Arrow Made Mine! The Bloodthirsty Trilogy Edition

MMC! is happy to report that our plaintive cries into the cinematic darkness have been answered once again, this time by Arrow Films! The label’s May 2018 announcements for the Arrow Video line dropped this morning and amongst a stacked collection of six announcements (including 3 North American editions, one of which is Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left!) is Michio Yamamoto’s Bloodthirsty Trilogy. The upcoming Arrow Video edition even includes a video appraisal by Kim Newman and writing by Jasper Sharp, although nothing from MMC! ūüė¶

I am happy to say we had this one back in May 2015 and I encourage readers to check out that post as it includes a variety of links to other articles on the films, most notably Jasper Sharp’s review of Lake of Dracula.

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Huff ‘n Puff (Jerry Lieberman, –)

MMC!¬†was lucky enough to see Kier-La Janisse’s latest Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat Cartoon Party and the best of the program was Jerry Lieberman’s Huff ‘n Puff, an anti-smoking PSA for the American Cancer Society that riffs on the story of the Three Little Pigs with some strange gallows humour. We could only assume that the Big Bad Wolf died just after the short ended. The short seems to have been part of a larger campaign that included an illustrated story offered as a pamphlet. (If anyone knows the year this animated short was produced or released, I’d appreciate the info!)

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The Temple of Wild Geese (Yuzo Kawashima, 1962)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Temple of Wild Geese.

Ayako Wakao stars as Satoko, mistress to an accomplished artist who passes her along on his death to the lascivious head priest of a prominent Buddhist temple famous for its paintings of wild geese. She is drawn to a melancholy young disciple who also resides at the temple in similar dependence to the priest and who is treated cruelly for his efforts. Fascinated by the pitiable young man and aware of their similarly impoverished upbringings, Satoko seeks him out, slowly drawing him closer to her and unwittingly placing further strain on his tortured soul. Yuzo Kawashima’s film, exquisitely shot by cinematographer Hiroshi Murai, is a sharply observed exploration of moral weakness and a darkly ironic adaptation of Tsutomu Minakami’s 1961 semi-autobiographical novel.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • New program with Eric Nyari on the film and its restoration
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Irene Gonz√°lez-L√≥pez and Tsutomu Minakami’s original story

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10 on the 10th – February 2018

The last ten films I’ve watched hit me where I live, although often in unusual ways.¬†My Journey Through French Cinema is¬†la cataire¬†for French cinephiles – bring on¬†Volume 2!¬†Hype! reminds me of everything I loved about mid-’90s rock and why I still wince at hearing Nirvana covers.¬†Call Me by Your Name was bucolic and sensual, Scum of the Earth! earns its reputation as cinema’s first “roughie,” and¬†The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is a single-set pressure cooker of love and obsession, pleas and rebukes, victims and victimizers, and doms and subs. Perhaps most memorable was¬†My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, which plays like Wes Anderson’s trippy remake of¬†The Poseidon Adventure replacing the boat for a high school and its passengers with teenaged Peanuts characters.

  1. Scum of the Earth! (Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1963)
  2. Operation Lipstick (Umetsugu Inoue, 1969)
  3. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972)
  4. Tales of Masked Men (Carlos¬†√Āvila, 2012)
  5. Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)
  6. Elegant Beast (Yuzo Kawashima, 1962)
  7. My Journey Through French Cinema (Bertrand Tavernier, 2016)
  8. Hype! (Doug Pray, 1996)
  9. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (Dash Shaw, 2016)
  10. Tributes: Pulse (Bill Morrison, 2011)

I watched Tributes: Pulse in anticipation of seeing Bill Morrison speak at my local cinematheque about Dawson City: Frozen Time. Morrison provided various observations:

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Elegant Beast (Yuzo Kawashima, 1962)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Elegant Beast.

In this contemporary melodrama scripted by Kaneto Shindo, director Yuzo Kawashima creates a scathing depiction of greed and hypocrisy in a society facing rapid modernization and Westernization. The small apartment of the Maeda family is transformed by inventive and meticulous cinematography into a claustrophobic battleground where cheating, embezzlement, and corruption are natural occurrences and where the Maedas are turned from swindlers to swindled by a beautiful but mercenary accountant played by Ayako Wakao in a virtuoso performance. Little know outside of Japan, Yuzo Kawashima’s Elegant Beast is an underappreciated masterpiece in filmmaking and a bitter statement on what it took to get ahead in post-war Japan.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • New program with Eric Nyari on the film and its restoration
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by Japanese film scholar Tomoyuki Sasaki

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Trailer Tuesday

It’s another great month of announcements from the Criterion Collection and I’m very excited for Jim Jarmusch’s¬†Dead Man (1995), a film that I greatly enjoy even if I can’t ever seem to stay awake through it. This trailer is wonderful, showcasing Neil Young’s superb score, the film’s impressive cast, and my absolute favourite moment – Billy Bob Thornton’s complaints about his hair. Criterion’s edition looks great and even includes the amazing Iggy Pop reading William Blake’s poems.

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