has been kidnapped by the yakuza. To save the girl, Kilmer finds himself left with no other options than to enlist the help of an old and dangerous acquaintance, Tanaka (Ken Takakura). Behind the twists and double-crosses, there emerges the elegiac celebration of the chivalric male relationships of countless American Westerns, and quite possibly the most original introduction to the yakuza movie genre."
If that's not enough for you, their will also be an introduction/post-film Q&A with the writer Paul Schrader.
Wednesday, March 9, 7:30 PM @ Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue
I can always count on Museum of the Moving Image to provide me with some kind of Sunday matinee that screams Drive-In movie. Okay....maybe not always, but if you want a little sci-fi nostalgia to wash away the bad taste of Sunday morning church service, head up to Astoria to check out Fantastic Voyage(1966).
IMDB says -"Scientist Jan Benes, who knows the secret to keeping soldiers shrunken for an indefinite period, escapes from behind the Iron Curtain with the help of CIA agent Grant. While being transferred, their motorcade is attacked. Benes strikes his head, causing a blood clot to form in his brain. Grant is ordered to accompany a group of scientists as they are miniaturized. The crew has one hour to get in Benes's brain, remove the clot and get out."
Sunday March 6th at 1pm @ Museum of the Moving Image 35 Avenue at 37 Street Astoria, Queens Free with admission
I really wanted to add this entry yesterday, but my old ass computer had a bit of a fan problem that prevented me from getting anything done, aside from swearing profusely. I've heard folks talk about Blue Sunshine(1978) but didn't really know much about. I don't know if the trailer does it justice, but it involves murder, drugs, and bald people so how bad can it be.
IMDB says - "At a party, someone goes insane and murders three women. Falsely accused of the brutal killings, Jerry is on the run. More bizarre killings continue with alarming frequency all over town. Trying to clear his name, Jerry discovers the shocking truth...people are losing their hair and turning into violent psychopaths and the connection may be some LSD all the murderers took a decade before."
Spectacle says - "Several former college students find their drug experiences catching up with them in an unexpected and terrifying manner. Circumstantial evidence links Jerry Zipkin (Zalman King) to a string of unmotivated, crazed killings. On the run and attempting to clear his name, the Stanford graduate tails a bootleg acid chemist in order to discover the possible connection between the spontaneous murderous rampages by the once close circle of friends and a potent, but tainted variety of LSD (nicknamed Blue Sunshine) that his former college buddies all ingested ten years earlier in the late sixties.
Blue Sunshine was directed by Jeff Lieberman, who also directed the cult favorites Squirm and Just Before Dawn."
Saturday, March 5th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Every couple of months I receive an email from the Japan Society, and I'm typically tickled pink(u). I can always count on some kind of chambara series at least once a year, and a great deal of the time the films are from the 60's and 70's, which happens to be my favorite era in Japanese cinema. This time around, the line-up looks fantastic:
This season, Japan Society is proud to present the new Globus Film Series, Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence. From March 9 to 19, Japan Society will be screening a series of 15 yakuza films, from 1960s productions featuring chivalrous kimono-clad, sword-wielding gangsters to today's ruthless gun-toting villains dealing in debt, dark trades and deeds. Featuring films by internationally acclaimed directors such as Takeshi Kitano, Seijin Suzuki, and Kenji Fukasaku (among many others), the series includes a large number of premieres and titles never-before shown in the U.S. Also introducing some of these screenings will be a few very special guests, including writer/director Paul Schrader, author Jake Adelstein, and director Takashi Miike.
Featured Films: The Yakuza – Directed by Sydney Pollack
Onibi: The Fire Within – Rokuro Mochizuki
The Wolves – Hideo Gosha
The Walls of Abashiri Prison (pt. 3): Longing for Home - Teruo Ishii
Brutal Tales of Chivalry - Kiyoshi Saeki
Theater of Life: Hishakaku - Tadashi Sawashima
Blood of Revenge – Tai Kato
Cops Vs. Thugs – Kenji Fukasaku
Battles Without Honor and Humanity A.K.A. The Yakuza Papers (pt. 3): Proxy War – Kenji Fukasaku
Youth of the Beast – Seijin Suzuki
Dead or Alive – Takashi Miike
A Yakuza in Love A.K.A. Villainous Love – Rokuro Mochizuki
Ryuji - Toru Kawashima
Yakuza Wives – Hideo Gosha
Outrage: The Way of the Modern Yakuza – Takeshi Kitano
More information on the festival as well as past series and events is available at:
Please visit our blog (www.japansocietyfilm.tumblr.com), which will be covering the series during its 10-day run.
Excited? I am. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be covering each film, in either promotional or review film. March is a big month for NYC in genre cinema, and I'm excited to cover as much as possible.
IMDB says -"Female prisoners in a Phillippine jail are being subjected to sadistic torture. Five of the women--along with the help of two men--plot an escape. (Josiah Howard, "Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide.") "
And then we get some "classy" exploitation taglines to promote the film:
"Their bodies were caged, but not their desires. They would do anything for a man - or to him"
"Soft young girls behind hard prison bars"
"White skin on the black market"
"The dirty dolls of devil's island. You can meet them for a price!"
Friday, March 4th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Imagine my fuckin' surprise this morning when I was skimming through my morning news(Twitch)only to find that a couple days back, The Cartoon Network aired a trailer for the Thundercats Reboot, Produced by Studio 4°C, a Japanese animation house. I can't find any information about when the world is going to be able to catch the anime-inspired re-imagining of one of Generation X's greatest cartoon memories, But you can be sure this guy is going to be glued to the couch.
BAMcinématek says - "Kim Jee-woon makes his case as one of Korea’s most entertaining filmmakers with this spectacular Korean spaghetti western. Visually audacious and with a heart attack-inducing pace, Kim’s film needs to be seen on the big screen for its beautiful widescreen visuals and stylish action set-pieces. This tale about three Korean desperados in 1940s Manchuria out to steal a treasure map while on the run from the Japanese army and Chinese gangsters is possibly the most fun you’ll ever have watching a movie."
Wednesday March 2nd @ 6pm 7 9pm BAM Rose Cinemas 30 Lafayette Avenue Brooklyn general admission is $12
As I've said before in a previous entry, I don't really have much of an interest in seeing Insidious(2011). There are those NYers out there who eat up this big-budget horror stuff, so you can say "I'm doing it for the kids"(if anyone who reads my shit actually is interested in newer horror). Regardless, Insidious is still one of the more interesting movies screening at Film Comments Select so I'm going to list it. Like with several of these movies screened at Film Comment Select, the director is going to be present for a Q&A after the shit goes down.
“In this super-scary reinvention of the haunted-house genre, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play a couple who move into a new house; soon enough things go bump in the night, apparitions appear, and their son falls into a mysterious coma. Finally the family decamps—but it’s only once they move into their new home that things get really frightening. One of the rules Wan (director of the original Saw) and writer Leigh Whannell set for themselves was that there would be no false scares. They never break that rule, and if that’s music to your ears, this is a must-see.”
—Gavin Smith, Film Comment November/December 2010
Thursday March 3rd @ 8:45 PM Walter Reade Theater, West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, on the upper level, Upper West Side