Archive for March 5th, 2018

by Jared Dec

Japan 1933 95m

d Tomu Uchida w Toshihiko Takeda, Eizo Yamauchi photo Soichi Aisaka art Hiroshi Mizutani

Eiji Nakano (Tetsuo Tomioka), Isamu Kosuji (Itami), Taisuke Matsumoto (Miyabe Keikan), Soji Ubukato (Officer Hasimoto), Kenji Asada (Judiciary Chief), Shizuko Mori (Tazuko), Tamako Katsura (Emiko), Isao Kitaoka (Shinchi), Matsuko Miho (Tamiko), Hirotoshi Murata (Yamamura)

We were young then

I am sure every critic in any art medium can be argued to have one artist they hold as being the most underrated they have ever encountered. Allan obviously felt this way about Yoshida and went out of his way to promote his work. Ebert argued strongly for Herzog, and so on. While I don’t think Uchida is anywhere as talented as either of those great directors, if I had to pick one unknown director I relentlessly pursue any film they made that can be found, it would be Uchida. The fact alone that this series has had less than 10 entries and already I am making a second one about a film by Uchida is probably indication enough that I want to promote his work.  Uchida is not a master on the scale of the big four of Japanese cinema, but there is no conceivable reason to me that none of his films are available on DVD in the Western world save a few of his samurai films. It is hard to think of any directors who are more unfairly neglected  in world cinema. Uchida was a sort of an early Japanese Orson Welles who had great artistic vision but often fought with a repressive studio system. The result of Uchida’s rebellious nature is that his films manage to deal with much deeper social themes than almost any other Japanese films of his era. I feel that his pre-war material is his most bold and therefore most interesting, while his postwar output is somewhat more neutered. That all being said, Policeman has been one of my most coveted films for some time along with Uchida’s The Mad Fox (if you have it, please email me), and my first viewing after such a long period of anticipation surely clouded my judgement somewhat as to its quality. However, for what it’s worth, Policeman lived up to its hype for me. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

Our 38th Annual Oscar party was perhaps our most well-attended of them all, and to be sure the Tiger Hose Firehouse on Sedore Avenue in Fairview was hopping last night, with around 40 people plus shooting the breeze, watching the very long show and enjoying terrific food from Gandolfo’s in North Bergen.  A special shout out to John Grant and his lovely wife Pam for braving the cold night to drive back and forth from Hewitt (about an hour away) to attend for the second consecutive year and Voting Tabulator Extraordinaire Angelo A. D’Arminio Jr., who surprised me by driving up from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to attend an event he was a regular at for many years.  Though in the end we can only take the Oscar results with a  grain of salt, I was nonetheless delighted that The Shape of Water, my favorite film of the nine nominees and my #3 overall was crowned with the evening’s top prize, reversing the BAFTA verdict of Billboards a few weeks ago.  Again thanks to all who attended and made Sunday most memorable.

The final group e mail for the upcoming Greatest Television Series countdown Part 2 has been sent out and we are ready to launch on Sunday, March 11th with an opening essay by Adam Ferentz.  One change in the way the countdown will be negotiated is that there will not be a post on Mondays, in order to give proper space to Jared Dec’s Fish Obscuro reviews, his podcasts with Trevor Nigg and by extension the Monday Morning Diary.  Hence, the countdown will run from Tuesday till Sunday every week until mid July with two significant breaks in between for the Tribeca Film Festival and the Allan Fish Online Film Festival. (more…)

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