Calendar

February – April 2015

Feb
21
Sat
2015 Noise Pop Film Series: BEAUTIFUL NOISE
February 21, 2015

BeautNoiseSAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE!

There was no machismo, no rockstar posturing, and definitely no gyrating. Save for the occasional tiff they had with pretentious NME journalists, most of the band members were painfully soft-spoken. Geeky, even. Yet the voluminous, woozy sounds of Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine were anything but. For a few short years in the 80s and 90s, the indie music world was struck by a rare moment of introspection that came to an abrupt end with the laddism of Britpop. Diligently tracing the history of a genre that dares not speak its name (shoe-what?), filmmaker Eric Green interviews the mad minds behind the three bands, including the reclusive MBV frontman Kevin Shields. Amongst the support appearances are members from Ride, Slowdive, and Curve as well as keen fans Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan and Robert Smith – the last of whom got married to Cocteau Twin’s “Treasure”. – Sheffield Doc/Fest

Director: Eric Green. 2014. Digital. 90 minutes.

Mar
10
Tue
Nippon Nights #7: Branded to Kill by Seijun Suzuki
March 10, 2015

“Reputedly one of Seijun Suzuki’s finest works and unquestionably very stylish in its ‘Scope framings (Jim Jarmusch copied a few shots from it in his Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai)”

-Jonathan Rosenbaum,  Chicago Reader

Unknown-5A hit-man, with a fetish for sniffing boiling rice, fumbles his latest job, putting him into conflict with his treacherous wife, with a mysterious woman eager for death and with the phantom-like hit-man known only as Number One.

Directed by Seijun Suzuki, 91min, 1967, Japan

Branded to Kill review – genuinely bizarre Japanese thriller

Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill is a very 1960s metaphysical thriller, a cult item treasured by connoisseurs as the kind of film that – for all its delirious craziness – could even be a truer product of Japan than the higher artefacts of Ozu and Kurosawa. It is an erotic and dreamlike pulp noir, and its disdain for any sort of conventional plot infuriated the director’s employers at the Nikkatsu studio. Jô Shishido is Hanada, a hired killer with a sexual fetish for the smell of boiled rice; a bungled job brings him into mysterious contact with Misako (Anne Mari), a woman who hires him for three hits. He becomes obsessed with her, and finds himself in a duel with the legendary top killer, the No 1 (Kôji Nanbara). The obvious comparisons are with Melville’s Le Samouraï or Godard’s Pierrot le Fou – this film holds up against these perfectly well – with hints of John Boorman’s Point Blank and Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. It is, however, closer to Luis Buñuel in its gleefully disquieting insistence on sudden horrific closeups: the glass eye removed from the skull, the bullet hole, the bleeding head in the toilet bowl. Where Godard had his jump-cut, Suzuki has his disorientating ellipses, his sudden dreamlike time-slips. Genuinely fascinating and bizarre.

Peter Bradshaw, The Gurdian

Apr
16
Thu
Nippon Nights #8: GHOST IN THE SHELL
April 16, 2015

Ghost in the Shell stands as one of the pioneering films of anime history, one that captures the imagination with its intricate story and dazzles the eyes with its gorgeous animation.

-Jeff Beck, Examiner.com

MovieClipping (53)The year is 2034 and the face of terrorism has changed. No longer restricted to the limits of the physical world, the war on terror has exploded onto the net. In an attempt to confront this new threat, an elite counter-terrorism and anti-crime unit was formed: Public Security Section 9.

2ebc1db3-e9e4-4788-9062-a50cf46c4cc5-1020x612Two years have since passed when the team’s commander: Major Motoko Kusanagi, resigned from her post. After a rash of mysterious suicides Section 9 is forced to confront the ‘Puppeteer,’ a dangerous hacker with unsurpassed skills.

imagesAs their investigation of this terrorist threat takes them deeper into the bowels of a potential government conspiracy, Section 9 once again crosses paths with the Major, but is her sudden reappearance more than a coincidence, or is she somehow connected to the ‘Puppeteer’?

No one is above suspicion in this action-packed continuation of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex saga!

Directed by Mamoru Oshii, 83min., 1995, Japan, English subtitled.