The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

Master of Infinite Kung Fu

I always have trouble writing about comics that I think are good, just excellent and existing in their own seamless perfection, which means that here at the Gutter I don’t always write about the comics that I love most. I want to do credit to them and save them till I have more time. Sometimes, […]

Coverage of The Raid at Midnight Madness

Read the Gutter Guest Star (and good friend) Robert Mitchell’s interview with Gareth Evans, director of The Raid (aka, The Raid:  Redemption) along with all kinds of coverage of The Raid”s premiere at Midnight Madness, including video of the Q & A and introduction of the film.

The Portrait of Sho Kosugi

Dare you explore the illustrated history of Enter the Ninja‘s  Sho Kosugi? “In the 80′s, Sho Kosugi posed for over 73 billion photos in full night gear, laden with weapons, in magazines like Black Belt, Ninja, even Karate Illustrated and Inside Kung Fu. Yet when it comes to movie and video game ad campaigns, you often […]

Time Lapse Master of Flying Guillotine

Very cool time lapse video of Kagan McLeod drawing the blind Shaolin priest from Master of Flying Guillotine–with footage from that film. (via Top Shelf Comix and SPX)  

The Raid Trailer

Here’s an Indonesian trailer for The Raid, not that it matters because the titles are in English and asskickery is an universal language.  (The Raid played at–and won the People’s Choice Award–at TIFF’s 2011 Midnight Madness Programme, see more trailers from that programme here and here).  

10 Comics I Liked in 2011

It’s the beginning of January, cold and dark where I am. The critics are all putting out their best of year lists, and maybe you’re looking for something to read. So here’s my entry into annual lists: 10 comics I liked in 2011 that I haven’t written about. Well 9 comics I haven’t written about […]

Movieline Interviews Pam Grier

Jen Yamato interviews Pam Grier on her experience working on Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and in 1970s action films doing her own stunts. (via Grindhouse Database)

Scratching the Surface of Indonesian Cult Cinema

At the Midnight Madness blog, Carol scratches the surface of Indonesian cult cinema.

Midnight Madness 2011

The line-up for the Midnight Madness Programme at the Toronto International Film Festival has been announced and the Gutter has some trailers and images for the films! Smuggler (directed by Funky Forest‘s Katsushito Ishii); The Day; Livid (from the directors of A L’Interieur/Inside); Kill List; The Incident; God Bless America (directed by Bobcat Goldthwait); Lovely […]

The History and Art of the Title Sequence

A couple of looks at the art and history of film title sequences.

Cartoon Trailers!

Cartoon Network has trailers for the upcoming animated shows, ThunderCats and Legend of Korra, the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender as well as an extended look at Green Lantern: The Animated Series  with a short peek at the LEGO Ninja show, Ninjago.

Summer Fun Time Reading ’11

It’s summer time and instead of beer bottles exploding out of coolers in a shower of refreshing ice, bikini-clad hotties and fireworks as we know it should be, everything is wilting and perhaps even melting. As far as I can tell there are only two possible explanations—Hot Lava Monsters have readjusted the earth’s thermostat to […]

Congratulations Bruce Leung Siu-Leung!

Fantasia Film Festival honored Bruce Leung Siu-Leung with their Legendary Kung Fu Star Award. He started his career as one of many Bruce Lee imitators before moving on working as an actor and action choreographer in films and television throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  In the 2004, Leung returned as the Beast in Kung Fu […]

A Song of Determination

“The Wong Fei-Hung Theme,” aka, “A Man of Determination,” might be the best known Chinese song outside the Chinese-speaking world.  Here it is, in Cantonese, as the opening to Once Upon a Time in China, in George Lam Chi-Cheung’s music video and as karaoke for George Lam fans who read the Roman alphabet, as an […]

Could They Beat Up China Mieville?

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, “Could they beat up China Miéville?” Now you have your answers, in story form.

Heroic Trio

heroic trio 80.jpg

Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains.  This month, Comics Editor Carol Borden writes about stars of action cinema. I like ladies of asskickery, women who can throw a punch or wield a sharp pointy weapon, preferably both. Since it’s April and we mix things up here at […]

100 Years of Manhwa

An excellent gallery of images and collections, as well as historical context on 100 years of Korean comics.

Slashing Cinema

Wendell Jamieson writes about Japanese sword fight films for The New York Times: “I recently asked my sensei, then and now, Noboru Kataoka — himself an actor who goes as Ken Kensai — to name the greatest sword fight film of them all, and he answered, The Sword of Doom without missing a beat.”

Happy Birthday, Sonny Chiba!

Today’s JJ Sonny Chiba’s birthday and so it might be a good time to see what our friends at Teleport City have been writing about him.

“So Why Can’t I See You Kicking His Ass?”

John Kreng finishes the fallacies of why filmmakers make action so hard to see with the punches, kicks and elbow smashes of his thoughts. And you can see the whole thing here. (via ShelfLifeCC)

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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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