Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Day, my parents don't love me, THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY (26) and NIGHTS OF CABIRIA (49)

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. In traditional American fashion I ate exactly one giant pile that contained turkey, mashed 'taters, wild rice, gravy, three glasses of wine, a beer, a glass of scotch, a shrimp cocktail, one piece of bland pumpkin pie, and an assortment of other you know food. I gained a layer of chub around my mid-section that not only makes me look like a forty-four year old from my double-chin down but riddles with self-doubt (hey, this single thing is harder and less lady-filled than expected). I colluded with family and friends and watched football on a television that may have been taller than me. In the end it was as T-Day always is in The Sanders' Family, a reminder that no matter what might be ailing you in the real world, the family is always there to make you laugh and put everything in perspective.

That said, I'm pretty sure this whole "Mama and Papa Sanders love Noah" thing is a sham. I've been harassing my slightly-addled folks for a while now to get on the Criterion Quest bandwagon, and sure, they talk about it, they assure me that they've written it down and they'll start reading just as soon as they get home. But, after 30 blog posts, they've yet to even glance at it.

So, my brother, Dimwit Sanders, recently started his own blog ( about his upcoming move to Los Angeles, and guess who signed up as followers before the, er, "ink" dried on the digital "page"? Mama and Papa Sanders. If it wasn't for the vast Sanders' fortune I'm sure to accrue when the old codgers kick the bucket I'd disown the shit out of them. Maybe I'll emancipate myself from them and hire some new parents that will read my blogs and shower me with guilt-ridden presents when they forget my birthday.

I've spoke at length about Fellini in this blog before, and as I've gotten older, and further along in my Criterion Quest I've come to eagerly anticipate his next film in the collection. I was blown away by Amarcord (4), so when a customer (and Criterion Quest follower) mentioned that Nights of Cabiria (49) was his favorite Fellini film I couldn't wait to get home and throw it in my broken ass computer. To say the least, Customer Matthew's high praise was entirely deserved. This tale of mouthy Italian prostitute Cabiria (played by Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina) is as heart-warming and hopeful as any movie I've ever seen. The gist of the story is that Cabiria is a tough-living lady of the night that is just continuously getting shat on by the world and those who live within it. Men take advantage of her (hell the film starts with her getting pushed into a roaring river by her boyfriend for a few hundred lire), her prostitute friends betray her and mock her, hell, even the good Lord won't throw her a break. But, and this is the heartwarming part, Cabiria just continues to see the good that this world possesses. It's beautiful, it's funny (Masina was referred to by the French as a female Chaplin), and the final shot of the movie is so goddamn optimistic that only those without blood-pumpers will be without a smile.

It's funny that The Long Good Friday (26) is the second film I'm talking about because it's such an exact opposite. The story of a man, Bob Hoskins (playing Cockney like no one else can) is a big-time gangster on the verge of a huge property deal who suddenly realizes that someone very smart and very dangerous is out to snuff his wicked little life. It's pretty much a film about a bad person who can't help but see the bad in the world, and the untimely fate that befalls him and his seedy friends. I don't want to give anything away, but I'll say this: this is a lean, mean piece of filmmaking that doth not pull a punch. If you like crime flicks this is a classic.

Hope everyone either found some place warm and friendly for the holidays or drank enough that it seemed that way.

Tuesday: And The Ship Sails On (50) and Flesh for Frankenstein (27)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A few nerd-related things, ALPHAVILLE (25) and BLACK ORPHEUS (48)

If the idea that I'm writing a blog about watching every film in the Criterion Collection doesn't paint me as enough of a dork (and it certainly does, at least that's what the ladies tell me) I'm currently writing said blog, whilst wearing my brand new asphalt gray Criterion shirt and drinking a steaming cup of joe from my brand new Criterion mug. You may remember me drunkenly purchasing these items a few weeks back and I've literally been checking every entrance of my house each afternoon to see where our wily mail man may have hidden them. Well they arrived and aside from a strange bubble in my Criterion mug, I couldn't be happier.

Oh wait, I actually can be happier, because Criterion just completely changed their website. A website? Who cares about a website? I care about website you cynical cockwanks. I've spent probably more time sleepily cruising the catalog of Criterion on their old, beautiful website than anything else. Their new website steps up the dork-related game a bit, indulging in the more internet saavy opportunities currently offered to a giant film company like this. You can buy films directly from them, indulge in free online "film festivals" and join forums to surround your (my)self with those of your/my ilk. It's said to say that I literally posted myself in front of the computer Monday night and just geeeeeeeeeeeeked out over the whole damn thing. If you're interested whatsoever in the films I'm talking about here, you should really check this site out, it'll get you even more excited, or at least get you more ammunition at which to smear my good name with:


Alphaville (25) is my first exposure to an absolute staple of both The Criterion Collection and film in general, Jean-Luc Godard. He's a Frenchie that helped to create the French New Wave and is an absolute legend across the pond. I'd bet you a handful of pennies that one out of a thousand Americans have even heard his name. Alphaville (25) is a science-fiction movie but unlike what we know today. There's no Keanu Reeves, or giant monsters, or sweaty-bosomed girls fighting giant robots. Nope sir, this is a bizarre take on the world of consumerism as funnelled through film-noir and the early kernels of pop art. The main character Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is sort of bedraggled noir detective who arrives in the Ford Galaxy to solve, well, a mystery? It eventually turns in to a strange battle between man, shark-toothed women, a computer with seemingly a pack-a-day habit, and to be very honest, though I don't remember the plot lines or conclusions, I remember the mood, the strangeness, the occasional interaction between man and idea and in my beliefs, that's what this film was asking from me.

Black Orpheus (48) is a beautiful, and times poignant movie that, well, bored the shit out of me. I tried to watch it on both airplane rides from NY and had to stop and start the damn thing twenty times or more as I kept slipping off in to the sweet abyss of sleep. The story is that of Eurydice and Orpheus (Greek tragedy, they fall in love, death takes Eurydice, Orpheus goes to the Underworld to try and find her, stuff happens, he dies, everyone cries) but set in Brazil's Carnival. What struck me the most about this movie is the music, the constant beat that permeates the entire film, and when Orpheus realizes that something has happened to his beloved Eurydice (in a train car station) that music stops, and it brings an almost reckoning weight on to the film. It's interesting to see how Marcel Camus translates the myth to the setting and I especially enjoyed the hellish Bureau of Missing Persons, a place not populated by the dead, but by stacks of paper, each seemingly bearing the name and soul of the dead. The film ends, as does the myth, tragically, but a group of small children, the rising sun, and the continued rhythm of Carnival make it seem almost alright. A complete and total classic, just one that I was that endeared to.

Have a Happy T-Day! Drink a lot! Eat a lot! And fight with your family! That's the best thing ever!

No posts from me until Monday, don't cry, it's the holiday season! Just immerse yourself in guilt!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Few thoughts on the East Coast, and HIGH & LOW (24)

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Did you miss me?

Got in last night after a whirlwind tour of DC and New York, and I'm already sick after completely abusing my body over the course of the last four days. A few thoughts that I may expand on in the weeks to come:

1. Airplane travel is as hellish as ever. Ugly, old, unfriendly stewardesses, "lunches" of peanuts and Diet Coke and a the realization that not only are small dogs allowed on planes, but they can fit, kennel and all under the seat in front of you. The airlines keep wondering about why there businesses are sloughing towards the shitter, well, Mr. Delta CEO maybe you should put down your diamond encrusted cigar and take a peek in to the coach class.

2. DC is a great city, but New York is undoubtedly the greatest city in America. Huge, bustling, completely and amazingly overwhelming - it is everything that everyone has ever written or said about it, and more. It's dirty and loud and smelly and all the more beautiful because of it. I managed to see as much as I could in two and a half days, and was completely impressed by its every facet.

3. Don't let people tell you that New Yorker's are rude or unfriendly. My every experience as a absent minded tourist in the city was bettered by interactions with random, extremely helpful folk. They're not rude, they're just involved in whatever they're doing. I bet folk in Seattle, Washington are more obnoxious than the majority of folk currently crowding the streets of Manhattan.

4. I'm sick. Yup the combination of NY germs, airplane cabins, and just under 11 hours of sleep in four days left me sore-throated and bitter at 20,000 feet. To say the least, arriving in a rainy, cold, grey Seattle, Washington with a runny nose and the prospect of seven days of work ahead of me has left me a little down. I'll try to pep up over the course of the week.

5. Man, I had so many good observations over the course of my time in NY and now as I sit down to write them, I can't remember a damn thing. Well, I'll pick my brain over the next few weeks and make sure you guys have access to all of my absolutely exciting observations. Wow, now who's excited.

High and Low (24) is my favorite Criterion film I've seen so far. Akira Kurosawa directed this film from a screenplay based on a pulp novel written by noir-god Ed McBain. The film, broken in to three acts (the high, the middle, the low) revolves around a the kidnapping of a child and the very difficult decisions an extremely rich shoe-magnate (Toshiro Mifune) has to make. What's brilliant about this film is the structure - the way we're exposed to the glossy, castle like living of Toshiro Mifune's Kingo Gondo, then pulled in to the day-to-day work load of the everyday police force, before being thrust in to the seedy underworld of Japan's smoky, steamy underworld. Each section is wholly different than that which came before, and each digs deeper in to the morality tale Kurosawa so masterfully creates. So much is going on in this film, so many decisions, so many ways of picking apart the classist issues that plague Japanese society, so many symbols of the ways we view this life and the center of it all lies a rich man with a very difficult decision to be made. If you've ever questioned or wondered why anyone would think of Kurosawa as the master of film, this should put you in your place.

I was going to write about Black Orpheus (48), but I want to leave you thinking about High and Low (24) because it's a movie you need to see. So, get your hands out of your pants and put this on your Netflix.

Wednesday: Alphaville (25) and Black Orpheus (48)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Noah's Big East Coast Trip! ... and ROBOCOP (23)!

Oh boy oh boy, I'm writing this palms sweaty with anticipation because in less than seven hours I'll be getting up, heading to the airport and boarding a plane to the East Coast. Honestly, I was informing customers all day at the coffee shop that I was heading out to D.C. and New York ('cause that's what a barista does, forces people to listen to the minute details of his boring ass life ... sort of like what I make you lovely people do) and pretty much every person said something along the lines of, "Why are you going?" Uh ... 'cause I want to? Is that a good enough reason anymore? I know, I'm past the youthful 25-mark but do I need to go anywhere in the continental U.S. of A without some sort of professional reason. I want to go to D.C. to see the sites, eat some of the best Ethiopian food around and maybe peruse a few free museums. I want to go to New York because, hell, it's NEW YORK. It's the biggest city in the United States of America and I want to go there for three short days and experience just about anything I can get my unwashed hands on. I don't have any meetings or lunch dates or projects to pitch to well-dressed corporate types, nope, I'm just hitting the East Coast 'cause I've been on the West Coast for too long. There's a slim, slight, tiny chance of me moving there in the months/years to come, but I'm going pretty much because, well, it sounds like fun. Haters, step back.

Here's just another reason why I love the Criterion Collection: yesterday I talked about a little known classic directed by David Lean and starring the almighty Kathy Hepburn, and today, well today I'm talking about Robocop (23). Yup, the Paul Verhoeven directed sci-fi flick about a wounded man who's turned in to a cyborg police officer. When I was little I was so scared of this film because my brother's chubby friend Bobby Conover told me that a half melted man was exploded by a car AND that Robocop shot a criminal in the junk. To a gore-frightened eight year old this was pretty much like saying the movie involved Santa Clause getting murdered by the Easter Bunny.

Thus, I came in to Robocop (23) with only the scantest rumors of what it was and what it was about. Turns out what I thought was going to be a fairly dated 80s action flick, was actually a fairly dated 80s action flick with a mean disposition towards corporations. I mean, the film is pretty much about the interweaving of criminals and corporations and Robocop's role as there enforcer. It's got a lot of neon in it, the dad from That 70's Show, and a monster tank robot that falls down the stairs after exploding a guy with machine gun fire. That sounds pretty good right?

Alright, and you might want to sit down for this, I'm not going to post tomorrow. I'll be traveling and vakaying, and maybe I don't want to expose my intimate life details for just one brief moment. Jesus, you goddamn vultures stay the hell away from me and my life. I kid I kid ...

Monday: Who knows ... who knows ...

I still love the movie theatre and SUMMERTIME (22)

With the advent of the high end, ultra-huge, plasma/LCD/HD televisions, more and more people are complaining about going out to the theaters to see a movie. The prices are too high, there are too many godawful mouth-breathers polluting the sanctity of the theater with their ill-mannered comments and shameless cell-phone abuse - yes, these are very, very good reasons why watching a movie in the peace and quiet of your home is better than braving the shit show that the "theater experience" has become. I don't want to pay ten dollars to sit next to a 700 hundred pound man who squeezes me in to parts of the seat I didn't know existed and in front of a brainless stooge who tries impress his girlfriend by making comments like, "Whoa, that's a cool car" or "Oh man, that is so funny." I understand. But there is still something absolutely beautiful about a good theater experience.

And I had that tonight with the front-runner for my favorite film so far Let The Right One In. If you're at all film-interested, you've probably heard about this Swedish vampire flick that's garnering absolutely well-earned rave reviews from, well, everyone. I, being a gigantic loser, have spent a good deal of my time over the last eh, two months trying to get people syked about a foreign film about two kids (one a vampire) who fall in love by watching the trailer repeated times and quoting obscure reviews from even dorkier-than-I websites. Seemingly, someone out there is doing a better job than I because when I arrived at, may I say the shittiest theater in Sea-town to see it there was already a steady line of excited filmgoers. This worried me, big crowds create a better chance for dim-witted assholes, and when the sound flickered in and out in the beginning of the film, I started to worry more. Even more so, when the couple behind me started loudly translating the film, I almost snapped, but this lasted only briefly and by the time the film ended I was so happy with the audience and this brilliant movie that I could've hugged each and every one of them. I don't want to give away a damn thing about this film, but please get past all of your genre stereotypes of "horror" movies because this is beautiful, poignant, well-written, absolutely original film and you, being the film-lover that I know you are, need to get out there and see it. It's playing in limited runs in most big cities and is well worth a little travel. Sigh, this one is going to stay with me for a while.

I'd say Let The Right One In is about loneliness more than anything, finding someone, no matter what their past or their occupation or their moral code that you mesh with and being with them. It's what life, in a sense, is all about. And it's nice that Summertime (22) coincidentally is the Criterion film I get to talk about today because it addresses similar points in a totally different way. The film, an under-the-radar pic by David Lean (he of Lawrence of Arabia fame), features the always amazing Katherine Hepburn as a single woman on a vacation in Venice who falls for a strange man and begins a bit of a love affair. Sounds trite right? Wrong. Hepburn brings a certain panic to the film, a certain frantic loneliness that only an getting-on-in-age, single adult can truly know and it makes the film a sad and heartbreaking look at what loneliness can do to us. She's nervous around people, unsure of herself in this foreign country, and it makes us the viewer share in her uncomfortable sadness. Her romance with Renato (Rossano Brazzi), a married Italian, clicks but she overlooks his faults because she only wants someone to be with. I've always thought of Hepburn in her screwball comedy persona, the sort of fast-talking high society broad, but here she brings a real vulnerability that I loved. This was the film that most surprised me in how much I ended up liking it.

What a great evening of film. And here I was thinking that I'd just eat thirteen buffalo wings, feel slightly nauseous, and go to bed feeling emotional beaten. Take that life!

Thursday: Black Orpheus (48) and Robocop (23). Yes, that Robocop (23)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Late night writing, morning running, DEAD RINGERS (21) and INSOMNIA (47)

I'm switching up my schedule. Where in the past (read: last week) I'd wake up "early" and attempt to pound through my trifecta of blogging, then slog through another five and a half hours at the coffee shop, and then come home fairly spent and try to motivate myself to run, now I'm flip-flopping. I'm going to write at night. I'm going to eschew a little bit of my all-to-frequent boozing, so I can pound out three separate posts for three separate blogs (sometimes more) and have them nascent, glistening and ready for your perusal by the crack of dawn. This allows me more time in the morning to get up, dick around my room, and then badger myself/guilt-trip myself in to throwing on my running shorts and heading out in to the frosty cold morning. There's a few reasons for this:

1. I enjoy writing and nearly despise running. Thus, motivating myself to come home and write (basically sitting in a chair near a television) compared to motivating myself to run (the sweating, the cold, the shortness of breath) is, well, no comparison at all. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, the change will increase the amount of times I run over the course of the week, bettering my actual running ability, thus, making my morning runs a pleasure, rather than the grueling shit shows they currently are.

2. There's far less people running at 9 in the morning and this is great for two other reasons. First, people are stupid and when there's lot of them together, they manage to clog the roads like brain-damaged sheep, this infuriates me and I hate running mad. Secondly, I think I run funny. The ex-girlfriend always said I was being vain, but every once in a while she'd let a comment slip about my "floppy bird arms" or my "fruity prance run" and the self-conscious running thoughts would crop up again. I always assume that every person I run past is checking me out, mocking my labored breathing, scoffing at my wobbly knees and bright red face. In the morning there's less of these pestering ooglers and the majority of them are equally odd in running style. I'm a strange man, you don't have to tell me this.

3. Hell, it's kind of nice to get up and get exercising. To get that blood pumping, the adrenaline flowing, so I can be awake, alert, and enthusiastic for a day of mind-numbingly steaming milk for a bunch of mouth-breathing soccer moms. Seriously, it helps.

So, hopefully, whatever time you wake in the morning, there will be a Criterion Quest entry waiting for your eager little eyes. Again, I say hopefully.

With Salo (17) out of the way, all of these Criterion films are shining like beautiful gems in a dirt strewn alleyway. I mean Dead Ringers (21) is a crazy, gory, at times disturbing film, but it's like sipping tea with your favorite stuffed animals compared to the shit-chomping horrors of Salo (17). The film, by one of my favorite directors David Cronenberg (you probably know him from more recent mainstream successes like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises), follows the slow, strange degradation of two very successful plastic surgeon twins who share, well, waaaaaaay too much. Seriously Jeremy Irons, playing both twins, is swapping ladies and lives like it's the norm, but sadly, one of them kind of becomes a wedge in the twins special bond and everything goes to shit. A lot of strange surgical utensils are purchased, a lot of drugs are done, and everything ends up extremely messy. It's a great film for those who like their flicks a little weirder than normal.

Insomnia (47) is a Norwegian film that was actually remade by the Batman himself, Christopher Nolan. While both films are extremely well made films, I enjoyed the Norwegian Insomnia (47) a little bit more. The film stars "that guy" Stellen Skarsgaard as a cop with a shady past who has to travel to Northern Sweden (where the sun never goes down) to solve a murder. Turns out Skaarsgard's cop is a bit amoral, to say the least, and the glaring white light of The Great North prevents him entirely from sleeping. This of course begins to push him closer and closer to the edge and an unfortunate shooting, everything starts to unravel. I love this film because I love the way the unyielding light seems to never give Skarsgaards character a chance to hide from his many many sins. The sun is always there, always pushing him to hide his tracks, to dig himself deeper in to the shit, 'cause everything is exposed. Skarsgaard is remarkably creepy in the film, and I can't really remember where I ever started thinking of him as a "likeable" actor. A great, stylistic modern piece of filmmaking.

Wednesday: Summertime (22) & Black Orpheus (48)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

SALO (17) - was it worth it?

Salo (17) was, and probably always will be, one of the most painful, disturbing, stomach-turning movie watching experiences I've ever had. For those of you who haven't been following over the course of the last three days, the film revolves around a small town in 1940s Fascist Italy, where a group of sadistic politicos and their wives take a group of 18 youth and subject them to well, horrible, horrible tortures. I came in to this film expecting a certain amount of grossness, but Jesus almighty, it transcended my expectations. I stopped the film last week right before the segment entitled "Circles of Feces" and yes, there was a lot of poop involved. Poop stories, poop-filled bathtubs, crying girls eating poop, a gigantic dinner platter piled high with, yup you guessed, it human poop. In my entire life as a film watcher I've never been so disgusted that I honestly thought about turning a film off, but during this section of the film, I had to look away it was so viscerally disturbing. From here the film continues with a torture and further degradation and a nipple-burning moment that once again had me reaching for the stop button. This movie was not enjoyable in any way to watch.

Which begs the question: what's the point of making a movie so difficult to watch? Is their merit in makign a film this shockingly gross? Or is this just a sadistic son-of-a-bitch screwing with the minds of his audience?

I honestly don't know. You can see the symbolism inherent in the film, the bursts of life that seem to flutter even in the harshest of conditions but to me director Pier Paolo Pasolini (shot to death before the film was ever released) paints these flashes of life with such strange cruelty that I couldn't find much meaning in them. I like shock cinema, I like films that viscerally affect you, that leave an image on your brain that you just can't shake, but this might've been too much. Maybe it's because I've a lack of experience with Fascist Italy or that I couldn't get behind the extreme beliefs held by Pasolini, but this film made me feel dirty and that's about it. I challenge any of you to sit through this, but I can't recommend the viewing for any reason but that you'll forever be able to say that yes, you've seen Salo and survived. During my research of the film there were writers that said they'd seen it multiple times. These people are called morons.

Thank god, this film is finally out of my life. Tomorrow we'll get back to a regular viewing schedule.

Tuesday: Dead Ringers (21) & Insomnia (47)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Drunken shopping.

I don't want to dig too deep in to my personal life on this blog (though I know some of you pervy bastards are salivating at the thought of it), but, to say the least, last night was what one might call a "rough one." How rough? Well, lets just say by 7:30 I was drunk enough to be enticed by this email from my bestest friends at Criterion:

Dear Criterion viewers,

We’ve got some big news. We’re launching a new website on November 25, and we’re moving warehouses in the process. To clear the way for the new site, we’re selling everything on our current site at 40% off the retail price. That includes clothing, posters, mugs, totebags, and of course every Criterion DVD in stock! You’ll still get free shipping on orders over $50, and your purchases will still count toward our loyalty program if you create an account on our new site. We won’t be taking new preorders or back orders—this sale is strictly “while supplies last,” so shop early and often. Come on down, browse around, and stock up on holiday gifts at unbeatable prices, while you also help us move to our new digs! Sale ends Monday, November 24, at midnight.

Happy shopping!

Enticed enough that, two large glasses of wine flowing through my veins, I actually spent 20 dollars to purchase, sigh and this really defines me as the dork I am ... a Criterion coffee mug and a Criterion t-shirt. Shit, most people when they're down drink twenty beers and sleep with random people, maybe wreck a car in a spectacular fashion, or go on a three-day bender involving hookers and Vegas. Me, I go online and buy nerd-gear, nerd gear that looks like this:

This doesn't bode well me thinks in my goal to, ahem, "meet girls". Please, you can start judging me now.

Alas, so intoxicated was I last night, that I was unable to finish Salo (17) and honestly, I don't want to write about anything else until that mind-fuck is out of my system. Thus, I'll be curled up on my couch with a bottle of Jack Daniels poured over ice in my awesome new mug, wrapped in my Criterion shirt, sniffling if anyone needs me.

Monday: Salo (17) - if it fucking kills me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Strange things I saw yesterday morning, and SALO (17), terrible terrible SALO (17).

I've been at times described as "overly observant" or "overly willing to talk to weirdos" and over the course of some strange situations over the last few years I've tried to change this. No longer do I make direct eye contact with the babbling bearded fellow sitting in the crazy seat (you know which one I'm talking about) on the bus. No longer do I say, "Excuse me?" when a random stranger mumbles something as he walks past me. Nope, done with giving the loonies of the world the opportunity to vent about their belief in a second universe where religion is based on talking vegetables, or to pin me in the corner of the bus shelter and make me touch the soft spot in their head where they lost a chunk of it to a bullet - oh no, no more of that for me. Yet, just yesterday I stumbled across two fascinating folk and at least had to write about them:

1. The large, dread-locked fellow passed out on the bus, holding his bus transfer in ... his mouth. Yup, just totally asleep, with the crumpled bus transfer shoved between his lips. Also, as if to punctuate how weird the whole image was, he was holding a pair of cheap binoculars in one hand and a bag full of head shaving supplies in the other. I was so tempted to ask what he was doing, but, jesus, that would've been a terrible idea.

2. The hooded man who "fixes" his facial hair ... for ten hours a day. Seriously, he sits around the corner from my work on this little bench with a small hand mirror and a pair of tweezers and just pretends to pull hairs out of his face. Even weirder I was buying tasty organic cereal in the grocery store yesterday and he was in line in front of me ... buying a Mr. Goodbar. I love myself a Mr. Goodbar (Halloween size only please) but this just came across as very strange.

I love writing these things up so, I'll try to keep you people in the know about what oddities I encounter in my daily life.

Salo or 120 Days of Sodom (17) has to be one of the most reprehensible films I've ever seen, and this is saying a lot. If you've been reading this blog, which I hope you have, you'll know that I've been dreading the rerelease of this film because of all the disgusting rumors I've heard about it. Rampant sodomy, youth sex, uh, poop eating - yeah, you get the picture. So when I turn the film on last night, my stomach is in knots, my door is closed and I'm wondering if this should be a "headphone movie", the type I know will be full of odd noises and screams, so I wear headphones to make sure my housemates don't think I'm a dirty weirdo. The "Menu" screen pops up and it's simple, the word "Salo" on a white background and sort of upbeat jazz playing in the background. For whatever reason this makes me even more nervous, and through the equally simple credits I swallow nervously and try to think of reasons why I can't watch this film at this very moment. And right now I know you weak-willed knobs are sitting at your computers thinking, "Why is Noah being such a puss? It's just a movie." But, I'm not fucking kidding here, this is one of the most disgusting films I've ever seen. It's based on a Marquis de Sade story, but moved to WWII Nazi Italy and involves the kidnapping of 18 youth and their subsequent, horrible, horrible torture. It's uncomfortable at first, a ton of youthful male and female nudity, perfectly well-casted evil people, and just a general ominous feel that bad things will happen. I think I really started feeling awful when in the "rules" section, they discuss "The Orgy Room". As soon as these children enter this horrible house ruled by a bunch of Fascist big-wigs, this film is just one horrible scene after scene - kids on leashes forced to eat food with nails in it, weird weird sex of all varieties, peeing (and not in your normal, "I've got to you use the john" way), and the list goes on and on. I'm halfway through the film right now - I had to stop last night when the next section of the film was called "Circles of Shit" - but just writing about it makes my stomach turn. I'll finish it tonight, but I'm telling you this, for your sake, if you've got a weak stomach, do not ever watch this film.

Friday: Salo (19) cont.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wow, that was a weird dream. THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (46) and SID & NANCY (20)

Whoa, whatever was coursing through my subconscious last night really left an indelible stamp on the old grey matter. I'm not one to put much thought in to dreams and their meanings, but seriously can someone sort of crack the code on this one:

My brother and I are attending this super popular all-day, super-secret like team, drinking, trivia, mini-golf, er, competition, that starts at a fantastically popular bar and ends, well lord knows where. We end up meeting up with my addled friend Monica Church and a cute girl that I totally feel like I know. We sit around and drink for a while, until the, shadowy bartenders start playing music and yelling "It's the pre-game trivia music round, guess what song this is!" It's sort of weirdly dark, and I recognize the song, but all of a sudden my chair lifts from the ground and I'm floating above the crowd in this sort of ecstatic flight. All of sudden I look down and realize everyone is writing down answers, and I'm barely listening to the song. I fly, yup fly, back to my seat and by this point the whole place is totally lit up and the bartender yells, "Now lets introduce our celebrity guests: first, do you like Boys II Men?" And every one goes crazy, so crazy that I can only see the back of one of the Boyz II Men guys heads, but you know, I know it's him. The bartender keeps yelling "And finally, Philadelphia's own: Roseanne Barr!" And the place just goes absolutely shit-house crazy. I turn to my brother and Monica, and go "Oh man, my Mom is going to be so jealous!" And Monica goes, "You don't even know." Boom, I'm awake.

Sigmund Freud I would love to hear your psychoanalysis on this obviously very important dream. Again, wow, that was a really weird dream.

I finished The Most Dangerous Game (46) last night, and was once again pleasantly surprised by an old American classic. I think, when it comes down to it, just because of my background in film studies, I'm always going to be more attached to these old U.S. film. What's cool about The Most Dangerous Game (46) is that it literally set the scene for one of the great films of all time. Directors Meriam C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack (yikes) would take the star of this film, Fay Wray and take her on to their next giant jungle adventure, a little spot called, King Kong. You can see all the makings for it here, the dense jungle sets, the awesome misty smoke, the great island setting. The film, not to ruin anything for you is about a creepy old "foreign" count who gets bored hunting animals and instead decides to start trapping sailors and well, hunting them. Unfortunately he grabs Bob Rainsford (Joel McCrea) and gets his ass handed to him. Again, it's old, and a little cheesy depending on what you're used to, but man oh man, if it isn't a short, sweet and enjoyable little flick.

I forgot to mention the other day that Shock Corridor (19) was the film in the series that kicked off my favorite string of films in the series. I watch these movies because I want to both be exposed to new films, but also enjoy these sometimes "famous" films I'm watching. And you know, there's quite a few of these films that are weird, foreign, clunkers and you should feel lucky that I'm dodging these boredom bombs for you. Sid & Nancy though, oh God, so good. Alex Cox is a goddamn genius and pairing Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb as the drug-addled rock 'n' rollers Sid Vicious (of The Sex Pistols for the dull in the audience) and the noxious Nancy Spungen (his girlfriend who he ended up stabbing to death) is amazing. The tale never pulls punches, and never lays blame, but just paints this ridiculous picture of two very fucked up individuals slowly being strangled by the death grips of addiction. A brilliant film and one of the best so far.

I'm going to climb back in to bed and see if I can catch the second half of that Roseanne Barr dream ...

Thursday: Truly, gulp, Salo (17) and Dead Ringers (21)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Streaming puppies, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (46) and SHOCK CORRIDOR (19)

Streaming video is a pretty gnarly thing if you ask me. Sure, I fell in to the Youtube trap when it first premiered, I watched "Ghetto Leprechaun" and "Drinking Out Of Cups" like three hundred times just like the rest of you. But as technology has improved, streaming video has turned in to this bizarre world where weirdos and those with excessive free time can just set up a camera and broadcast live, well, anything to the world. There's websites dedicated to just showing live streams of whatever people are doing (and let me tell you, they are not safe for work, and some of these images will haunt your dreams). I can't get in to it though, I don't want to just watch reality on a screen, I need narrative and characters, not just schlubby people interacting. So, I've sort of given up on the whole concept ... that is until a good friend showed me this:

Be warned it's adorable.

OH MY GOD! THOSE PUPPIES ARE SLEEPING AND FIGHTING AND PLAYING AND IF IT ISN'T THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS! Maybe I should just give up on Criterion Quest and start scouring the internet for streaming videos of puppies fighting. I could call it Puppy Quest or Cuteness Quest or, oh god, those all sound so disgusting, but you get the drift. Streaming video I had you pegged all wrong, this shit is amazing ...

Phew, I'm glad I got that out of my system. I literally spent like two bizarre hours late last night, giggling over those stupid dogs. I mean I'd get bored but then they'd get all wired and start fighting and it would totally draw me back in. Though I will say this: streaming video of living things is still ridiculous, sure this somehow grabbed my attention, but c'mon, are people actually wasting there time thinking that other people are going to be interested in what there puppies are doing? Yeah right.

The Most Dangerous Game (46) was a Criterion film I purchased in mad spree of money spending when I realized the shorter length films in the collection weren't actually that expensive. I ended up with a bunch of hour or less movies that I'd never heard of and have only watched once or so. I decided to dig back in to this 46-minute dinger, and though I've only got through fifteen minutes of it or so, I've got a few thoughts. Old movies are hilarious in their lack of needing emotional cohesion. Literally, in the first twelve minutes of this film the main character (as played by the awesome Joel McCrea) looses his self-described "best friends" in a horrendous ship wreck, and exactly two minutes later he's drinking scotch and flirting with another shipwreck survivor. I don't think a single tear is shed. Though maybe in the 1930s men weren't allowed to cry, especially actors, 'cause it would give the impression of, er, limp-wrists being had. This is a pretty entertaining film in general though, and after I finish it tonight I'll give a more learned write-up of the film and all of it's many influential tendencies.

Shock Corridor (19) is Sam Fuller's second film in The Criterion Collection and an infinitely better one than The Naked Kiss (18). It involves a reporter who fakes madness so he can sneak in to a mental asylum and find out the truth behind a murder mystery. Unfortunately, once within the walls he's bombarded with loonies and their loony propaganda and everything goes down the shitter pretty fast. I remember distinctly a black man who thinks he's in the clan and a horde of sort of shuffling mental patients lurching after the protagonist Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) as he screams and ... such. It's not the happiest of films, but oh man, does it get weird quickly. Highly recommended.

Wednesday: Gulp, Salo (17) and The Most Dangerous Game (46) cont.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Am I too old, or too drunk for parties? THE NAKED KISS (18) and TASTE OF CHERRY (45)

You know, I'm only 26 and I think I might be starting to fade out of the party circuit. I know, I know, call me lame, call me old before my time, but if you looked at my sordid history with parties, as well as the swollen yellow mass some people might call "my liver" you'd probably think it was about time I retired. I mean, I went to a pretty big "rager" this weekend filled with expensive, free booze, some very attractive women, and honestly a ton of people having a good time ... and I just sort of felt out of place. This could be a product of the three glasses of wine, one expensive glass of scotch, and several beers consumed (in a 1986 mini-van) before hand, but in the past I've usually found large amounts of alcohol help me to acclimate better to parties. Sadly, this time I felt sort of like a blacked out slug of human, sort of sludging my way through the crowds, intent on finding unattached friends to talk to me. Sure, I later realized that I only remember streamers, flashing lights, and the above mentioned attractive girls, but still, I felt awkward and I hate feeling awkward. I don't know, maybe I'm just done with parties full of drunk people I don't know or care to know. Maybe I need to shift my priority list from "Drinking, Drinking, Drinking" to something else. My friend Anne is talking about picking up hobbies, maybe I should pick up a hobby? Hmmmm ... any idea which hobbies girls find more attractive? So far beard growing and "showering less" haven't worked out for me. I'll look in to it though.

Before I start my mini-review of Taste of Cherry (45) let me just apologize for assuming that this film was Lebanese. It's not, it's Iranian and I completely showed my stupid colors yet again. Hopefully you're getting used to my stupidity by now, and me painfully misidentifying the geographical culture of a film doesn't turn you against me too much.

Taste of Cherry (45) could of been titled "Creepy Guy Drives Around and Talks To People About Offing Himself, No One Really Cares", as that's pretty much what the movie was. The main, Iranian character, for some reason has decided to take a bunch of sleeping pills and lie down in a hole next to a tree to die, but he needs someone to fill in the hole when he's gone. Thus, he drives around the city (mainly the desolate hills around the city) and creeps four people out with his weird questions and sort of lecherous stare. I'm a plot based film lover, so I spent much of the film trying to figure out why he was doing this, but in the long-run, the movie is less about his motives and more about a discussion of life and why it's worth living. This movie wasn't exactly, er, riveting, but it was beautifully filmed and the various interactions often times crept in to the interesting zone. If you sleep easily during films, maybe leave this one alone.

Sam Fuller is a great director, one of the first really hard-nosed filmmakers to make it big, and I'd seen a few of his works before diving in to The Naked Kiss (18). This is one of his earlier works and I guess I was hoping it would be a little more noir and a little less, uh, dark-ish soap opera. The story revolves around a former prostitute who enters a small town and is blackmailed by a sleazy man who she won't sleep with. It reeks of the 1950s and honestly bored me a lot more than I expected. Luckily, the next film in The Collection is Fuller's Shock Corridor (19) and this movie flat out ruled. If you're a classic film dork, like myself, you need to check out The Naked Kiss to keep your street cred high, but aside from that I'd leave it alone.

Tuesday: The Most Dangerous Game (46) and Shock Corridor (19)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Why I'm not writing about SALO (17) just yet, and a drunken teaser of TASTE OF CHERRY (17).

This week, for a variety of reasons, has been stupidly exhausting. I've been bouncing back between trying to finish an application for a program to teach in China (if I get this position, this column will have to take a drastic drastic change in direction - CHINA QUEST?) and trying to bumble my way through copy writing for an upcoming Holiday Sale we're having at my record label job. Lump these tasks in with my general inability to motivate, my regular coffee shop job, and the advent of Netflix Instant for the Mac and, Jesus, I'm screwed.

Here's the rub though: thanks to Netflix Instant, I'm going, in the next few weeks, dedicate my physical Netflix queue only to Criterion for at least the next month or so. I'm going to line up the next ten flicks in the Criterion canon, and dedicate some serious time to just burning through them. If ya'll haven't figured it out yet, watching these movies is as enjoyable as just about anything to me (well, aside from those damn Olivier Shakespeare adaptations, those things are like stapling my sensitive parts to a piece of plywood) and the only reason I'm not always watching them is because I'm trying to stay up to date on real movies as well. After slumbering through the second half of Nacho Libre AGAIN, I'm okay with just sort of dropping the newer stuff off the map for a bit. There's a bunch of new flicks that Netflix Instant offers, so if I'm a little weary of the plodding nature of some of the Criterion films, I'll ease my mind with those. So, get ready people, it's about to get crazy in here.

With that said, I haven't actually seen Salo or 120 Days of Sodom (17) yet. I know, I know, I claimed I'd watched the first 43 films, buuuuuuut, this one is unfindable ... and to a certain degree, I've been sort of glad. From everything I've heard this is one painful, cluster-eff of a movie. The image above is the clip they chose for the Criterion page, and that, combined with the rumors that the film actually involves, uh, "poop eating" made me pretty glad that for years and years this film was out of print. But, sigh, now it's back, and because I love you, my readers so very much, I'm going to watch it. When I've actually received the movie and have dug in to it a little bit, I'll give you guys the pretty fascinating subtext for the film, as well as a more in depth discussion of the nasty bits it's sure to offer. I'm grimly excited, and you guys should be too.

Again, with the above statement about my upcoming full-on belly flop in to Criterion-World said, I can't really say that I got through much of Taste of Cherry (45) last night. As I polished off my third tall can of PBR at the King Khan and BBQ show, I continued to rally myself: "You will go home, and you will watch at least part of that movie!" On my 25-dollar taxi ride home with my recently-divorced, father of three, Kenyan Obama-lover taxi driver, I told myself, "You promised them! You will watch it!" And as I stumbled through my front door I was full of naive enthusiasm for a late evening full of Lebanon and suicide. I set myself in to my swivelly leather chair, hit play on the koomputer, watched maybe two and half minutes of a slightly old, slightly bedraggled man driving around the outskirts of Tehran and ... passed the hell out. I even repositioned myself in bed, with the covers pulled tight and my pillows in Criterion position, but alas, I was just too PBR-soaked. But, c'mon guys, I tried so hard, for you, YOU!

Jesus, in terms of actual Criterion, today is a big fat bust. My tears beg you for forgiveness.


Have a good weekend. I know I will!

Monday: Taste of Cherry (45) and gulp, Salo (17)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My battle with running, another reminder of how long this is going to take and SAMURAI III - DUEL AT GANRYU ISLAND (16)

For a while now I've been telling people I'm a "runner". To most I believe this entails the fact that I run places, that I put on nice running shoes, and running clothes and join running groups and reading Running Magazine. To me, it means that I purchase nice running shoes and nice running clothes and then leave them in a dusty pile by my door as a permanent way to ridicule my inability to motivate my lazy ass to get out and go running. I mean, there's many reasons why I'm often times unable to go running, many of them very taxing. Oh wait, what's this? A numbered list of this reasons ... for your enjoyment? :

1. It's winter now, thus it's cold and dark. I'm a sensitive person, the cold will crack my smooth smooth skin, and make my wavy locks brittle like glass. Also, by the time I get off work (at 4:30 in the afternoon) it's already slipping in to the darkness of night. Terrible things happen at night, and I wouldn't want to push myself to go running in the murky eve and have something terrible happen to me. Then who's blog would you read? I'm not running for you people.

2. When I could go running it's very early. As previously documented on Criterion Quest I'm very bad at waking up when I'm supposed to. Take today, I wanted to wake up at 7, but my room was very cold, and I couldn't push myself from beneath my cheap sheets in to the icy clime of the house. Also, waking up and going running is a proposition that sounds great in my mind at 7 the previous night, but when there's still sleep goobs sticking my eyelids together, I'm less inclined to get out and break a sweet.

3. I'm lazy. I blame the newly Mac-released Netflix Instant for this. Do you know how many episodes of 30 Rock: Season 1 I have left? And I don't have wait for the "mail man" to bring them to me, I can just plump my steadily heavier body down on our nasty red couch and blammo, it's 30 Rock time. I mean, seriously, why would I step out in the to the rainy, cold Seattle night, when I could be whisking myself away to New York City? You tell me that, and then call me lazy.

Yeah, so, well, running is hard and even though I love it (did I mention I have shiny new shoes AND a running jacket? that's love.) sometimes I need to give myself a little rest ... like all of winter. I'll keep you updated.

You might be surprised as to the fact that I haven't started watching a new Criterion film yet. Yeah me too. But shittily enough, I just haven't had the time to START watching a new one. It's here, it's arrived, I'm more than excited about the almost contemporary Taste of Cherry, but I've just been unable to find a second (again I blame 30 Rock) to turn it on. I'll get at least a half an hour in to tonight. I promise ... sort of.

Samurai III - Duel at Ganryu Island (16) is the final piece in this awesome little trilogy. It's where we learn just how dedicated Musashi Miyamoto is to the wandering life of the ronin samurai (the "hot" girl who's been chasing him for the last three movies, yeah she finds him, and he tells her to back the eff off - that's a samurai for you). He faces off against the girly-looking assassin who's been chasing him for so many years (that's the beach duel the title discusses). The last image in this movie is the Musashi and the bad guy having this long, poetic (read: slow) battle on a beach as the sun sets. You have to realize this about these movies, and I've said this before, but these aren't your typical shlocky samurai flicks, they're about growth and honor and what it takes to be a human being and they're festooned with the slow sort of build that a Japanese trilogy is sure to be filled with.

Friday: Hopefully Taste of Cherry (45) and why I haven't watched Salo (17) yet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's a new day and SAMURAI II - DUEL AT ICHIJOJI TEMPLE (15)

In the words of the eternal tunesmiths Pusher T and Malice, "Goddamn, it's a new day."

Seriously America, good work. Thanks for one brief moment stepping away from your lakeside Mcmansions, troughs of fried food, and Nascar rallies to actually make a difference in the leadership of America. Lord knows what the next four years are going to look like, but they're going to look different, and that's all that really matters. There was something so touching last night, to spend half the evening drinking expensive wine and champagne with a bunch of slightly intoxicated 60-plus women (sounds a lot weirder than it is) and then to head out to Capitol Hill and drink PBRs in the street with a bunch of, far more, intoxicated, uh, younger people. George Bush and his army of robo-cronies have met their match, John McCain has turned off and put back in to the dark regions of the robo-warehouse, and Sarah Palin, well, thanks for helping us win the election. You might be dumb and hot, but you're certainly not a Vice-Presidential candidate! There you go Alaska, you can have her back!

I'm just rambling now, but I'm excited, and you and everyone you know should be too. I got a little teary-eyed last night during Obama's speech. After the last two years of fretting and fussing, the day has come. Be proud of yourself America, you've actually done something decent for once. Now please return to your 30-pack of chicken nuggets, I didn't mean to pull you away from your goal of making it on The Biggest Loser.

Samurai II - Duel at Ichijoji Temple (15) faces the same problems that every second film in a trilogy does. It has to prove itself as good as the first film, but at the same time, progress plot, introduce characters, and set everything up for the explosive finale. Samurai II does this well, placing our new found Samurai, Musashi Miyamoto, in the path of a chain-and-sickel wielding opponent, unleashing a girly-looking assassin on him, introducing a second, more sinister love interest (I'll warn you ladies, Toshiro Mifune only screws with honor, not the ladies) and finally pits him against a literal army of blood-thirsty warriors ... whom he deftly kicks the shit out of. Just be warned, this is an older film, so all of those things look a lot more exciting then they actually are. I warned you. There's probably some sort of correlation I can posit between a second film in a samurai trilogy and the new President-Elect Barack Obama, but my head is still pounding from the seventeen glasses of wine consumed last night, so it eludes me, but it's there and I was the first to acknowledge it's presence, don't you forget that.

Tomorrow: Samurai III - Duel at Ganryu Temple (16) & Taste of Cherry (45)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'm putting my love of movies and talking about my sad life on the shelf for the day. You shouldn't be reading a blog anyways, you should be out holding pickets and getting your less politically-inclined friends to get out there and vote.

I'm voting for Obama and I think, honestly, you should be too. Don't vote for Robo-McCain and his Playboy Bunny veep candidate. Our country is in a sad state right now and we need someone who's willing and able to make the drastic changes we need to get it back on the right foot.

Don't be a douche, don't believe in conspiracy theories and cynical assholes who want you to believe that your vote doesn't count. It does, and you should be out there, right now, waiting in line to use it.

Hopefully, come this evening, we'll all have something to celebrate. Raise a drink high, it's time for a fucking change.

Wednesday: Everything I said would be today ...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween beats me down, THE RED SHOES (44) and SAMURAI I (14)

Alright, it was Halloween this weekend, a few highlights/lowlights:

1. My brother asking me if my beer gut was a "pillow stuffed under my shirt". It was not.

2. Dressing up like the mustached brother from The Darjeeling Limited. This included: hair straightening and the grossest mustache ever shaved on to this face. Somebody pulled on said mustache 'cause they believed it had to be fake. At the end of the night I was told quite frankly, that it was disgusting. I concur. It is gone now.

3. Realizing that straightening my hair and shaving a mustache makes me look exactly like my father circa 1976. I will never shave a mustache and straighten my hair again.

4. Walking home two or three miles, in a pair of cheap slippers I purchased at the Goodwill ... in the rain.

5. Telling people, drunkenly, that indeed I was not the "The Love Guru".

6. My brother, dressed as a pony-tailed, bearded witch and high off that wacky tabacky, standing by himself in the living room of the house party listening to a Britney Spears song he liked. He then wondered the next day why he felt like the creepy older guy at the party. I think he might've been adopted.

7. Going to a party where only a handful of the girls were dressed like "Slutty ____". Surprisingly, and quite nicely, most of the girls had spent a considerable amount of time building really high quality costumes that did not just showcase the fact that they had nice racks. It was a shocking change from Slutty Maple Valley last week.

8. My friend Pete getting pushed down a hill by other friend Markham 'cause he wouldn't admit to peeing on Markham's car. I didn't witness this, but my mental image of the event is pretty hysterical.

All in all a pretty successful Halloween, I woke up still fairly drunk at 10:30 the next morning and had to be told by a handful of people the various stages of the night and my roles in each, and you know, I call that a success.
Turns out The Red Shoes (44) was one of my favorite Criterion films yet. Sure, criticize my already lacking manhood for loving a movie about ballet, but the whole film was just so impressively put together. Even the gigantic dance sequence in the middle, which I thought I was going to hate, was this epic, surreal usage of the effects of the time, and if anything it was really entertaining (though ballet still seems for the most part like a bunch of spinning and head bowing if you ask me, but you shouldn't because I'm an idiot). Pressburger and Powell managed to use the idea of a story within a story to really nicely capture the pressure and fear of this successful ballet dancer's life. The end was both shocking, poignant, and depressing as all hell. "Julian, take off the red shoes." Duhn duhn duhn. Seriously, get over the fact that it's a film about dancing, it's a classic and you'll hate yourself for not sitting through it.

Yikes, the Samurai Trilogy (14, 15, & 16) is the first Criterion I've talked about that I've actually owned. There was point in my life where I was actually attempting to own every single film in the entire catalog (an endeavor that would've cost my like 8 grand and taken me the rest of my life). I ended up getting all three of the Samurai films for Christmas, along with a handful of other releases and then giving up on this pricey attempt and renting them from the library. Nonetheless, I'm glad I have these films, 'cause they sort of kick ass. Yes, I was certain that this life story of Musashi Miyamoto would involve a lot more high-octane back flips and sword fighting but that's because we as Americans have been conditioned by shitty action films. The films star Toshiro Mifune (Akira Kurosawa's main man) and track the life and times of the most famous of Japanese legends as he fights people, is chased by people, fights more people, ditches this one girl like ten times, and then fights more people. The first film, Samurai I - Musashi Miyamoto follows him as he actually becomes the samurai we know and love. It's a good one, but I prefer the second where he fights a bald man with a sickel and chain and a beach. I'll talk about it more tomorrow.

Tuesday: Samurai II - Duel at Ichijoji Temple