Jim Eaton-Terry looks at Dying Laughing, a new documentary on the life of the stand-up comic
There’s always something odd about an extended conversation with a really great stand up. Inevitably there’s the tension of waiting for a gag that never comes, which often distracts from the conversation. Comics are clearly aware of this, and the weaker ones will defuse the tension with a crowd-pleasing riff or two, but the best conversations strip away the humour and show how the world looks from the stage.
When Hayao Miyazaki stepped down as head of Studio Ghibli in 2013 (his sixth retirement* to date), we wondered what now for the Japanese animation powerhouse? Answer: a Robinson Crusoe tale with a giant red turtle.
Ron Swanson watched a lot of films at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s what he thought.
I’ve been coming to the Cannes Film Festival for nearly 10 years, and it would be fair to say that the 2017 vintage will probably not go down as a great year. That being the case, there were still a number of outstanding films on display. Here are 13 of the best.
Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them. This episode: Hong Kong and Japan, May 2017. Additional photography by The Belated Birthday Girl.
Jackie Chan’s first monster hit comes to Blu-ray today courtesy of Eureka’s Masters of Cinema. Indy Datta will take a look, just after he’s necked three catties of rice wine and vanquished his nemesis.
Spank The Monkey looks at Criterion’s new release of a neglected landmark in Japanese cinema.
Musashi Miyamoto is the Samurai. No, scratch that: Musashi Miyamoto is the Samurai. For generations of Japanese, this 17th century wandering swordsman has been the ideal representation of the country’s warrior class. A painter, an author, and a swordsman who won over sixty duels: if he didn’t already exist, someone would have had to invent him. And even though he did exist, people have been inventing him anyway: for centuries Japanese culture has repeatedly taken the bare bones of his story and manufactured new myths out of it. Continue reading The Samurai Trilogy→