I need some structure for my writing and, though I've spent more than twenty years on it so far, I also need to expand my film education in some key areas. To this end, I've decided to start a new series whereby each day of a given month I will watch a film on a given theme, blogging about each viewing and trying to get an overview of the topic by the end of the month.
Each month I'll look back at some films I've already seen, but also watch many films that I've never seen before, and I'll post a schedule ahead of time so that you guys can watch along with me if you wish, or comment on the films that I'll be looking at during the month.
I've got solid ideas for subjects for some time going forward, but if there's a particular style, country or genre you'd like me to explore for this feature then do please suggest it and I'll try to fit it in in the future, just bear in mind that I'll need to be able to source at least 28 films for each topic.
The first series will kick off in March, when I'll be spending... 31 Days: In Japan.
The first thing to say here is that I won't be including any anime, as that will be its own month long feature in the future. Aside from that, anything goes. Japan's film culture is vast and intimidating and ranges from the austerity of Mizoguchi and Ozu to the lunacy of Sion Sono, taking in everything from gangster films to samurai and irradiated monsters. I can't possibly cover it all, but I want to touch some bases that I, unaccountably, haven't yet got to (I've never seen a Kurosawa film... I know, I'm sorting it), as well as revisting some of my favourite Japanese directors - though, with one exception, watching films I've not seen - from Takashi Miike to Yasuzo Masamura to Tetsuya Nakashima.
In short, I'm sure those of you who have already seen more than I have will scoff at how many basic requirements are on this list, and I'd welcome suggestions for next steps after the month is over, but here's the list. The only film I've seen before is Noriko's Dinner Table, which I've been meaning to write about forever.
A little challenge: spot the film I put on the list just because I thought it had an awesome title.
Note: Onibaba would have been on the list, but I'll be watching it before February is out as I have to review the blu ray for another site.
3rd: The Happiness of the Katakuris
4th: Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion
5th: Manji [Masamura]
6th: Vengeance is Mine
9th: I Was Born, but...
10th: Sword of Vengeance
11th: The Warped Ones
12th: Branded to Kill
13th: After Life
14th: Swing Girls
15th: Angel Guts: High School Co-Ed
17th: The Burmese Harp
18th: Strange Circus
19th: Red Angel
20th: Woman of the Dunes
21st: The Seven Samurai
22nd: Goke: Body Snatcher From Hell
23rd: Kamikaze Girls
25th: Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter
27th: Tokyo Drifter
28th: Men Behind the Sun
29th: Kakera: A Piece of Our Life
30th: Detroit Metal City
31st: Noriko's Dinner Table
Coming in April: 30 Days... Of Slashers.