Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Grady makes a point about critics missing the point.

Oh Grady. How we miss you here in Toronto. We fawn over your blog and think of our drunken fun times over a month ago. When will you return?

In the meantime, we will sit cross-legged drinking vodka and Red Bull as we chant your wise words about how critics seem to constantly miss the importance of physical action in cinema. Here are some excerpts:
Critics have long felt that somehow the martial arts or action genre needed to be changed, elevated, abstracted in order to be considered "real art." White isn't entirely to blame for his misperception, he's merely toeing the critical line here, mouthing stale attitudes that are pretty common among film writers. Somehow action in movies is looked at with suspicion, whereas "longing and weeping" are considered "rich and real."
Physical performance is an essential - I would argue THE essential - part of true cinema. Buster Keaton is one of the world's greatest filmmakers and he built his career by developing ever more sophisticated ways to showcase his physicality in his movies. In his own way, Jacques Tati did the same thing, building movies that are no more and no less than the physical performance. Bruce Lee was not a great verbal or psychological actor, but the grace and power he brought to the screen was not some kind of chop sockey grindhouse guilty pleasure, it was a call for revolutionary awakening, a re-definition of what a Chinese man could be.

When Jackie Chan takes on a hundred hitmen in a teahouse in DRUNKEN MASTER 2, or a speeding bus full of thugs in POLICE STORY or an entire warehouse of drug dealers in DRAGONS FOREVER the contrived storyline becomes secondary to the amazing things he does. Chan's physicality is an affirmation of human potential and audiences never get tired of seeing him show what anyone can do if they put their minds to it, that there are no odds we can't overcome. These are visceral lessons, emotional effects provoked by action that can't effectively be broken down into words. Sammo Hung's agility in ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPOOKY KIND or THE VICTIM are ten-thousand word essays in grace as he pulls off incredible feats that belie his bulky body.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

where did those investors go?

An ad in Variety heralded this potential exploitation box office gold...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thrilling Bloody Sitges

Sadly not in Sitges this year, but my 35mm print of Thrilling Bloody Sword is! Todd Brown over at saw it and loved it. Missing Sitges right now...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

follow-up - blind embargo outlaw samurai

Almost as soon as I posted the fancy posters, I got a reply from Michael who identified the film Samurai Invisible as Duel in the Wind (aka Kaze no tengu) and sourced out these two posters for it! Thanks Michael!


blind embargo outlaw samurai

Amazing Cuban posters found on eBay by blog reader Kat. Check out her movie review blog, They Shoot Actors. Don't They? Love the Zatoichi The Fugitive poster below. Not sure what the other one is for. The director is listed as Keiichi Ozawa, but can't find any cast listings on IMDB for his films. Maybe it is for The Outlaw Sword?