Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
The Blackcoat’s Daughter: February Chills Your Soul
What school has its semester break in February? It sounds like particularly poor planning for a boarding school in the snowy Northeast. I...
Beyond Godzilla: School in the Crosshairs
Millions of Japanese students have suspected cram schools are evil, but it took a maverick like Nobuhiko Obayashi to conclusively prove i...
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Five Came Back: To Serve and Document
There are notable exceptions, like the tireless Gary Sinise and his Captain Dan Band, but it is almost impossible to imagine today’s Holl...
Donnie Darko: The 15th Anniversary Restored Director’s Cut
It was a box office flop that inspired a non-canonical sequel. For obvious reasons, the late fall of 2001 was not a great time to release...
Peelers: Zombies in a Strip Club
We know from Train to Busan a speeding bullet train is the worst possible place for a zombie apocalypse. In contrast, a divey roadhouse ...
Monday, March 27, 2017
The Prison: Hard Time in Korea
The recidivism rate for this prison is darn near 100%, especially if you are fortunate enough to be quartered in Jung Ik-ho’s block. His ...
Cezanne et Moi: The Great French Bromance
The “moi” in this case is Emile Zola, who was also the “I” in the Dreyfuss Affair J’Accuse . Despite his tremendous literary success at t...
Is America in Retreat? Johan Norberg Asks the Question
The term “world’s policeman” is often used in a derisive, Keystone Cops sort of way, but couldn’t this world use a bit more law and order...
Sunday, March 26, 2017
BUFF ’17: Prevenge
Ruth probably takes reasonable precautions during her pregnancy, like only smoking filtered cigarettes and drinking clear booze. Granted,...
BUFF ’17: The Golden Chain (short)
You could call Cyin a Gödel galaxy. All known principles of science and logic break down within its high-density mass. It is more like a ...
Saturday, March 25, 2017
BUFF ’17: An Eldritch Place (short)
Which is scarier, the Lovecraftian Dreamlands or the Paris suburbs? An immigrant security guard will have a chance to compare and contras...
BUFF ’17: She’s Allergic to Cats
There is a point on the cinematic spectrum where cheapo grade-Z schlock starts to approach the style and texture of low-fi “expression fo...
Friday, March 24, 2017
BUFF ’17: 68 Kill
Its called exploitation for a reason. Neither the filmmaker or the characters of this gleefully sordid, southern-fried caper gives a toss...
BUFF ’17: The Call of Charlie (short)
Unfortunately, Emily Post never explained how to act when attending a dinner party with a Lovecraftian elder god. It turns out you can ju...
Life: It’s Out There
Now that NASA is not so temporarily out of the manned space flight business, we have to hitch a ride with the Russians if we want to visi...
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Diamond Cartel: Life is Cheap in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan was the last republic to declare independence from the bad old Soviet Union. Since then, Communist era strongman Nursultan Nza...
The Dark Below: Serial Killer on Ice
It could be considered the psycho-horror version of the Ray Milland Cold War thriller, The Thief . There is virtually no dialogue to be h...
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Dig Two Graves: They Hold Grudges in These Parts
Evidently, if you go south enough in downstate Illinois (bootlegger country) it starts to look downright Southern. In this rural 1970s co...
Beyond Godzilla: Latitude Zero
It was released in 1969, but this Japanese-American co-production (more Japanese than U.S., since Hollywood bailed mid-stream) eerily pre...
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Metamorphoses: Honore Does Ovid
The ancient Greeks told shape-shifting stories millennia before Kafka and dozens of tawdry paranormal romance writers, but it was the Rom...
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