SAMURAI MARATHON 1855
2019, 103 min, Dir: Bernard Rose

Bernard Rose’s astounding take on Japanese jidaigeki, or “period drama,” is set in the year 1855. After decades of isolation, Japan has started receiving trade ships from the rest of the world; amidst the new arrivals is an American merchant captain who brings with him whiskey, photography and, most important, pistols. These weapons are seen as a threat to the ancient Samurai and their code of honor, so the Annaka clan devise a test to determine if their men are ready should battle be necessary: a marathon in which the winner may ask of the master anything he may desire. But the Shogunate is fearful of the Annaka daimyo (feudal lord) and awaits word from their spy to see if they need to deploy their full might to crush the clan to smithereens. The stage is set for one spellbinding confrontation and an awe-inspiring marathon race against time. With a mesmerizing score by Philip Glass.


INSIGNIFICANCE
1985, Hanway Films, 109 min, UK, Dir: Nicolas Roeg

This adaptation of Terry Johnson’s play brings together four of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century in a thought-provoking meditation on fame, power and the unknowability of the human soul. As she is filming a movie in New York City, Marilyn Monroe (Theresa Russell) visits Albert Einstein (Michael Emil) as Joe DiMaggio (Gary Busey) and Senator Joe McCarthy (Tony Curtis) circle around them. Roeg’s non-linear approach to the story opens fascinating windows into the characters of the actress, the professor, the ballplayer and the senator, and this speculative drama earned the Technical Grand Prize at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.


EUREKA
1983, Park Circus/MGM, 130 min, UK/USA, Dir: Nicolas Roeg

Gene Hackman, Mickey Rourke, Rutger Hauer, Joe Pesci and Theresa Russell are the all-star players in this strange tale inspired by the mysterious 1943 murder of Sir Harry Oakes in the Bahamas. A gold prospector (Hackman) strikes it rich in the Canadian wilderness and then moves to a Caribbean island, where he hopes to live in luxury; instead his reward is misery, paranoia and pursuit by killers. Roeg’s underrated drama recalls his earlier THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH as it explores the isolation of vast wealth.


Syndicate content