Year: 2011

Songs of Hate, Part Two: The Visual Instead Of The Verbal | The Nail That Sticks Out

We left off last column with a run-down on the first of actress/singer Meiko Kaji’s Female Prisoner Scorpion series and a hint that things were about to get pretty weird. Well, the phantasmagoria goes full bore in the second film in the series, Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Joshuu Sasori – Dai 41 Zakkyobo). Filmed, like its predecessor, in 1972, here Nami Matsushima, aka Sasori (scorpion), is pretty much fully transformed into something supernatural and, like Lee Marvin’s Walker/Parker in Point Blank, begins to haunt the minds of all who’ve wronged her. She even transcends time and space through some stunningly psychedelic timeshifts and edits. At one point, as Sasori hacks away at her foe, she literally slashes through the “screen”, taking us to a different environment.  It’s completely, beautifully bonkers.

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Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story… Stripp’d

If you wander around a second hand book shop and start leafing through old history textbooks you will rapidly notice that history used to be nothing but stories about men with beards and top hats. Looking back on this state of affairs, we can now see that one of the reasons for this is that people naturally tend to gravitate towards stories that interest them on a personal level. Because of this, bearded men wound up writing books about other bearded men to the point where history became nothing but a collection of stories about bearded men (with or without top hats). This pattern did not change until the demographics of university education began to change and an influx of non-white, non-male students created a generation of non-white, non-male historians who reached professional maturity in the 1960s.

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Songs of Hate: Meiko Kaji and Female Prisoner Scorpion (Part One) – The Nail That Sticks Out

She sold over a million albums, her films inspired much of Kill Bill, and when she didn’t want to do what she was asked of by executives, she said uh-uh and split for greener pastures. Her name is Meiko Kaji. Possessed with a confidence and an intensity that saw her type-cast as one of Japan’s toughest bad girls, Meiko’s beauty and fierce you’re-a-fucking-dead-man stare, framed by tresses of long jet-black hair (frequently shot in weirdly-angled extreme close-up), has made her a global cult film icon.

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DR. NO |The James Bond Zapiska

I’ll say it, and I don’t care who hears it: I love James Bond.  I love the style, the intrigue, the gadgets, the barely plausible villains.  I love dang near everything about Ian Fleming’s super-spy.  From the first time I was ever exposed to Bond as a kid, I was hooked.  I liked the fact that he was a hero that could control world events from sort of a behind-the-scenes position.  The stakes were high and slightly ridiculous.  He was a secret agent with a quick, resourceful mind, not a Schwarzenegger-esque action hero with ridiculous muscles and a huge, phallic machine gun nestled into his elbow.

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J. EDGAR Is Leo’s Show, All The Way | Movie Review

It struck me as I was watching J. Edgar that as much as I enjoy James Ellroy’s work and how funny I find his depiction of Hoover in his Blood’s a Rover, it actually is a really cartoony version of the guy.  Ellroy kinda does that a lot, and that’s fine, as not only do I like cartoons a lot, it was also Ellroy’s mission in his “Underworld U.S.A.” trilogy to deflate the images of these men that have defined 20th century American history.  Clint Eastwood’s film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, also seeks to do this, but in a much more subtle way, which also still ends up (in my eyes, anyway) severely discrediting the man who created the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Geek Girl Navigating the World – SUPERNATURAL will top my list for a long, long time

I am kind of a TV junkie.  I’ll admit that.  There are several shows that I watch frequently and have a tendency to recommend to anyone who’ll hold still long enough to express even the barest hint of interest.  There are also several shows that I have purchased in their entirety on DVD.  For a long time, if I were asked what my favorite show was, I wouldn’t have been able to name one.

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