UPTIGHT (Jules Dassin, 1968)

Jules Dassin interrupted his train of diversions and melodramas starring wife Melina Mercouri to make a movie that mattered to him: Uptight, a version of Liam O’Flaherty’s novel The Informer, about the Irish Rebellion, but this time transported to Cleveland, Ohio, slums (on-location shooting) and focused on African-American revolutionary unrest. Uptight is topical. On April […]

CORALINE (Henry Selick, 2009)

Note: I did not view this film in 3-D. Meticulous stop-motion and other forms of animation have been applied to Coraline with exquisite results; unfortunately, the labored story, from Neil Gaiman’s book, has generated a dank, unpleasant, convoluted film—and, saddest of all, one that leaves nothing to the imagination. Writer-director Henry Selick has created a […]


For this westerner, the story of Sakura no mori no mankai no shita, from Ango Sakaguchi’s novel, is complicated and at least partially esoteric. But, with the assistance of color cinematographer Tatsuo Suzuki, director Masahiro Shinoda has crafted a lovely, poetic horror film constructed around this fable: those who pass through or under cherry tree […]