Kurosawa Says Noh to Shakespeare: My Blu-ray review of Throne of Blood

Akira Kurosawa went out on a limb when he made his loose Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood. Highly stylized and heavily influenced by Japan's noh theater, the picture holds you emotionally at an arm's length. You're never invited to identify with or even empathize with the characters. This is Kurosawa at his coldest, as if … Continue reading Kurosawa Says Noh to Shakespeare: My Blu-ray review of Throne of Blood

What’s Screening: December 27 – January 2

No festivals this week, but we do get a new year. And some movies. New Year's Eve Family Carnival Night, Alameda, Tuesday, 7:00. The Alameda is promising a magician, clowns, games, a raffle, and, yes, movies. The whole thing is sponsored by the Alameda Pinball Museum, as a memorial for Craig Wolff and a benefit … Continue reading What’s Screening: December 27 – January 2

Upcoming Festivals: Subtitled Noir and Subtitled German

We think of film noir as a very American genre…which is kind of weird. After all, the very word noir should remind us that the French recognized a unique style and gave it a name. So I'm happy to tell you that in its12th installment, Noir City goes international. There will be films from Spain, … Continue reading Upcoming Festivals: Subtitled Noir and Subtitled German

The Once-Great John Sayles Makes a Pretty Good Mystery in Go for Sisters

B Mystery/thriller Written and directed by John Sayles Back in the 1990s, independent filmmaker John Sayles turned out one great film after another. But he's been turning out mostly disappointments for a long time now. His latest film, Go for Sisters, didn't disappoint me, but that's only because I've lowered my expectations about this once-great … Continue reading The Once-Great John Sayles Makes a Pretty Good Mystery in Go for Sisters

Finishing up the PFA’s 4K Series

Within the space of 48 hours, I attended the last three screenings at the Pacific Film Archive's series The Resolution Starts Now: 4K Restorations from Sony Pictures. With these screenings, there was no Grover Crisp to discuss the technology and how it effects the art. Aside from very brief introductions from the PFA's Steve Seid, … Continue reading Finishing up the PFA’s 4K Series