Ray Harryhausen passed away last week. This has been noted by people more qualified than I to discuss the master of stop-motion magic—Rick Baker, Adam Savage, Todd Masters, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and more. The superhuman talent and perseverance evident in a Harryhausen effects sequence can easily be seen in countless visual effects artists since he first brought his creations to frame-by-frame life on the big screen. That makes sense. So how can I really say anything of worth when I say that I was also profoundly influenced by the artistry of Ray Harryhausen? With modesty, and a story about Clash of the Titans. Continue reading…
It’s hot and the air already feels like unset Jell-O, but you still have some time to prepare for summer, because all the list-happy magazines and websites tell me, summer must be prepared for. Dig out your seersucker suit! Bob your hair! Find that most fashionable bathing suit–might I suggest a kicky Twenties number? You’ll [...]
The Hollywood Reporter interviews director Takashi Miike about his new film, Shield of Straw: ” In Japan now, films are very safe. When I was young and went to old cinemas, they had a distinctive feel, an adult smell about them. As you got in your seat and the lights went down, there was a [...]
Watch 10-year-old Bruce Lee in his first film role, The Kid (1950).
Johnny Tri Nguyen and his brother, director Charlie Nguyen, team up again for the Vietnamese gangster movie, Cho Lon. Check out the trailer here. (via City On Fire).
At Wildgrounds, Kevin Ma shares his most enjoyable “bad” film and most enjoyable “good” film of 2012.
Director and producer Koji Wakamatsu has died. Wakamatsu had just been named filmmaker of the year at the 2012 Busan Film Festival. Wildgrounds has an interview, which Kimberly Lindbergs of Cinebeats helped translate, Keyframe has an obituary and Subway Cinema had a brief overview of Wakamatsu’s career paralleling a 2008 retrospective in Los Angeles. “Divisive, exploitative, [...]
“These days, being a yakuza boss isn’t what it once was. In exchange for supreme status you get blamed for everything. In August of 2008, three months after the countermeasures laws went into effect, the Yamaguchi-gumi boss found himself dealing with one of his low-ranking underling’s unpaid McDonald’s tab. That’s because Japan’s approach to its [...]
Michelle Kuo and Albert Wu compare Breaking Bad with The Sopranos, The Wire and Mad Men before examining its approach to evil: “Within this quartet, Breaking Bad is most similar to The Wire, and indeed is its twin and mirror image….David Simon likened The Wire to a Greek tragedy, by which he meant that sociology [...]
The FantAsia site is up and running with many, many trailers to get you ready for the festival. (Or at least, what films to keep an eye out for).
Who will dare face the New York Asian Film Festival?! Who will dare not to after seeing the festival trailer and reading, “Grady’s Guide to NYAFF 2012?!” The full festival schedule and ticket information are here.
Trailers for movies playing at ActionFest 2012: Solomon Kane; Manborg; Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines; The Raid; True Romance; Wu Xia; Dragon Eyes; Let The Bullets Fly; A Gang Story; The Lost Bladesman; God Bless America; Goon; The Aggression Scale; The Day; Headhunters; Transit; Sinners and Saints; Bad Ass; The Wild Bunch [...]
Every April the Gutter switches things up. This month Screen Editor alex writes about Romance. I admit to being a romantic, but I don’t have much experience with romance novels. Like most teenagers, I had a knack for finding the dirty bits in any likely looking books I could find on the shelf, and at [...]
In chanbara, Japanese sword-fighting movies, actor Seizo Fukumoto is a master of the art of dying. Anthony Kuhn interviews him about his life dying on screen. “In a trademark move, Fukumoto is dealt a fatal blow, then bends over backward, seemingly suspended in midair for a moment of final agony before crumpling to the ground. [...]
Gutter Comics Editor Carol wrote a little piece on Akira Kurosawa and action films over at the ActionFest Blog in honor of Kurosawa’s 102nd birthday.
Grady Hendrix has written a fascinating piece about Chinese-American life and Chinatowns in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries and a story he’s written about it. “If you were an average Chinese living in New York’s Chinatown at the turn of the century, your life sucked. You had a thriving, albeit mostly male, community [...]
Page 152 from Francis Ford Coppola’s marked up copy of Mario Puzo’s novel, The Godfather. The Atlantic has kindly provided a link to the relevant scene from the film. I can’t help noticing that Coppola takes notes with a ruler.
The Belated Nerd recounts the story of “Lois Lane, Gun Moll” as part of his series, “What Was Lois Lane Up To 50 Years Ago.”
“The history of the yakuza and showbiz in Japan extends over four decades. We traced the historical growth of the yakuza into the entertainment industry and it parallels the evolution of the yakuza in Japanese society, and society’s changing viewpoints on their existence.” More at the Japan Subculture Research Center.
A couple of looks at the art and history of film title sequences.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget why I like comics and 2010 was a particularly tough year, in comics and otherwise. But here are 10 that reminded me why I do like them. There’s a lot of crime, anthropomorphic animals, gorgeous art, silly fun, people dealing with things the best they can, and plenty of Greg [...]keep looking »