MMC! asked for it 2 years and 9 months ago in a Criterion edition, but it’s Arrow Academy that has answered our request for Tomu Uchida’s Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, a classic of Japanese cinema and a welcome entry point for a great director little known outside his homeland. Those looking for more on Uchida and a spoiler filled survey of the film can refer back to my post on Bloody Spear as well as my discussion of Uchida’s other masterpiece, A Fugitive of the Past. Here’s hoping that Arrow Academy’s foray in Uchida’s filmography is a sign that an AA edition of Fugitive (and other Uchida films) might also be on the horizon and that Japanese film fans might find a new director to celebrate and, in the case of Fugitive, a new favourite crime procedural to embrace. Take that High and Low!
Big thanks once again to Aaron West for inviting me onto his podcast, this time onto his second episode of Arrow Now! Enjoy hearing me get thoroughly outclassed by the great Tim Leggoe while we discuss all things Arrow Films, give our respective Top 5s for 2017, and take a look at the year ahead.
And in an admission that will likely disqualify me from participating in the same review next year – be warned, it’s very likely that Elvira, Mistress of the Dark will be on my Top 5 for 2018!
The Criterion Collection’s March 2017 announcements are certainly getting folks excited. I’m likely going against the grain in saying that I’m most interested in Canoa: A Shameful Memory (Felipe Cazals, 1976) than heavy-hitters like Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966) or Hal Ashby’s Being There (1979), but the film that has long been on my “need to watch” list as a potential MMC! title and I’m very happy to see more Mexican cinema in the Collection. With that said, the prospect of a forthcoming Criterion edition of Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy is even more interesting, with new restorations of Marius (1931), Fanny (1932), and César (1936) undertaken by Janus Films serving as prelude to a box set bearing a wacky “C.” Quelle surprise!