Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's In Store #6!

Jesus, I guess a combination of a low-key weekend, and an insatiable need to devour film like some slimy beast from the sea-floor, has me already heading in to my next block of Criterion films. I'll say this about the last five or so films: there was at least a few tiny square pads of acid pressed against the soft-tissue of a Criterion film-pickers tongue while the selection process was going on, as those films were cuh-cuh-razy in the best way possible.

This block we've got a handful of wacked out Japanese spook-tales, a classic horror film from the 1950s, and two films from one of my favorite British directoring duos -- sounds delightful to me.

So allow me to introduce ...

#90 Kwaidan dir. Masaki Koyabashi

I'll be honest, I've already watched this film, and it sort of blew my mind. It's four Japanese folktales from the samurai days and each one is a spectral gust of creepiness across your brain pan. None of them are jump start music-blast scary like your typical modern creepster, but they'll get in deep, next to the basal ganglia and the deep limbic system, nestle there, and pop up when you're all alone, tucked beneath your icy cold sheets.

#91 The Blob dir. Irvin S. Yeaworth

Again with the honesty: I've already watched thirty minutes of this film. This is your sort of typical creature feature from the poodle skirt days of the late-50s. There's fine-tuned chassis, Steve McQueen's sexily wrinkled mug, stilted dialogue, friendly "officers" and a globular space creature in all it's barbeque-in-a-ziploc majesty.

#92 Fiend Without A Face dir. Arthur Crabtree

I will only repost what the good folk at Criterion wrote for their synopsis, hell, I'll only copy and glue the first line: "A scientist’s thoughts materialize as an army of invisible brain-shaped monsters (complete with spinal-cord tails!) who terrorize an American military base in this nightmarish chiller." Hah hah, hooooo-weeee, sounds like a blast.

#93 Black Narcissus dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

This film has two things going for it: one, the cover has, for whatever reason, a nun adorned with what looks to be synthetic dove wings. And two, that it's directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, two absolute giants of the film world. I've no idea what this film is about, and I'm deigning not to find out, but color me pickled with strange anticipation.

#94 I Know Where I'm Going! dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

Again, more Pressburger, more Powell, and as an added bonus we've got Wendy Hiller (from a classic favorite of mine Pygmalion (85)) playing, well, er, a female character that may or may not have things happen to her in some sort of narrative way. This one takes place in the windy isles of Scotland, and on these foggy juts, there's a romance-a-brewing.

I don't know if it's a renewed fervor for the film medium or just that this batch of movies showcases an era and style of movie I'm durn keen on, but this batch, this glorious gleaming pile, peeks my interest in an uncanny way.

Wednesday: Kwaidan (90)

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