High marks among the last ten films I’ve watched for Diamonds of the Night (a moving and surprisingly abstract approach to dealing with the Holocaust – think a better rendering of Son of Saul), Relaxer (a recent Oscilloscope title that seems to be inventing a fourth body genre concerned with other bodily leakages and preoccupied with revulsion and disgust), Memories of Murder (quite a captivating police procedural that nearly lives up to its very esteemed reputation), and Phantasm (an overdue first-time watch that provided an exceptionally random grab bag of horror material collected into a Carpenter-esque package that definitely entertained). A failing grade for Son of Godzilla, whose giant spiders and mantises cannot compensate for the creation of Minilla. Also, I watched Tora-San, the Intellectual having just discovered that an elaborate Blu-ray set is being released later this year in Japan commemorating the 50th anniversary of the franchise and the release of a new film!
- Phantasm (Don Coscarelli, 1979)
- Dave Made a Maze (Bill Watterson, 2017)
- If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (Gianfranco Parolini, 1968)
- Tora-San, the Intellectual (Yôji Yamada, 1975)
- The Eyes of Orson Welles (Mark Cousins, 2018)
- Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho, 2003)
- Relaxer (Joel Potrykus, 2018)
- Son of Godzilla (Jun Fukuda, 1967)
- Diamonds of the Night (Jan Nemec, 1964)
- Hollywood Shuffle (Robert Townsend, 1987)
Lastly, a shout-out to the Criterion Collection’s release of Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace (1966). I’m halfway through and I’m blown away. While I expected to love it, the films are not as I expected, often telling their stories in long sequences without dialogue and that proceed like some over-determined, poetically rendered dreamscape. From battlefields to ballrooms to borzois running across vast estates, War and Peace is epic at every turn and an entrancing wonder.