The Cultural Gutter

we've seen things you people wouldn't believe

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned

Comics Alliance’s Chris Sims provides a link to the anime version of Tomb of Dracula and his own running commentary on things like, Dracula’s light up fangs and stealing the Devil’s girlfriend.

Space Battleship Yamato

Live action Space Battleship Yamato trailer!

Samurai Dead Rising

Norio Shioyama worked with Capcom to create a samurai short promoting Dead Rising 2. Very pretty.

48 x 61

48 vs. 61 in Rintaro and Katsushiro Otomo’s excellent bicycle racing short where the racers look kinda like Rintaro and Otomo. Also, damn fine music and possible steampunkery.

Satoshi Kon’s Farewell Message

Makiko Itoh has translated Satoshi Kon’s farewell.

RIP, Satoshi Kon

Creator of Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent and Paprika, Satoshi Kon has died at 46. In memoriam, Midnight Eye’s substantial interview with Kon, here. Updated: Satoshi Kon wrote a farewell.

1:1 Gundam

1:1 Gundam almost done in Shizuoka, Japan.

Technotise

Technotise looks like Japanese anime, but it’s Serbian. And it’s getting a live action remake. Here’s hoping Tecnhotise survives and we all get to see the animated version.

Yokai, Dissected.

In the interest of Science: gallery of anatomical drawings of yokai, Japanese folk monsters. Hopefully, no actual yokai were harmed in making these drawings.

RIP Carl Macek

Carl Macek has died: “Carl had his critics. But one thing is certain: the popularity of anime in the North America would not be where it is today without Macek’s groundbreaking work on Robotech and his efforts on behalf of Streamline Pictures.”  More at Cartoon Brew.

A Short from Studio 4C

“Kigeki/ Comedy”: 10 minutes of Studio 4C.

Secret Identity

Ian’s girlfriend discovers he has a secret in his pants in this animated film by Guillaume Chartier. (thanks, Dr. O!)

A Matter of Evolution: Monkeys vs. Robots

skunk ape 80.JPG

They’ve been brought together before in James Kolchalka’s Monkey vs. Robot books, by Mecha Kong in King Kong Escapes and Mojo Jojo’s mech-suited machinations in The Powerpuff Girls. Primates and robots each imitate and mock humanity in their own way. When the postapocalyptic future finally overtakes us, will we be replaced by the robots we […]

Streaming Kung Fu

Stream the Fu at Crunchy Roll. (Also, stream anime and “Asian entertainment”).

So Many Fukasaku Kinji Soundtracks!

Don’t have enough soundtracks by Japanese composers? Wild Grounds will help you out with “The 5 Japanese Film Composers You Must Know” and a whole section of downloadable soundtracks and excerpts from Yojimbo to Battle Without Honor or Humanity.

The Complete Tree of Contempt

I’ve always wondered how the Geek Hierarchy shakes out, precisely. Follow it all the way to the bottom, one step at a time, for the full effect.

Yatterman!

Takashi Miike follows up his smart and fancy family films Great Yokai War and Zebraman with Yatterman. Looks promising–there’s a giant dog robot and a lot of leather. (What the hell, trailers for GYW and Zebraman, too).

GO!

Go 50.jpg

I recently had a chance to watch the Wachowski siblings’ live-action adaptation of Tatsuo Yoshida’s Speed Racer (aka the much-more-evocative Mach Go Go Go) for a second time. After 135 hallucinatory, candy-coated minutes of Mobius strip racetracks and Mobius strip plot, I was left with one question: is this the future of cinema?

Go To DMC!

Go to Detroit Metal City! Or at least go to the creditless opening for the anime series… and maybe the trailer for the same series.

Ping Pong Club!

Love and comedy DIE DIE DIE!!

It’s Japanese name is “IKE! Ina-Chuu Takyuubu” or “Let’s go middle school Ping Pong club!”, but it’s better known to its tiny fan base in North America as PING PONG CLUB. No plot synopsis or standard review could ever properly convey what there is to like about this series, but let me take a shot […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Tin House has published an edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness illustrated by Matt Kish, an interesting follow-up to Kish’s project, Moby-Dick In Pictures; One Drawing For Every Page. See more of Kish’s work here.

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    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

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    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

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    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

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    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

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    Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n’roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism and the war on intellectuals. Between 1975 and 1979, about 2 million Cambodians, roughly a third of the population, were rounded up and either were killed or died of starvation. Artists were particularly disliked by the Khmer Rouge, which saw creativity as decadence: Almost all of the biggest names perished during that era.”

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