1. Abnormal Beauty- This is one of those Tartan video releases, a great video company that deals out cult Asian films that would've normally fallen through the cracks. This film concerns a photographer who takes pictures of an accident and is haunted by unknown occurrences afterwards.
2. Fires On the Plain- Follow up viewing to Kon Ichikawa's previous war film "The Burmese Harp".
3. Jackson County Jail- Featuring the first performance of Tommy Lee Jones, this southern-friend exploitation flick received some nice word of mouth after the "Grindhouse" double feature earlier this year.Looking forward to checking it out.
4. Sombre- Philippe Grandieux's psychological thriller about a serial killer in the backwoods of France. I've heard very little about this one, but the advertisement in Film Comment piqued my interest. If it's anything like previous French horror flicks such as "Haute Tension", I expect something very cool.
5. Woman Is the Future of Man- I've been delighted with the 3 other Hong Sang Soo films I've seen, and every cinephile owes it to themselves to check out this under appreciated directors work. His films are so delicate in their structure and overwhelming in their simple power. I'm still hunting for a copy of his first film, "The Day the Pig Fell Into the Well", so any ideas are welcome.
6. The Hill- Early Sidney Lumet film released a few weeks ago.
7. Sympathy For the Underdog- It seems like there are so many Kinji Fukasaku films, they're lingering in my queue with no end. This "action-packed crime drama centers on aging Yakuza Gunji (Koji Tsuruta), a fighter who lives by a code no longer honored by Tokyo's new breed of ruthless gangs. Released from prison after 10 years, Gunji regroups his old gang and rebuilds his crime empire in Okinawa. Gunji's whiskey trade is a success, but he's forced into a bloody battle with rival mainland gangsters."
8. Battle Royale 2- I rewatched "Battle Royale" last week and find that to be such an amazing piece of cult cinema. It's dropped off the radar a little, but not only is its kid-on-kid violence still unsettling, but Takeshi Kitano's performance grows better and better on repeat viewings. Just watch how that final scene plays out with him as he answers his cell afterbeing shot 22 times. I've yet to see this sequel.
9. Holy Mountain- With the release of several Alejandro Jodorowsky films on DVD earlier this year, I think I'll begin my retrospective of this experimental filmmakers career. I've seen his early 90's film "Santa Sangre" and watched with what-the-hell-is-goin-on trepidation, so I wonder if time has been kind to this out there artist. No better time than the present to give him a shot.
10. Honor Among Thieves- I'm not entirely sure how I cam about this film. It may have been one of Harry Knowles' DVD lists or a long lost recommendation from a fellow cineast, but this 70's Charles Bronson film places him in Algeria after the war where he discovers a vault with 3 million dollars. I haven't seen the film yet, but you can bet your ass Bronson ends up with the money!