Having roundly belittled the recent, Jack Black-infused version of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons turn their sights to other, earlier versions of the fantasy classic. Of a slate that includes an animated version from the Fleischers, a kid-oriented take from Ray Harryhausen, and the Halmis’ encyclopedic TV adaptation, which towers Brodignagianly over the others, and which are mere Yahoos? And while we’re at it, why are the prince and princess of the Fleischer version so camera shy?
Then Steve gives us his thoughts on David Kalat’s ambitious survey, J-Horror: The Definitive Guide to The Ring, The Grudge, and Beyond; and Dan & Larry wax nostalgic for Looney Tunes presented the way god intended them: at a full, six minute running length. Plus more tangents and digressions than you can shake a Lilliputian at.
Having taken the world’s most depressing world tour in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1, the Cinefantastique Podcast crew – along with guest Andrea Lipinski of The Chronic Rift – set their sights on numerous other subjects during the Post-Mortem, including writer-director Kaneto Shindo’s black-and-white classic KURONEKO (1968), currently receiving art house playdates from Janus Films. Also on the chopping block: Boris Karloff’s THRILLER, THE OUTER LIMITS’ episode “The Form of Things Unknown,” and bad films we love – or love to hate. NOTE: Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, there is no new Cinefantastique Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction Podcast this week.
Specialty distributor Janus Films has struck new 35mm prints of Kaneto Shindo’s legendary film, KURONEKO (“The Black Cat,” 1968), a follow-up to the writer-director’s wonderfully creepy ONIBABA (“Demon Woman,” 1964). KURONEKO has long been one of the most hard-to-find Japanese horror classics; it is known stateside mostly by reputation, but that reputation is a strong one: by all accounts this is one of the great incarnations of a popular trope in Japanese horror: the ghost cat (i.e., female spirits of murder victims who return in feline form to extract revenge).
KURONEKO has never been available on Region 1 DVD, so this will be the first opportunity that many US. viewers have had to see the film. The fact that it is being screened in a new 35mm print suggests that a home video release is in the works, but why wait? See it on the big screen! From the official website:
In war-torn medieval Japan, a demon haunts the Rajomon Gate, ripping out the throats of samurai in the grove beyond. The governor sends a war hero to confront the spirit, but what the man finds are two beautiful women who look just like his lost mother and wife. Both a chilling ghost story and a meditation on the nature of war and social hypocrisy, Kuroneko is the second horror triumph from director Kaneto Shindo (Naked Island, Onibaba), who mixes stunning visuals, an evocative score, and influences from traditional Japanese theater to create an atmospheric, haunting, and emotionally devastating masterpiece.
October 22 – 28: New York, NY – Film Forum
October 29 – November 4: Boston, MA – Landmark Kendall Square
November 5 – 11: Portland, OR – Cinema 21
November 19 – 25: Los Angeles, CA – Landmark Nuart
November 26: San Francisco, CA – The Castro Theatre
December 3: Rochester, NY – George Eastman House
December 24 – 30: Denver, CO – Denver Film Society
January 13-16 Cleveland Cinematheque in Cleveland, Ohio
January 21-27 SJFF Cinema in Seattl,e Washington
February 3 The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA (double bill with HOUSE/HAUSU)
Feburary 3-6 Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver, B.C.
February 11-17 Bloor Cinema in Toronto, ON
February 25 – March 3: Minneapolis, MN – Landmark Theatres
March 11-17 Landmark E-Street in Washington, D.C.
March 23 The Castro Theatre in San Francisco, CA (double bill with HOUSE/HAUSU, formerly announced for March 9)
March 30 The Cinema Arts Center in Hungtington, NY
April 1-7 Keene State College, Keane, New Hampshire
April 8-10, 15-17 in Detroit Institute of the Arts in Detroit, Michigan
NO LONGER LISTED, APPARENTLY CANCELED: April 22-28 Tivoli Cinemas in Kansas City, MO
April 29 BAMcinematek in Brooklyn, NY
May 6-10 Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 14 Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio (formerly listed as July 8-9)
July 30 & August 1: Gene Siskel Film Center (w/retrospective) – Chicago, IL
August 4-5: The Paramount Theatre – Austin, TX
October 29: The CInematheque (w/ retrospective) – Madison, WI
March 17, 2012: International House (with retrospective) – Philadelphia, PA
Note: This list may not be complete. To see new dates as they are confirmed, click here.