Monday, May 11, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Why is it that every time I list a Japanese food product here I have to put an exclamation mark behind the name of the product? My friends from of work knew of my love for Ramune soda from Japan and were kind enough to buy me a bunch a flavors I have never tasted before as a gift. While the standard Ramune flavor has a bubble-gum flavor, it was great to have a sample of some of the other flavors that were until recently unavailable here in the USA. Melon and strawberry were the best and are highly recommended.
On a recent trip from Japan my friend from work was kind enough to bring back this Group Sound CD for me. Luckily the CD that he brought back was one of the biggest Japanese bands of the genre, The Tigers. This CD is a nice comp of all their a-side singles that were released on Japan Polydor from the mid-sixties to when they reformed in the 1980's.
There are some great tracks here worth picking up on vinyl such as My Mary, Seaside Bound and C-C-C, with some I've already manage to located and purchase. For some the CD might be a bit heavy on the sentimental ballads that the Japanese are so good at recording, and since I love those types of songs Its not a problem with me.
The Tigers are one of the seminal GS groups and considering you get all the A-side singles this is a great entry level pick up for the GS sound.
©2009 Leonardo Flores
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
August 2007. I just moved to Uptown Whittier and I began to check out many of the local shops. Being a Belgium beer fan I made my way into a newly opened wine shop called Vinatero Wine Shop in uptown. When I walked in the gentleman behind the counter said, " The Mods are here!" That one moment began a good friendship in the greatest shop in Whittier or do I dare say Southern California.
Owners Lisa & Ernie are some of the most happening and stylish people I know. The shop has huge selection of wine and if you like you can stroll up to the wine tasting area and for a price sample some of the weekly featured wines. The friendly staff know their wine and are always willing to help you with pick out a bottle vino for your event or dinner table. And if you are a Beer fan like myself they have an excellent selection of international beers to purchase and a few select beers to try out in the tasting area. This isn't a bar atmosphere but a classy and intimate place to take close friends or dates to but still have a fun relaxing evening unlike those uptight holes in the wall on the Westside. Highly recommended if you live in Southern California! If you stop by I'll be the guy with the Kwak in hand.
Vinatero Wine Shop Uptown Whittier 6531 Greenleaf Ave. Whittier CA 90601 (562) 464-Wine
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
When most people are asked to bring up 10's & 20's silent screen actresses, names such as Brooks, Pickford and Gish are the first names that come to mind. Because of the thousands of films made during the silent era, it is easy to forget the not as famous actors because of lack of film availability, interest and knowledge.
Lillian Hall-Davis is one such actress. I had the pleasure to be introduced to her work through two Alfred Hitchcock British International Picture films The Ring (1927) and The Farmers Wife (1928). Something about Lillian's presence in both films that make two rather standard 20's films into something enjoyable. Like Setsuka Hara in The Idiot and No Regrets for Our Youth, lillian's very being and presence in The Ring and The Farmer's Wife speaks more volumes than any screenwriter could write into a script and elevates both films to another level.
There is something very real about how she connects and projects to the viewer. Lillian's beauty is honest and was not lost behind lighting and costumes, a Alfred Hitchcock trademark even in 1920's.
Born London , England in 1898 Lillian first film was in 1917 in a feature called La P'tite du Sixieme and her last role 1931's Many Waters. Two years later on October 25th 1933 at the age of 35, Lillian killed herself.
I rarely collect actors filmography but I would like to see more of Lillian's films, as I have a feeling I'm going to find some forgotten gems of this great actress. I hope in time we can hold her name and films in higher esteem to even the most casual film fan.
Friday, March 27, 2009
How can you not love Chinese posters from the 50's through 80's? www.maopost.com has 1600 examples listed on their website with one I have pictured above (from 1966). With mottos like "I serve everyone, and everyone serves me." and "Conduct propaganda in the field." how can you not feel motivated! All kidding aside these posters feature some of the finest oil paintings I've ever seen but sadly many of these artist will never be known. Maopost even has original posters for sale that I believe are very reasonable prices considering how rare they must be outside of China. If you are and artist or appreciate art, take some time out and visit their site, they are good people!
I am always trying to collect and watch the entire filmographies of my favorite directors. Sometimes this is an easy feat but it is amazing to see what films have not been released on DVD in our beloved region 1. Here is a short list of films I am waiting to be released on Region 1 to complete my filmography collection:
I love B.I.P Hitchcock and quite a few are still not available:
1925 The Pleasure Garden:
The UK has a DVD release but Hitchcock's first film is still unavailable stateside
1929 Blackmail Silent
1929 Blackmail Sound
Typical of the era some films made in both sound and silent. While the sound version of Blackmail is a mainstay of various budget collections the silent version, that some critics say is better, is unavailable.
1930 Mary –(German Version of Murder)
Using a different set of actors, Hitchcock directed a German version of Murder that is not available in the USA.
1930 Elstree Calling (Unavailable in the US / co-directed revue)
1934 Waltzes from Vienna (unavailable in US)
Francis Ford Coppola
1966 You're a Big Boy Now
1969 The Rain People
The film Coppola made before The Godfather has not had a DVD release yet.
1989 New York Story- Wide screen please!
A bulk of Capra's late 20's early 30's films have not been released on DVD. I'm not sure how many of these are shorts or lost films as 1928 alone has 10 entries. The Donovan Affair sounds great! I would love to see it....
1928 So This Is Love? (unavailable)
1928 The Way of the Strong (unavailable)
1928 Say It with Sables (Unavailable)
1928 Submarine (unavailable)
1928 The Power of the Press (Unavailable)
1928 The Way of the Strong (Unavailable)
1928 The Burgler (unavailble)
1929 The Younger Generation (unavailable)
1929 The Donovan Affair (unavailable)
1929 Flight (unavailable)
1930 Ladies of Leisure (unavailable)
1930 Rain or Shine (unavailable)
1931 Dirigible (unavailable)
1931 The Miracle Woman (unavailable)
1932 Forbidden (unavailable)
1932 The Bitter Tea of General Yen (unavailable)
1919 Harakiri aka Madame Butterfly
While a bulk of Lang's German films are available, his second film hasn't been released. I'm not sure if it's because it's lost or not.
Focusing on his pre 1968 films only four are not available, I'm sure it's a matter of time that somebody like Criterion releases the rest although some of these have been released but are now out of print. His 70's and 80's films is another story...
1962 MY LIFE TO LIVE VIVRE SA VIE (OOP)
1967 WEEKEND (OOP)
(Update 4-23-09: Criterion will be releasing the following in June:
1966 MADE IN U.S.A. (Criterion)
1966 2 OU 3 CHOSES QUE JE SAIS D'ELLE (2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER) (Criterion)
Red Desert please!
1952 I vinti (The Vanquished, 1952) No US
1953 La signora senza camelie (The Lady Without Camelias No US
1964 Il deserto rosso (The Red Desert Unavailable in the US
1972 Chung Kuo (China, 1972) No US
1981 Il mistero di Oberwald (The Mystery of Oberwald, 1981) NoUS
1982 Identificazione di una donna (Identification of a Woman) NoUS
1995 Beyond the Clouds Unavailable in the USA
1982 Hey Good Lookin'
1992 Cool World-although Just taken out of print, many are still available.
Friday, January 2, 2009
10/05/09-Lars and the Real Girl-Craig Gillespie-USA, 2007 ****
10/04/09-Sabotage-Alfred Hitchcock-UK,1938 ****
10/04/09-Jabberwocky-Terry Gilliam-UK,1977 ****
10/03/09-The 39 Steps-Alfred Hichcock-UK, 1935*****
9/20/09-The Cool & The Crazy-Ralph Bakshi-USA, 1994***
9/17/09-Cool World-Ralph Bakshi-USA,1992 ***
9/15/09-Fire & Ice-Ralph Bakshi-USA,1983****
9/09 TV -The Wallflower-Shinichi Watanabe-Japan, 2006 ****
8/28/09-Woman In The Moon-Fritz Lang-Germany,1929****
8/25/09-Throne Of Blood-Akira Kurosawa-Japan, 1957 ***
8/21/09-Inglorious Bastards-Quentin Tarantino-USA,2009*****
8/17/09-Escape To Victory-John Huston-USA, 1981*****
8/09/09-Ponyo On The Cliff, By The Sea-Hayao Miyazaki 2009*****
7/25/09-Une Femme Mariee-Jean-Luc Godard-France, 1964 ****
7/16/09-Samurai Spy-Masahiro Shinoda-Japan,1965 ****
6/19/09-Il Grido-Michelangelo Antonioni-Italy, 1957 ****
6/19/09-Samurai Spy-Mashahiro Shinoda-Japan-1963 ****
6/18/09-Struggles In The Old Line City-Yan Jizhou-China 1963 ***
6/05/09-Zabriskie Point-Michelangelo Antonioni-USA *****
5/30/09-Le Voyou-Claude Lelouch-1970 France ****
5/26/09-Branded To Kill-Seijun Suzuki-1967 Japan *****
5/17/09-Star Trek-JJ Abrams-2009 USA *****
5/03/09-I Live in Fear-Akira Kurosawa-1955 Japan ****
5/02/09-The Knack...and how to get it-Richard Lester-1965 UK*****
5/02/09-The Freshman-Andrew Bergman-1990 USA ****
5/01/09-Ikiru-Akira Kurosawa-1952 Japan ****
4/10/09-Millennium Actress-Satoshi Kon- 2001 Japan *****
4/10/09-Perfect Blue-Satoshi Kon-1997 Japan ****
4/10/09-Godzilla, King of the Monsters-Ishiro Honda/Terry Morse-1956 Japan/USA ****
4/09/09-Gojira-Ishiro Honda-1954 Japan *****
4/05/09-Jackie Brown-Quentin Tarantino-1997 USA ****
3/25/09-L'Aaventura-Michelangelo Antonioni-1960 Italy*****
3/21/09-Hey Good Lookin'-Ralph Bakshi-1981 USA***
3/09 TV-Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross-Yasuo Hasagawa-1984 ****
3/14/09-Lord Of The Rings-Ralph Bakshi-1978 USA****
3/14/09-Wizards- Ralph Bakshi-1977 USA***
3/13/09-The Idiot-Akira Kurosawa-1951 Japan****
3/09/09-Rashomon- Akira Kurosawa-1950 Japan-*****
2/09 TV- Genesis Climber Mospeada-katsuhisa Yamada-1983 Japan ****
1/24/09-Scandal-Akira Kurosawa-1950 Japan ****
1/24/09-Stray Dog-Akira Kurosawa-1949 Japan*****
1/23/09-The Quiet Dual-Akira Kurosawa-1949 Japan ***
1/23/09-Drunken Angel-Akira Kurosawa-1948 Japan****
1/22/09-Alvin & The Chipmunks -Tim Hill 2007 USA ****
1/17/09-New York Stories-Francis Ford Coppola et al 1989 USA ****
1/17/09-Fritz The Cat- Ralph Bakshi-1972, USA ****
1/17/09-La Chinoise-Jean-Luc Godard 1967, France ****
1/17/09-Carter's Army aka Black Brigade-George McCowan 1970 USA***
1/17/09-Finian's Rainbow-Francis Ford Coppola 1968, USA**
1/13/09-Les Carabiniers- Jean-Luc Godard 1963, France ****
1/12/09-One Wonderful Sunday- Akira Kurosawa 1947, Japan *****
1/12/09-Incubus-Leslie Stevens 1965, USA ****
1/11/09-No Regrets For Our Youth-Akira Kurosawa-1946 Japan ****
1/11/09-Un Chien Andalou-Luis Bunuel-1929, France****
1/11/09-The Last Laugh-F.W.Murnau-1924, Germany*****
1/11/09-Diary Of a Mad Black woman-Tyler Perry-2005, USA ***
1/10/09-The Darjeeling Limited-Wes Anderson-2007, USA*****
1/10/09-Hotel Chevalier-Wes Anderson- 2007, USA****
1/10/09-Heavy Traffic-Ralph Bakshi-1973,USA ****
1/6/09-The Man Who Knew Too Much-Alfred Hitchcock-1934, UK***
1/4/09-When Harry Met Sally-Rob Reiner-1989 USA ***
1/4/09-The Black Hole-Gary Nelson- 1979 USA *****
1/3/09-The Men Who Tread on a Tiger's Tail-Akira Kurosawa-1945 Japan***
1/3/09- Barry Lyndon - Stanley Kubrick 1975 *****
1/3/09- Rich & Strange-Alfred Hitchcock 1932 UK ***
1/3/09-No. 17-Alfred Hitchcock 1932 UK ***
1/2/09-The Skin Game-Alfred Hitchcock 1931 UK*****
1/2/09-Juno & the Paycock-Alfred Hitchcock 1930 UK*
1/2/09-La Notte - Michelangelo Antonioni 1961, Italy*****
1/1/09-The Terminal-Steven Speilberg-2004. USA***
1/1/09- Story Of A Love Affair- Michelangelo Antonioni-1950 Italy ***