Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sun, Sweat, and Smoke: The Visuals of Koreyoshi Kurahara

One of the most striking things about the films in Criterion/Eclipse’s new Koreyoshi Kurahara set is that – despite their disparity in theme, genre, and tone – they all share an urgent, kinetic style that reminds me of Scorsese at his most gutsy. From the chaotic WARPED ONES to the ostensible romantic dramedy I HATE BUT LOVE, Kurahara never lets his audience feel secure for very long. 

Which makes it hard for me to convey Kurahara’s skittering style via the staid still frame showcase that I love so much. But I’m going to try it anyway since I really believe he’s a filmmaker whom young, piss-n-vinegar-filled filmmakers would do well to study.  With his Ginsu editing and kamikaze camerawork, Kurahara’s got style to burn (as I say in my review over at GreenCine) and knows how to fill a frame. Here’s a brief, frame grab-heavy tour of the set (and, note well, it contains spoilers).

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Get the hell out of my fortress!"

CUL-DE-SAC (1966) is Roman Polanski’s third feature film and his third (and final) film in black and white. For those into making arbitrary trilogies*, CUL-DE-SAC and its predecessors (KNIFE IN THE WATER and REPULSION) create a Polanski sourdough starter of sorts: the germ of Polanski’s entire subsequent filmography can be found in these three films (all available from the Criterion Collection, with CUL-DE-SAC hitting the streets tomorrow).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunshiney Intimidation

Yesterday's mail brought two unexpected surprises: Criterion's latest Eclipse set (THE WARPED WORLD OF KOREYOSHI KURAHARA) and their forthcoming disc of Lee Chang-Dong's SECRET SUNSHINE. I know nothing of either filmmaker and plan on keeping it that way. Normally, I'd be doing as much pre-screening research/viewing as was possible. In this case, I'm too busy and am kind of looking forward to going into these films absolutely blind, without any expectation (aside from the implicit "Cinephile-Approved" baggage that accompanies anything coming from the Criterion label). It's rare that I watch a film without knowing anything about it or its makers, so this should be fun.