The RZA talks Kung Fu Films that influenced him

Written by Joe D on September 8th, 2019

 

 

Check out this great interview courtesy of Vanity Fair with Wu Tang Maestro RZA. He breaks it all down for you and he’s pretty funny too. PS A lot of these films are available on Amazon Prime!

Hercules Against The Moon Men

Written by Joe D on August 29th, 2019

I just happened to catch this flick on Channels, the cheap archive of Wierd Movies you can subscribe to on Apple TV for a couple of bucks. It was OK, an evil Queen, an Italian Hercules, a cene where Hercules is caught in these giant Jaws of Death for what seems like an eternity.

I left it on while I was brushing my teeth and putting on my socks. I’ve always had a soft spot for Hercules type movies, made in Rome in the 60’s, usually some crazy monster appears. Anyway I was sort of watching it when a sequence began, it took place in a huge cavern in the Mountain of Death, A Moon Man, looking like a futuristic Tin Woodsman crossed with an owl, was coducting a ceremony to bring the evil Queen back to life with the blodd of an innocent girl.

Suddenly there was an image of incomparable beauty, a throbbing purple orb slowly turning above their heards, then the moon appears in an opening in the roof of the cavern, it’s obscured by clouds but it comes closer through the mist. I immediately thought of Mario Bava, it had his fingerprints all over it. The film was made at Cinecitta, Bava’s hangout. I heard Bava would work on the Special Effects of other peoples films when he wasn’t busy on his own films, along with his father, a talented sculptor. Then I read that Tim Lucas, the Bava guru said he thought Bava worked on this film as well. So watch it for yourself and decide. The sequence I’m referring to is towards the end of the film.

Stroszek

Written by Joe D on August 3rd, 2019

 

I just watched Werner Herzog’s magnificent film Stroszek. Starring the incomparable Bruno S.  I had never seen it before and it really impressed me. All the acting is terrific especially Bruno as the title character. The film is filled with an undeniable poetry, the ending is a visionary critique of Capitalism and the American way of life, something that was not scripted but found by chance as Herzog filmed on location. A miracle of Synchronicity. You should watch it and be amazed. 10 thumbs up!

Here’s the trailer.

 

Rutger Hauer in Ermano Olmi’s The Legend Of The Holy Drinker

Written by Joe D on July 25th, 2019

Here is a scene from the great Ermanno Olmi’s film The Legend of The Holy Drinker. I haven’t seen the film but I will watch it as soon as I can. I love Olmi’s films, he was such a cinematic genius. And here’s to Rutger Hauer who just died, another great talent gone on to the next level.

P.S. This film won the Golden Lion at The 1988 Venice Film Festival.

P.P.S. it’s available to watch FREE on Amazon Prime so check it out!

 

 

Barbara Loden with John and Yoko

Written by Joe D on July 21st, 2019

Here she is on the Mike Douglas show talking about Wanda and how she met John and Yoko at Cannes. Pretty Cool. They even show a scene from Wanda, notice how dirty it is, she probably only had one print. Pretty cool.

 

Ingmar Bergman talks about The Phantom Carriage

Written by Joe D on June 30th, 2019

Hear the late ,great Ingmar Bergman speak about the early influence of The Phantom Carriage, Victor Sojostrum’s classic supernatural silent film. It’s like Bunuel talking about seeing Fritz Lang’s Destiny and how it launched him on his film career. Bergman used Sojostrom in Wild Strawberries, and supposedly the old man was very difficult to deal with. Still it is a great film, with a magnificent ending.

Wanda

Written by Joe D on June 8th, 2019

Here is the trailer from a cool independent film made by Barbara Loden in 1970. An amazing film, sort of a feminist Cassavettes trip. Great acting and an incredibly tense bank robbery made on a shoestring budget. Impressive. At one point Wanda the main character goes to a Spanish language movie theater and there is a poster for a film I love, The Brainiac, a Mexican Horror Film. Also you see billboards for TastyKakes, an East Coast delicacy of my childhood. Watch this film and be prepared to be blown away. Actually this is the whole film with Portuguese subtitles.

Model Shop

Written by Joe D on June 1st, 2019

 

Here is the trailer for Jacques Demy’s Model Shop. His only film made in Los Angeles. It captures a disappeared L.A. that I find really beautiful. It’s screening soon at the New Beverly, if you’re in L.A. go see it.

 

The Hustler

Written by Joe D on May 30th, 2019

Here’s the trailer for Robert Rossen’s The Hustler, great script, great directing, great acting, great cinematography by Eugene Schufftan and great editing by Dede Allen. Watch the whole movie and dig it!

 

Tango by Zbignew Rybczyński

Written by Joe D on May 22nd, 2019

Here is an amazing film made in an optical printer by the talented Zbignew Rybczyński. I met him in NYC years ago , he had a company called 525. He was an early adopter of Hi Def video. But this was done on film.

 

 

 

David Lynch Documentary

Written by Joe D on May 7th, 2019

Cutural Impact of The Exorcist

Written by Joe D on April 22nd, 2019

I remember the insanity surrounding the release of The Exorcist. People waited in lines for hours to see any showing, midnight or 10 AM. I heard Warner Brothers had employees, who were heading home for the Holidays, hand carry prints to their local theaters. They were working round the clock to finish the film and make the Christmas Eve release. My pal Bud Smith edited the film, a magnificent job! My other friend, the late, great, Jack Nitzsche recorded special sound effects for the film, that add immensley to the experience. But here is a short documentary on the phenomenon of The Exorcist’s first release.