Monthly Archives: January 2002

Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos

The title of Andy Garcia’s serviceable 1993 documentary about Cuban composer and bassist Israel Cachao Lopezsomething of a mambo specialist in communist Cubameans his rhythm is like no other. The concert material here more or less proves the point. 120 min. (JR)… Read more »

She

Produced by Merian C. Cooper as a follow-up to King Kong, this 1935 adventure saga adapts the H. Rider Haggard novel She Who Must Be Obeyed, transposing the story from Africa to arctic Asia. Explorers Randolph Scott and Nigel Bruce discover the art deco palace of the seemingly immortal title character (stage actress Helen Gahagan in her only film role). Irving Pichel and Lansing G. Holden directed, and Ruth Rose and Dudley Nichols are credited with the script; the score is by Max Steiner. 102 min.… Read more »

Ten Dark Women

An entertaining curiosity in black-and-white ‘Scope, Kon Ichikawa’s noirish 1961 comedy concerns a smug philanderer whose current wife and nine former mistresses plot to kill him, letting him know something about their scheme in advance. Like many of the best Ichikawa films (including those with a feminist dimension), this was scripted by his wife, Natto Wado, and was recently rereleased in Japan to great commercial success. In Japanese with subtitles. 103 min. (JR)… Read more »

Odd Obsession

Kon Ichikawa’s kinky black comedy in ‘Scope (1959, 96 min.) adapts the powerful Junichiro Tanizaki novel The Key, in which an old man tries to revive his virility by arranging various sexual encounters for his own vicarious enjoymentespecially one between his younger wife and a doctor. The novel alternates between the old man’s diary entries and the wife’s; Ichikawa’s more straightforward narrative method doesn’t do justice to all the ironies, but this is a still a singular and memorable movie, and the great Machiko Kyo is a particular standout as the wife. Almost a quarter century later, Ichikawa returned to Tanizaki’s work for The Makioka Sisters. In Japanese with subtitles. (JR)… Read more »