by Tony Nigro
In honor of their 20th anniversary, tomorrow our friends at Milestone Films will have a series of screenings on Turner Classic Movies. Milestone has survived thick and thin and thinner in the independent distribution arena, never sacrificing taste for success. They also managed to put out one of my personal favorites, The Exiles, in a fantastic DVD set. Props from TCM is well deserved.
Films included in the eclectic series are Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives, Killer of Sheep, Legong: Dance of the Virgins, The Bat Whispers, and of course The Exiles. Schedule information is available at TCM’s site.
by Tony Nigro
Making its New York premiere at the Human Rights Watch festival this month is War Don Don, a documentary about the trial of alleged war criminal Issa Seesay in Freetown, Sierra Leone. A friend of Split Edit spent three years as an attorney on the controversial trial, and the stories I heard during that time have only stoked my interest in the film, if only to better understand the area’s complex political climate. If you’re in or near New York City, check it out with a panel discussion on June 12.
by Tony Nigro
Men in tights. More importantly, women in tights. A sexy supervillainess to boot. Takashi Miike’s wacked out superhero flick YATTERMAN features all that plus a shot of live action anime style with a 1980s TV show chaser.
Miike’s career more or less defines Freak of the Week for me, so I’m proud to include him here. YATTERMAN premieres in Los Angeles with a one-time screening on April 10 as part of the Japan Film Festival Los Angeles. Pre-order tickets here.
Pastiche is what it is, and what it is has a tendency to overstay its welcome. This trailer for Black Dynamite is a spot-on hoot, but we can’t help wondering if the joke wears thin after a few minutes.
Black Dynamite shows December 13 at the venerable New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles.
This Saturday, Cinefamily in Los Angeles is showing a rarely screened version of Alice Wonderland featuring stop motion animation by Lou Bunin. It looks fun:
Why “rarely screened,” you ask? Well, it’s a classic case of Disney co-opting a public domain story to the point that they think they own it. Somehow Disney lawyers managed to bury this 1949 version in enough legal crap to suppress it and avoid competition with their own animated adaptation in production at the time. Of course, this is not to say anything of how Lewis Carroll’s trippy tale had already been adapted five times prior. See kids, Hollywood remakes are nothing new. And neither is poor regulation of big business and disrespect of the public domain.
Koji Wakamatsu has been on our radar for some time, but we haven’t yet taken the time to explore his sensational stabs at cinema. So it’s a good thing that L.A.’s own Cinefamily is dedicating some screenings to him, including this weekend’s double feature of Shinjuku Mad and Ecstasy of the Angels. Cinefamily’s website indicates that they’ll be screening off DigiBeta sources, but still, as we’ve pointed out before, a cinematic experience is a cinematic experience.
If you really must see Wakamatsu on good ol’ projected 35mm, check out United Red Army at Cinefamily tonight.
Yes, you saw that right. Turkish Spider-Man fights Turkish Captain America… with Turkish El Santo. And that was indeed a face-eating killer gerbil. You can see it all that plus more brilliant Turkish rip-offs of pop culture this Saturday at 10pm in Los Angeles as part of Cinefamily’s Mondo Macabro Turkish Rip-Offs Night.
Cinefamily takes the cake with its awesome consistency of weekly freaks. Seriously, we should re-brand this feature “Cinefamily Freak of the Week.”