The Cultural Gutter

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

Minoru Kawasaki: Look Back in Fun Fur

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Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains.  This month Comics Editor Carol Borden writes about movies. This is not even close to a full retrospective, because while Minoru Kawasaki doesn’t have a huge number of films, many of them are not available with English subtitles and I don’t […]

Ultraman + Ukelele

Ultraman consoles a sad kaiju he finds on the moon. Ukelele! Surfing! Hawai’ian vacation for everyone!

Kaiju Christmas 2010

It’s Kaiju Christmas over at wtfFILM. What the hell am I saying?  It’s Kaiju Christmas everywhere!

Taiwanese Giant Monsters, Discussed!

Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! and TarsTarkas.net join forces to discuss Taiwanese giant monster films and you can listen in!

Waiting for Gorgo?

Do you remember Gorgo? The giant monster that raced up from the oceanic depths and devastated London? The DMOA do.

Akira Ifukube Conducts

Akira Ifukube conducts the Osaka Symphony in a selection of his Godzilla works.

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

The BBC has a nice interview with Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion and SFX Overlord!

NYAFF 2010

The New York Asian Film Festival is coming up and actors Sammo Hung and Simon Yam will be in attending their films Kung Fu Chefs, Bodyguards and Assassins, Echoes of the Rainbow and Eastern Condors. But even if you can’t make it, it’s worth checking out the films and trailers for the Hong Kong/China and […]

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.

More Utagawa Kuniyoshi

A Doppelganger. A Giant Carp. A Tengu. The Curated Object has more images from “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.”

Ultramen vs. Kaiju

Kaijutastic Ultraman poster art by Takayoshi Mizuki. (via The Japan Society)

There’s a cephalopod with a naginata.

The Japan City in New York City has posted a gallery of images from their current exhibition, “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters:  prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.”  There’s a cephalopod with what looks like a naginata.  There are samurai and a giant skeleton. If you can’t make it to the exhibit, see some of it here.  (via […]

Kaiju vs Ultramen

Sometimes it seems like the world is an empty, awesomeless place. And then there is another clip from a Japanese variety/game show.  This one involves kaiju and Ultramen.

NYAFF 2009 and Hypnotic Escapism

The New York Asian Film Festival wants to help you escape joblessness, global pandemics and despair. Why don’t you let it? (Info here).

RIP, Ho Meng-Hua

It’s a sad time for fan of martial arts and Shaw Bros. Filmmaker Ho Meng-Hua has died. Ho started in the 1950s at Cathay studios, but his wuxia and kaiju work at Shaw Bros. Studios is probably more familiar to most fans. He directed Cheng Pei-Pei and Lo Lieh in The Lady Hermit and Danny […]

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Giant animals square off in Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. You might think Minoru Kawasaki is behind it. But you’d be wrong–Deborah “Debbie” Gibson’s behind it all. (Thanks, Steven!)

Let There Be Monsters

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An underground monster that can’t see, but senses your steps via vibrations. A giant ape that falls in love with a woman and fights lots of dinosaurs. And a hellish creature that fights on the side of humanity against mechanical armies and wayward elves. What do these have in common? I interrupt this critical essay […]

Where Does the Art Start?

It’s hard to know where the art starts and ends in this story about the in-fighting in the wrestling cabaret stylings of Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling. “It’s a bunch of grown men and women in costumes pretending to be professional wrestlers. It is to wrestling as ‘West Side Story’ is to actual gang relations.” Who knows […]

Kaiju Shakedown Goes Down Again

Like King Ghidorah, Kaiju Shakedown has succumbed to market forces. Again. Hopefully like King Ghidorah, Kaiju Shakedown will rise again.  Kaiju Shakedown’s writer, Grady Hendrix, is taking some time to figure out how.

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).

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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    At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

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    At Never Get Off The Bus, Debbie Moon writes about Captain America: First Avenger. “When adapting existing material, it’s easy to assume that in order to reach point F, you simply have to work through points A – E. To set up Steve Rogers in the modern world, simply romp briskly through everything that happened before he got there. But your character may not be undergoing a single united emotional journey during that period. “

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    At Sequart, friend of the Gutter Colin Smith is taking an exhaustive look at the American superhero comics of Mark Millar–and by exhaustive, we mean, “28 Part.”

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    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley writes about his past as a soap opera fan and the return of a classic soap opera, The Doctors, and its significance for the genre.

     

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