Lupin the Third: Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray of Blood

I watched this fantastic Lupin the Third film over the weekend, Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray of Blood (Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon) that tells the tale of how Lupin and his crew met up with Goemon. It’s a more adult take on the series, and features much tenser action than I’m used to seeing in Lupin stuff — think more along the lines of the animated sequence in Kill Bill — and I absolutely loved it. Great action, great character moments, and what made me even happier is that I later realized that it follows a Jigen movie from a few years ago, which itself is a follow-up to The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna) series that I remember hearing about when it came out, but never saw — I watched the first episode and it was killer.

Our Little Sister

Earlier today I got to talking about the films of Hirokazu Koreeda with a friend at work, and it’s only after looking him up that I realized he had directed Maboroshi, which not only was his first feature film, but also one of the first proper Japanese films I remember watching at a theater — this would have been back in 1996-98, while I was student in Montreal. That movie marked me quite a bit, but I hadn’t watched any of his other films, so tonight I decided to watch Our Little Sister, which I absolutely loved. Sure, it doesn’t hurt that it stars beautiful girls as the sisters, but I thought the story was quite touching, and the performances were really outstanding. Think I’m going to need to start making my way through Koreeda’s filmography.

Like It’s 1967

After I finished my recent 1985 movie marathon, I wanted to do another one, but for a year of film that would feel very different. I picked 1967 for the simple reason that it marks a 50 year jump, and I thought it would be interesting to revisit movies of that era that I watched when I was younger, as well as discover some I had never seen.

What I found especially interesting with the selection I ended up making — I figured I was going to go for a dozen or so, and ended up capping it at 10 — was that most of what I wanted to watch was French. I’m not sure if it’s a sign that French cinema was so strong at that time, or if it’s just that I would have watched a lot of these because of my French-Canadian background, and so they were part of my upbringing. Yet, of the 30 movies I watched for 1985, none of them were French, so I do think that French cinema was on a more equal (if not higher) footing with Hollywood at the time, and that it tended to reach a more global audience than we see with French films these days (which I admittedly do not follow at all).

All in all, it was another fun exercise, offering me a satisfying snapshot at the state of film — and culture in general — at that time. Here’s the full list of films I watched — which you’ll also find under the “1967” tag.

  1. Belle de Jour
  2. Bonnie and Clyde
  3. Casino Royale
  4. Fantomas Contre Scotland Yard
  5. In Like Flint
  6. Le Samourai
  7. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort
  8. Playtime
  9. Point Blank
  10. The Graduate

Ancien and the Magic Tablet

I mentioned last year really wanting to see the movie Hirune Hime (seems that the official English title is now Ancien and the Magic Tablet), and here’s a review of the film over at Time Out Tokyo. Considering that it’s directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who was behind Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East, two series I quite like, I’m definitely in for this.