Two modest documentaries delve into the compulsion to create and the fraught relationship between creator and creation.
Ozu Yasujiro’s melancholy social comedy The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952), which reflects major shifts in Japanese life in the post-war period, receives an excellent release from the Criterion Collection.
A week of intensive viewing following surgery provides a mix from classics to trash and everything in between – crime, horror, sci-fi, art and exploitation.
Recent viewing features stylized violence, classic martial arts, western noir and political Ozploitation on more disks from England
Entertainment knows no bounds in terms of style or quality: recent viewing ranges from Walter Hill’s gripping Vietnam allegory Southern Comfort (1981) to Kinji Fukusaku’s pulp sci-fi The Green Slime (1968), from Richard Franklin’s Ozploitation horror Patrick (1978) to Robert Amram’s perplexing End Times “documentary” The Late Great Planet Earth (1979).
Despite continuing rumblings about the demise of movies-on-disk, numerous companies continue to produce excellent editions on disk of a vast range of movies covering the entire history of cinema. Once again in 2018 there were far more releases than even an obsessive viewer could keep up with.
I’ve recently sampled a broad range of movies from Arrow Video, from Japanese classics to obscure gialli, recent horror and an original and disturbing Mexican movie which combines marital drama, dark eroticism and a very disturbing alien.
Film history is full of lost movies and forgotten filmmakers, but the case of Sadao Yamanaka is one of the saddest; a brilliant director in 1930s Japan, he died young and all but three of his twenty-seven features are lost. The three that remain are all great works of narrative art.
Masters of Cinema’s new Blu-ray of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure (1997) drew me back for another attempt to understand this maddeningly enigmatic horror film; like its mysterious killer, it exerts an almost hypnotic hold on the viewer.
More eclectic recent viewing, from 1970s detective noir to an Italian anthology from the ’60s to Japanese horror and classic ’50s sci-fi.