It's been a very long time, but I'm back. I've changed the look a bit. I created a new banner - the images were borrowed from the Criterion website and pasted together with the aid of some very primitive Photoshop work. I've also added a link of other bloggers who are friends of mine. Discovering/rediscovering these other blogs is what inspired me to keep this one up.
The images in the banner reflect some of my favorite things in film:
1.) The first is a still of Tatsuya Nakadai in Sword of Doom by Kihachi Okamoto. I have this almost inherent love of samurai films and samurai culture, possibly from a fascination I've had with anything Japanese since I was a child. Being half-Japanese probably has something to do with it.
2.) Akira Kurosawa. He is possibly my favorite director. This is certainly connected to my fascination with Japanese film in general, but more specifically Kurosawa films acted as my gateway into a deeper appreciation of film - specifically, Seven Samurai and Ran. When I saw these two films, especially Ran, I experienced movie-watching in a way I never had before. This opened my appetite for a higher level of art and filmmaking than those movies which I had previously been content with.
3.) The third image is a still of Vittorio DeSica's Bicycle Thieves. The epic scale of Ran was incredibly contrasted to this neo-realist film and I loved it. It was another encounter with something that broke my concept of what movies could be. Handheld cameras, non-actor actors, location shooting, realistic, everyday situations. I loved the ordinariness of it. I think its ordinariness in situation and setting is what made it so heartbreaking and thus profound for me, not only in technical terms or aesthetics but in theme.
4.) Jef Costello has already appeared in my blog as one of my favorite characters. He is the protagonist in Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai. I know, I know, Japaneseness seems to appear again, but not really. Le Samourai represents my love for noir and neo-noir films, of which Le Samourai is an excellent example of the latter. This is also an existentialist-themed film, which is a favorite theme of mine.
5.) Lastly, Jean-Luc Godard. Godard is a director whose films constantly baffle and excite me. They are filled with heady concepts and philosophies about the nature of life and film and when I'm able to get it it really stimulates something in me intellectualy (track commentary usually aids in being able to understand/appreciate his films). Band of Outsiders was the first film I saw of his and ever since I've been hooked. Godard is also a key figure in the French New Wave movement which as a whole I am fascinated with.
So that's that. There are other things that I would include up there, but there are only a few pictures that pop up on the Criterion site that I can borrow. If there was a picture of Woody Allen or a still from The Big Lebowski I think I would have put those up there, too. Oh well, at least it looks pretty.