Author/illustrator Sanpei Shirato’s Ninja bugei-cho was a popular graphic novel serialized across Japan in the 1960s, well loved by students and leftist radicals for its tale of a young boy’s alliance with a band of ninja during a peasant uprising. Nagisa Oshima takes an experimental approach to adaptation; out of deep respect for Shirato’s artistry (and his usual cinematic prankishness), he films Shirato’s images as they appear on the page, like an anime version of Sans soleil, with the camera hovering and darting over each “scene” to provide movement and life. Adding voices, sound effects, and a narration that connects the plot’s myriad strands, Oshima intervenes in yet another unexpected genre to create a fascinating treatise on cinema, narrative, and action.
Month: October 2019
The Legend of Young Dick Turpin (1966) Originally broadcasted in NBC's "The Wonderful World of Disney"
When a rapacious new landlord threatens to evict him, seize his horse, and leave him penniless, the young farmer Dick Turpin flees to London and reluctantly establishes himself in the underworld with the help of a street-smart boy.
When they decide they might as well be penniless husbands and wives as penniless campus sweethearts, three couples at a Midwestern university, against the advice of their friends, get married. Joe and Susie Tucker prove that two can live as cheap as one by setting up housekeeping in a trailer, and working at whatever odd jobs turn up. Slats and Jennifer Warwick marry because they can fight better under the same roof then when separated, and use Jennifer’s allowance from home to pay for their groceries. John Gregory, a brilliant pre-med student, and his bride, Kay, are in the most serious situation.
The legist doctor, Juan Carlos Lozano, is in charge of investigating a series of murders of women. However, he wishes to renounce the case, since he has had nightmares about a mysterious man without a face. Without knowing what to do, he goes with his friend and psychiatrist Eugenio Britel, who encourages him not to give up on the investigation, as well as to start a treatment to discover the reason for his dreams.
Czech immigrant Frantisek Král has a terrible car accident in West Berlin. The West German secret service immediately takes advantage of the situation, provides him with a new identity and starts training Král, who is suffering from partial amnesia, to become a spy and to get hold of a microfilm from Prague. At first everything goes according to plan, but when he realises his home town is anything but the dreary, suffering place that had been drummed into him, things move in a different direction…
Freelance journalist Pierre and his friend Paul, a poet, join forces to pen a screenplay about Rosemonde, who may or not may not have shot her uncle many years earlier. Pierre pursues the facts while Paul begins to create a fictional Rosemonde — that is, until he meets her and oddly finds his creativity fading away. Meanwhile, both men become attracted to the young woman, but find it impossible to discover her true character.
After a well-respected journalist is taken hostage in Peru, his niece, Melody, shows up seeking sympathy and a job from a news network. Veteran reporter Tess O’Brien takes the young woman into her home and soon learns that Melody isn’t all she seems to be.
Francesca, an incredibly beautiful woman, lost her husband. Only after his death she discovers his unfaithfulness and overall the huge amount of debts he left. Cesare is Francesca’s best friend, he is a solicitor. Following his advices Francesca starts selling all her goods, like the house, jewels, furs and finally also the yacht. By doing this she is able to survive for the rest of the year, but has no perspective for the future. In fact she is unemployed and every plan to get a job fails. She finally takes a decision: she set up a lottery in which the prize is she. Twenty of the most influent man of the high society Bari (Italy), former Francesca’s husband friends, accept the rules and buy the tickets.