I’ve enjoyed reading about Japanese culture and film for almost thirty years now. Most of this book offers a type of Stoicism that made me wonder if it was its own strain or if the Ancient Stoics had been translated in Japan by then. Interestingly, at this time, roughly early 1700s, there were cries that men had become too feminine. And even in Ancient Greek texts, they pine about the Good Old Days when men were men. Trivia: featured in Ghost Dog (1999).
Here are two excerpts that are not exactly Stoic.
“The warriors of old cultivated mustaches, for as proof that a man had been slain in battle, his ears and nose would be cut off and brought to the enemy’s camp. So that there would be no mistake as to whether the person was a man or woman, the mustache was also cut off with the nose.”
“If you cut a face lengthwise, urinate on it, and trample on it with straw sandals it is said that the skin will come off. That was heard by the priest Gyojako when he was in Kyoto. It is information to be treasured.”
And people say classics are boring.
Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (1925) is considered the second feature-length ethnographic film ever made after Nanook of the North. Created by the team who would go on to make King Kong. It follows the Bakhtiari tribe as they trek over areas of what is now Iran. It’s much better and more interesting than I thought it would be.
Blacula is an all-time favorite of mine, so I had some hopes for Blackenstein (1973). Those were dashed early on, but I still had fun with this one and will watch it again. There was such possibility with the set-up, but the film is not interested in making a statement. It’s interesting to watch all the ways it chooses to creatively fail.
A Black war vet is seriously wounded in war and everyone resents him, except his loving girlfriend. She happens to work with a ridiculous surgeon who may be able to save him (sew legs and arms on him). But his questionable assistant has fallen in love with the poor vet’s girlfriend and decides to hamper the recovery.
I have one more review to get in before I wrap up my time at the Film Maudit 2.0 Festival. Thanks to everyone there for allowing me to cover so many great new filmmakers and movies. Thanks to Stewie at Horror DNA for throwing the gig to me! I’m better prepared for covering another festival if I get the chance. Though right now I’m looking forward to getting back to my regular schedule.
Some new reviews from the week:
Film Maudit Shorts Block: Creature Feature
Film Maudit Shorts Block: Birthing Pangs
Film Maudit Shorts: Double Features
A new Musicalia playlist awaits if you’re interested. This one has some David Lee Roth in Spanish, Scatman Crothers, one of my favorite Blue Öyster Cult songs, a favorite from Barbecue Bob, and a new De La Soul single. Some new artists for me on this one: Constant Smiles, Rozi Plain, Abe Partridge, and Billy Nomates.
Really enjoyed coming across this earlier in the week.
2 thoughts on “Marginalia #19”
I think the original trailers for Blackenstein were better than the movie, but I, like you, will probably watch it again.
I’m going to have to go check those out now.