Monday, March 30, 2009

Galaxy Express 999 (1979)

Galaxy Express 999 (1979)

April 2nd, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Based upon a popular manga series by Leiji Matsumoto the creator of Captain Harlock and loosely inspired by the classic 1927 novel Night on the Milky Way Railroad by Miyazawa Kenji.

Its story begins in a dystopian future Earth where the rich have replaced their bodies with immortal machines and regularly hunt normal humans for sport. After an encounter with one of these creatures the films hero Tetsuro is left alone only to encounter a strange woman who offers to give him a prized ticket for the Galaxy Express, a spaceship designed to look like a nineteenth century steam locomotive if only he will be her traveling campanion.

The story is set in a fictional universe created by Leiji Matsumoto which has come to be popularly known as the Leijiverse. In it all of his creations coexist from the passengers of the 999, to Captain Harlock and the Arcadia and the Yamamoto and its crew. The style of Leiji’s writings have a philosophical bent and a strong vein of poetic realism.

The manga spawned TV series, several films and miniseries. This 1979 version features a beautiful style of hand drawn animation that has been all but lost in the modern era.

Japan, Director Rintaro, Cast Masako Nozawa, Masako Ikeda, Yoko Asagami and Makio Inoue, 128 minutes, In Japanese with English Subtitles.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Street Fighter (1974)

The Street Fighter (1974)

March 26th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Sonny Chiba was Japans action king throughout the 1970's and beyond and perhaps none of his films has reached the international popularity of The Street FIghter. The plot is fairly straightforward, Sonny Chiba plays Takuma Tsurugi, a mixed race martial artist of Chinese and Japanese parents. He is utterly ruthless and lives by a code of personal strength, vowing never to rely on others.
Tsurugi becomes mixed up in the attempted kidnaping of the daughter of a international businessman. Eventually both the Yakuzza and American Mafia vow to kill him while all the time he is playing on his own side. Frequently released in shotty editions on DVD, the version shown will be of the theatrical cut of the film in its original launguage and aspect ratio, with english subtitles.
Japan, Director Shigehiro Ozawa, Cast Sonny Chiba, Goichi Yamada, Yutaka Nakajima and Tony Cetera, 91 minutes, in Japanese with English Subtittles.

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Screning this Thursday

No Screening this Thursday...

But the series will resume next Thursday (March 26th) at the normal time and place with the Japanese action film The Street Fighter (1974).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Disco Dancer (1983)

Disco Dancer (1983)

March 12th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

After a decade of major, big budget Indian films making their way to the US; many older Indian films are making their way into the Western consciousness.

One of these films is a strange little film from the early 1980's that has reached cult status. Disco Dancer tells the story of a young man named Jimmy who grows up under a cloud of oppression. Determined to make it he falls back upon his one great skill, Disco Dancing. What follows is a strange, musical, love story, revenge tale and disco spectacular.

India, Director Babbar Subhash, Cast Mithun Chakraborty, Kim, Kalpana Iyer and Om Puri, 134 minutes, in Hindi with English Subtitles.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Rebel (2006)

The Rebel (2006)

March 5th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

The Rebel is billed as the most expensive Vietnamese film ever made. Its an action epic set in the colonial period of the 1920's. The story follows a young Vietnamese member of the colonial secret service (Johnny Nguyen) and his efforts against pro-independence gorilla fighters. Eventually it becomes obvious to him that he is on the wrong side and what follows is a mixture of spies, action and drama.

The Rebel is one of the very few Vietnamese films to receive any kind of commercial release in the United States, in this case by focusing on the action elements for its marketing. It still stands as one of the most popular contemporary domestic films of Vietnam and deserves recognition for setting lofty goals with its production that are by and large achieved.

Vietnam, Director Truc 'Charlie' Nguyen, Cast Johnny Nguyen, Dustin Nguyen and Thanh Van Ngo, 104 minutes, in Vietnamese with English subtitles.