Kenji Misumi and Robert Houston
The legendary midnight movie sensation that firmly embedded samurai mythology within American pop culture consciousness, this English-dubbed reedit of the first two films in the classic Japanese chanbaraseries Lone Wolf and Cub is a giddily entertaining, mesmerizingly gory classic of East-meets-West grindhouse mayhem. Following the murder of his wife at the hands of an evil shogun, an avenging ronin (Tomisaburo Wakayama) roams the countryside with his young son—and the boy’s sword-shooting baby carriage—in tow, dispatching ninja assassins with steely resolve in operatically stylized flurries of hallucinatory violence. With its pulsing synth soundtrack (cowritten by Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders) and delirious action set pieces—kinetically edited whirlwinds of flashing blades, spurting blood, and severed limbs—Shogun Assassin proved an instant cult favorite that has bubbled its way up from the underground to the mainstream thanks to its influence on artists ranging from the Wu-Tang Clan to Quentin Tarantino.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
DCP, 35 mm, Blu-ray, DVD