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The golden age of Japanese cinema was during the 1950s. Although the post-occupation period was difficult for ordinary people, it proved to be a successful time for filmmakers. The next decade saw a new wave when auteurs began to give their films a more distinctive national identity. Tomu Uchida started his career in the 1920s …

There are two kinds of people. There are those who constantly give; always ready to help out their fellow man. Who dedicate their life to a mantra of altruism. Helping those less fortunate than themselves. On the other hand, there are those members of society who expect others to provide for them. Who constantly take, …

The often maligned and overlooked sub-genre of giallo is experiencing something of a renaissance, with a whole new generation beginning to appreciate these stylish and bloody soap operas. With plenty of lurid death scenes and ample nudity, it’s easy to see why it might catch the eye. However, as many films are quite difficult to …

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction, but usually it’s the other way round. Occasionally, true events correspond closely to the story of a book, film or TV programme. These copycats usually become obsessed with the source material and feel driven to act on some perverse compulsion. Thankfully, these cases are rare, but are also fascinating …

While Fabio Testi began his film career as a stuntman, taking on a few small roles, being cast in Vittorio De Sica’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis made him a star in his native Italy. The Italian’s relationships with the likes of Ursula Andress, Jean Seberg and Charlotte Rampling ensured that he stayed in the …

Henry looking in the mirror

As a society, we seem to be fascinated by the concept of a serial killer. There appears to be some innate need to try and understand the rationale behind their actions and a constant debate over whether the blame can be attributed to nature or nurture. This has gradually seeped into popular culture and the …

Elizabeth and Viktor

One of the most enduring, influential and popular faces of horror cinema is that of Frankenstein’s monster. Since the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel back in 1818, the idea of a mad professor reanimating the dead has persisted throughout popular culture. There have been many interpretations and uses of her creation over the year, often …

Japan has a rich history of oral storytelling and theatre. It’s a culture with a strong emphasis on telling yarns, whether that’s in words or song. So, when silent cinema came to their shores from Europe and America, it was obvious that the public would not be content with silence. They came up with an …

Mother and son

While Mario Bava may not get the same recognition as his fellow countryman Dario Argento, his films have been as equally influential on generations of filmmakers who have followed in their wake. The likes of Blood and Black Lace, Black Sabbath, A Bay of Blood and The Girl Who Knew Too Much are all criminally …

Nishi 'at war'

War is a horrible business. Whilst today’s technological advancements mean that conflict is often now a hands-off affair, during the Second World War the biggest resource any country had was its fighting men. It made for bloody and brutal combat, especially in the Pacific Theatre. The Second Sino-Japanese War was particularly violent and barbaric, with …