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Chuck Stephens

At Home, He's a Tourist

HONG KONG FILMMAKER STANLEY KWAN, whose love-and-death-and-Tian-An-Men-Square men's romance, Lan Yu, is currently in local cinemas, isn't a stranger just to American audiences familiar with a pantheon of former Crown Colony auteurs ranging from John Woo to Wong Kar-Wai. Despite a career that stretches back to the primordial ooze of......

Alias Smith and Jones

A FILM IN WHICH A GIANT SPACE WORM NAMED Jeff slithers through the bowels of the New York subway system while an extraterrestrial lingerie model named Serleena toilet-snakes her tongue through the dirtier bits of Rip Torn's brain, Men in Black II may not be the most sophisticated specimen of......

Japan’s Hothouse Fetishist

Deep-fried body parts, hermaphrodite schoolgirls, radioactively endowed super-yakuza and the world‘s most terrifying laundry bag: 10 feature films ago, those were a few of director Takashi Miike’s favorite things. For many filmmakers, 10 features could easily constitute a lifetime‘s work, and a mound of fetishes as fragrant as these would......

Japan’s New New Wave

As teeming with creativity as it was during the 1960s new wave, contemporary Japanese cinema continues its decadeslong status as a garden of earthly and deliciously ungodly delights. Unlike the old days, Japanese filmmakers today know they’re not just making films for Japanese audiences anymore, and that — thanks largely......

Nowhere To Hide

Sitting in the sun room of his Beverly Hills home, Floyd Mutrux starts by saying, “I just kind of . . . I don’t . . . I‘m not of . . . ” then stops for a second, waiting for the words to come. Dressed in shorts and a......

Of Gods and Smog Monsters

In the opening scene of Akira Kurosawa‘s 1985 Ran (back in theaters for the moment, plumping for its forthcoming DVD debut), the film’s central figure, Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji, kills a boar -- an old boar, too old to eat. In the sky over Hidetora, the clouds are conspiring to......

Space Junk

The year is 3028, the film is Titan A.E., and the future of the human race is . . . white. It‘s a shock, we know, but hopefully it won’t spoil anything for you. It‘s not like we’re giving away the movie‘s startling climax; it doesn’t have one. Titan A.E......

No Cherry Blossoms!

The International Film Festival Rotterdam, whose 29th incarnation closed just two weeks ago, has been doing so many things so well for so long now, it‘s tempting to begin to think of it as a somehow traditional affair -- like the Japanese tea ceremony, perhaps, a metaphor that’s particularly tempting......

Punch Lines

Reuters/Fred Prouser/Archive Photos"TODAY," SAYS DAVID FINCHER, "I AM JACK'S chafing nerve." It's been a bruising morning for the 36-year-old director: going one-on-one with a few journalists, getting worked over by the press, all in the interest of promoting his latest film, the ideological action flick Fight Club. But the tall,......

Mr. Monster

South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-young, one of world cinema‘s least-known and greatest eccentrics, lived -- and died -- in a haunted house. Less than six months after his rediscovery at the 1997 Pusan International Film Festival, the creaking Seoul mansion the director had occupied with his wife, Kim Yu-bong (a......
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