Franco Nero stars in Sergio Corbucci’s 'Django'

The original ‘Django’ on Amazon Prime

Along with Sergio Leone’s Clint Eastwood trilogy, Sergio Corbucci’s Django (1966), starring Italian hunk Franco Nero as the gritty mercenary who drags a coffin behind him, was one of the films that set the tone and attitude and style spaghetti westerns. Wandering a desolate desert of ghost towns and miserable frontier dropouts under the bootheels […]

Mamoru Oshii directs this landmark cyberpunk anime from 1995

The original ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and its anime universe on Hulu

Ghost in the Shell (Japan, 1995) (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray Steelbook) – Mamoru Oshii’s cyberpunk thriller was the first Japanese anime created for the international market and it became the biggest animated import in the US in years. Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow and recalling Blade Runner and the earlier anime hit Akira, Oshii’s […]

Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet in the Blake Edwards comedy

Peter Sellers joins ‘The Party’ on FilmStruck and Criterion Channel

The Party (1968) reunited Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers after a falling out during the second Pink Panther movie for a different kind of comedy: a modern sound version of a silent movie comedy. They don’t pretend it’s a silent film, mind you, but rather build a series of visual gags on a basic premise—Peter […]

Jo Shishido stars in the Japanese gangster film from Yasuharu Hasebe

‘Massacre Gun’ – Japanese Gangster action on Amazon Prime

Massacre Gun (Japan, 1967) – Yasuharu Hasebe, a disciple of Nikkatsu’s maverick filmmaker Suzuki Seijun, made his directorial debut with Black Tight Killers (1966), a crazy, campy spy adventure fun shot in bright, pop-art color. His follow-up feature remains in the action genre but takes a turn into the dark alleys of gangster noir with […]

Dennis Hopper is Tom Ripley in Wim Wender's take on Patricia HIghsmith

‘The American Friend’ on Criterion Channel and Blu-ray/DVD

The American Friend (Germany, 1977) – “What’s wrong with a cowboy in Hamburg?” Dennis Hopper’s Tom Ripley is nothing like the character that Patricia Highsmith created and explored in five novels, and while Wim Wender’s adaptation of Ripley’s Game, the sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley, remains more or less faithful to the plot (with […]