Black Comedy · Comedy · Criterion Collection · United States

#904 Election (1999)

#904 Election 1999 // USA // Alexander Payne Criterion Collection (LINK) It’s an incredible fun to watch Election, a political satire that highlights eloquently and hilariously the absurdities in unethical politics and immoral personal issues; yet it’s extremely sorrowful that Election is also a recount as well as a presage of the political landscape in a… Continue reading #904 Election (1999)

Comedy · Criterion Collection · France · Music

#160 À nous la liberté (1931)

#160 À nous la liberté 1931 // France // René Clair Criterion Collection (LINK) What’s freedom? At one point during the film, we hear the children voice singing “work is liberty” because, as it self-explained paradoxically, “work is mandatory.” In René Clair lyrically crafted musical comedy À nous la liberté, the factory workers of a gramophone manufacturer, owned… Continue reading #160 À nous la liberté (1931)

Criterion Collection

A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era (1957)

Yuzo Kawashima Part 4: A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era (Yuzo Kawashima, 1957) Ranked the forth place in the Kinema Junpo’s Greatest Japanese Films Poll in 2009 (5th in 1999), A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era is still very much underappreciated outside Japan. Thankfully a splendid restoration has been distributed in the west in recent… Continue reading A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era (1957)

Black Comedy · Drama · Japan

The Graceful Brute (1962)

Yuzo Kawashima Part 3: The Graceful Brute (Yuzo Kawashima, 1962) After only watched four-and-a-half film (the half part comes from a co-direction credit with Mikio Naruse) directed by Yuzo Kawashima, I could say he’s the most criminally underseen director, at least outside his home country. The Graceful Brute, one of his last efforts before his untimely death, is… Continue reading The Graceful Brute (1962)

Adaptation · Drama · Japan

The Lovelorn Geisha (1960), The Temple of Wild Geese (1962)

Yuzo Kawashima Part 2 The Lovelorn Geisha (Mikio Naruse, Yuzo Kawashima, 1960) Also known as Evening Stream, it’s an intriguing collaboration between Naruse and Kawashima. There’re traces of Kawashima’s emphatic comedic timing particularly in the opening pool scene, but the film still felt largely in the realm of Naruse’s ethical drama. The multi-threaded narrative hinged on the… Continue reading The Lovelorn Geisha (1960), The Temple of Wild Geese (1962)

Adaptation · Drama · Japan

Susaki Paradise – Red Light District (1956)

Yuzo Kawashima Part 1: Susaki Paradise – Red Light District (1956) The name of Japanese director Yuzo Kawashima is still largely an unknown to many cinephiles outside his homeland since all but one of his works are unavailable in proper release and subtitle. The exception is A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era (1957) which has… Continue reading Susaki Paradise – Red Light District (1956)