Gearing back up for some blogging this week after the PSIFF and an enjoyable offline project, writing the DVD liner notes for Tartan Video’s upcoming second Ozu boxset in the UK containing The Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947) and The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952).

I attended a couple fun screenings last week, including a showing of Jacques Tourneur’s superlative Night of the Demon (1957) in a small art venue, the Sponto Gallery, a few feet from the sands of Venice Beach. About 30 people crowded into the increasingly stuffy gallery (renamed the Seven Dudley Cinema for the evening) and the Columbia DVD was projected onto a wall. But the highlight followed the film, as random walk-ins began parsing the film’s metaphysics and drug references. Leading the discussion in a more academic vein was Michael Henry Wilson, the author of the recent French book, Jacques Tourneur ou La Magie de la suggestion, and the co-writer of A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies as well as Scorsese’s upcoming documentary on British cinema. Wilson emphasized Tourneur’s love of the term fantastique to describe his worlds beyond the rational. The discussion was lively and eccentric and I’m looking forward to the Seven Dudley’s future screenings, which promises to include a “live dumpster diving fashion show” with AgnËs Varda’s The Gleaners and I.

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