Some films I have seen recently…..

Sacco e Vanzetti

1971

Director: Giuliano Montaldo

This is an incredible film. It is about two anarchists, in 1920’s Boston, who are arrested and accused of armed robbery and homicide. The lead actor, Gian Maria Volontè, who is best known for his roles in spaghetti westerns, is truly excellent (he received a Best Actor at Cannes for his role). In fact, just about everything about this film is excellent, from the script, to the direction. The music is by Morricone and is quite good, only dampened somewhat by the rather unpleasant voice of Joan Baez (at least I think it is her). 

Sacco e Vanzetti (1971) DVD cover.jpg

A Taxing Woman

1987

Original Title: Marusa no onna

By Juzo Itami, the same director who did the wonderful Tampopo. Not nearly as good as that film, but still quite amusing. It is, as the title suggests, about a woman tax collector. Its main defect is that it lacks the momentum of Tampopo. Still, worth a see for fans of Japanese comedy.

A Taxing Woman

Drunken Sword

1962

Original Title:Yoi-dore musoken

Director:  Sawashima Tadashi

This is a minor samurai film, about a fencing master/doctor who offers his services to the poor for a very moderate price. It is from Toei studios, which means that it was done entirely on sets, and the actors are all powdered and rouged up to give them a somewhat unnatural look.  The film has some bland spots to be sure, but there are also many lively scenes, such as a duel on a boat and there is a great bad guy who has long, flowing hair very reminiscent of Jim Morrison.

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