Category Archives: Uncategorized

RIP Sonny Chiba (1939 – 2021)

Sonny featured in Japanorama 

Sonny Chiba was a Japanese actor and martial artist, a contemporary to Bruce Lee in Hong Kong.

opening title scene of Karate Kiba (1973)

I give you the opening title scene of Karate Kiba (1973) and the episode from Japanorama from 2007.

The Karate Kiba sequence has been copied nearly verbatim in Pulp Fiction (1994).

RIP K. Schippers (1936 – 2021)

K. Schippers was a Dutch poet (“Ja”), prose writer and art critic (Eb, 1992).

There are so many reasons to praise Schippers but I shall give only one. The magazine Barbarber (1958–71) which he co-founded and edited, introduced the nobrow sensibility to The Netherlands.

An issue of Barbarber

Nobrow means the appreciation and mixing of high and low culture, exemplified in the case of Barbarber on the high culture side by Duchamp, Satie, Schwitters and Carroll and at the low culture side by Krazy Kat, Laurel and Hardy, The KillingKiss Me Deadly at the low end.

The word barbarber is a portmanteau of barbaar (barbarian) and rabarber (rhubarb).

RIP Nanci Griffith (1953 – 2021)

It’s a Hard Life Wherever You Go” (1989)

Nanci Griffith was an American singer-songwriter working in country, folk, and what she termed “folkabilly.”

She is known for such songs as the anti-war song “From a Distance” (1982) and the anti-racism anthem “It’s a Hard Life Wherever You Go” (1989). That is her socially engaged side, which, as a matter of principle almost, does not interest me very much.

There is another side, the slice-of-life side, represented by her song “Love at the Five and Dime” (1986). This side interests me more, also because the “five and dime” of the title reminds me of Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) by Robert Altman.

RIP Gianfranco D’Angelo (1936 – 2021)

Gianfranco D’Angelo was an Italian actor and comedian. In Italy known for television variety and comedy shows; outside of Italy for commedia sexy all’italiana such as Biancaneve & Co. (1982) and B-movies such as Mondo candido (1975) in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Mondo candido (1975)

Mondo candido (1975) is an interesting product.

It is an Italian film in the acclaimed mondo genre directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi. The film is a liberal adaptation of Voltaire’s 1759 novel Candide.

It was partly shot on location at Château de Pierrefonds.

Researching Mondo candido, I find out that there is actually a book on shockumentaries: Sweet & Savage (2006) by Mark Goodall.

From that book on Mondo candido:

“He skips off back to the castle and we are back where we started on his metaphysical journey, older if not wiser. Although considered a failure, artistically and conceptually, Mondo Candido still enjoys a strange allure. There are still glimpses of the Jacopetti and Prosperi spirit in this unforgettable overblown, Technicolor indulgence.”

Check out the bibliography of Sweet & Savage. I’ve taken the liberty to put on my pages.

RIP Françoise Arnoul (1931 – 2021)

 Post Coitum, Animal Triste (1997)

Françoise Arnoul was a French actress known for her parts in French CancanThe Devil and the Ten Commandments and Forbidden Fruit; and not so much for her part in Post Coitum, Animal Triste (1997). However, I show you the trailer of that film, because of its title, which I have been able to trace into the 16th century, in the work of Jean Benedict in La somme des péchés et le remède d’iceux (1595).