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VIDEO ESSAY: HAJI!

I personally prefer the aggressive female . . . the superwoman. -- Russ Meyer
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • June 29, 2012 8:55 AM
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VIDEO ESSAY: THREE REASONS: Kaneto Shindô's HUMAN

In the early morning of May 29th, Japan lost its oldest living director, and in my opinion one of the best.
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • June 4, 2012 9:20 AM
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VIDEO ESSAY: MEN IN BLACK: Three Reasons for Criterion Consideration

For this month’s Criterion Consideration, coming up with a suitable equivalent to Barry Sonnenfeld's latest film, "Men in Black III," was a bit of a challenge.
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • May 23, 2012 9:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: BLACK SUNDAY: Three Reasons for Criterion Consideration

Just as people ultimately judge a book by its cover, many of us are quick to judge a film by its trailer. When I was asked to set my sights on Tim Burton's upcoming "Dark Shadows," a movie based on the cult TV show of the late 1960s, as my next entry point for Criterion Consideration, I immediately knew where my judgment would most likely fall.
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • May 9, 2012 10:37 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Doris Wishman: The First Lena Dunham

In just a few short years, Lena Dunham has quickly made a name for herself in the indie film scene. In 2010 she caught everyone at the SXSW Film Festival by surprise with her detached but deeply personal debut "Tiny Furniture."
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • April 13, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

THREE REASONS: ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, directed by James William Guercio

Cult films have always remained one of the more enigmatic areas in Cinema Studies. There doesn't seem to be a distinct aesthetic that all cult films follow. Films that have been deemed cult-worthy come from any genre, country or time period. They are not limited to the independent or the underground, either. More often than not, cult films come from Hollywood's fly-by-night flops that end up in the bargain bin only to be fished out by eager or unsuspecting viewers. Since most cult films evade any common elements, any critical investigation on the subject quickly falls apart. The only definitive thread in this phenomenon is the fanatical devotion of its audience. Like any cult, the uncompromising worship among their marginal fan bases are what set these films apart from the rest.
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • January 13, 2012 6:12 AM
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  • 2 Comments

THREE REASONS FOR CRITERION CONSIDERATION: Shuji Terayama's PASTORAL, TO DIE FOR THE COUNTRY (1974)

Every great filmmaker reaches a point in their career when they need to reflect upon their life and childhood, tracing the path that lead them to where they are today. Most often these nostalgic quandaries find their way into new fictionalized scenarios, drawing on personal experience to entertain themselves as well as audiences. Sometimes a director takes a more direct approach, probing their past in the form of autobiographical diaries. Our experiences as children inevitably make us who we are today, and tapping into those memories can provide some tasty material for any filmmaker who questions why they make the kind of films they make. (Look to Federico Fellini’s entire career for further evidence of that point.) Not all memories are immediately accessible to recall, especially those associated with extreme emotional connections.
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • December 6, 2011 12:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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