a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
tue. may 30 lavender diamond @ the troubadour arthur lipsett revival FREE 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema wed. may 31 his name is alive @ spaceland if..., i'll never forget what's 'is name @ egyptian theatre thu. jun. 1 tribute to nam june paik @ lacma historical fiction @ ESL projects young people @ the echo bipolar bear @ the smell okmoniks @ adm project gallery fri. jun. 2 greg ashley, howlin' rain @ the echo tue. jun. 20 bonnie & clyde @ ampas dolls, crash (1977) @ new beverly giant drag @ silver lake lounge wed. jun. 21 one am radio 8:45 @ tangier torture garden, horror express @ egyptian theatre thu. jun. 22 the pope @ the smell fri. jun. 23 bad dudes @ the smell classe tous risques, elevator to the gallows @ new beverly the mission 6:30 PM @ la film fest @ ucla film archive sat. jun. 24 classe tous risques, elevator to the gallows @ new beverly bill krohn: the complete films of luis bunuel 5 PM @ skylight books sun. jun. 25 creature from the black lagoon, it came from outer space @ new beverly corruption, the skull @ egyptian theatre el doctor 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre mon. jun. 26 creature from the black lagoon, it came from outer space @ new beverly languis FREE @ the echo tue. jun. 27 thrones, bipolar bear @ the smell creature from the black lagoon, it came from outer space @ new beverly wed. jun. 28 the blow @ the smell strangers with candy @ egyptian theatre cat power @ ford amphitheatre thu. jun. 29 don't knock the rock festival @ redcat fr. jun. 30 don't knock the rock festival @ redcat fear and loathing in las vegas MIDNIGHT MOVIE @ nuart theatre negadon: the monster from mars, the great yokai war, gamera the brave @ egyptian theatre sat. july 1 don't knock the rock festival @ redcat la noir: the city as character 2 PM @ la film fest @ ucla film archive pitfall 4:30 PM @ la film fest @ ucla film archive all tomorrow's parties 7 PM @ la film fest @ ucla film archive godzilla king of the monsters 6 PM @ egyptian theatre godzilla 2000 8:30 PM, godzilla mothra & king ghidorah: giant monsters all-out attack @ egyptian theatre father brown detective @ starlight studios july 2 don't knock the rock festival @ redcat ultraman max 6:30 PM, mirror man, mirror man: reflex @ egyptian theatre WHAT IT IS: ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES (MINGRI TIANYA) (2003, China/France) Directed by Liu Lik-wai Sometime deep into our new century, a cult with a taste for totalitarian power and post-Buddhist mysticism has taken over large swathes of China. People are herded into remote, dusty and decayed gulags with names like "Camp Prosperity," as the threat of a SARS-like disease outbreak hovers in the air. This is where brothers Xiaomian and Xiaozhuai find themselves, and where tentative romances (Xiaomian with sickly Lanlan, Xiaozhuai with Korean-born Xuelan) struggle to burst forth like weeds through concrete. When the ruling Gui Dao cult collapses and the camp suddenly opens up its gates, the challenges posed by freedom rush in, triggering a climate of emotional uncertainty. With his first feature, LOVE WILL TEAR US APART (1999), and as the inventive and all-seeing cinematographer of the great Chinese filmmaker, Jia Zhangke, Hong Konger Yu Lik-wai has long displayed one of the most perceptive eyes for the actual world of the post-Mao generation. His second work is a major accomplishment, as Dystopian fiction, as a masterful display of contemporary plan-sequence, and as a cunning and slyly elliptical examination of the fears roiling the new China, from the old authoritarian days rearing its head and sickness running rampant, to the very meaning of what it is to be free and in love in a shifting society. Producer: Hengameh Panahi, Li Kit-ming. Screenwriter: Liu Lik-wai. Cinematographer: Lai Yu-fai. Editor: Chow Keung. Cast: Jo Yeong-weon, Diao Yinan, Zhao Weiwei, Na Ren. Presented in Mandarin and Korean dialogue with English subtitles. 96 min. ARTHUR LIPSETT REVIVAL: Archivist Johannes Auvinen will be present to screen legendary Canadian avant-gardist Arthur Lipsett's FREE FALL ('64,9m), 21-87 ('64, 10m), A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE ('65, 13m), FLUXES ('64, 24m) and VERY NICE, VERY NICE ('61, 7m), described by Stanley Kubrick as "one of the most imaginative and brilliant uses of the movie screen and soundtrack that I have ever seen." George Lucas called him "one of the best abstract filmmakers." Discussion will connect Lipsett's intense critiques of dehumaization in industrial society with the ideas of Erich Fromm, Marshall McLuhan, and the Situationists. Preshow 7pm: Hear newly released vinyl pressings of the Lipsett collage soundtracks. Lipsett is to film what Glen Gould is to music. BILL KROHN The Complete Films of Luis Bunuel (Taschen) The L.A. correspondent for Cahiers du Cinema since 1978 gives us a revealing look at one of the most interesting artists to come into film from the surrealist movement. Expect sex, religion, and politics! CLASSE TOUS RISQUES (from IMDB) To go back to THE BIG RISK, it was dismissed at the time as old-fashioned in light of the Nouvelle Vague, though the few stylistic touches it has are effective exactly because they are sparse and unexpected. After an explosive start, the film relaxes its grip for the first half in order to establish plot (somewhat unusual in its emphasis on the domestic problems of gangsters) and characterization (particularly in eliciting audience sympathy for the lone anti-hero). CORRUPTION, 1967, Sony Repertory, 91 min. Dir. Robert Hartford-Davis. You won't believe some of the things that sedate surgeon Peter Cushing gets up to in this deliciously trashy, Mod reworking of Franju's EYES WITHOUT A FACE. When his young model fiancee (Sue Lloyd) has her face disfigured by a falling arc lamp, Cushing becomes convinced that the pituitary gland from another woman will put her right. But he's chagrined when the healing effect wears off. Soon Cushing descends into a hellish rampage of murder - usually by decapitation - to obtain glands! When the couple decide to lower their profile, they make a getaway to a seacoast cottage. However, a gang of violent hippie beatniks (is there such a thing?) invade their haven, more deaths occur and Cushing's laboratory laser goes out of control. Great pulp mayhem. NOT ON DVD. CRASH (1977) (from IMDB) Jealous invalid husband tries to kill sexy blond wife, who uses occult powers and devices to try to kill him. CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (from IMDB) A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discover a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancÃ©e of one of the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love. DOLLS (from IMDB) A group of people stop by a mansion during a storm and discover two magical toy makers, and their haunted collection of dolls. EL DOCTOR, the new animated film by Suzan Pitt. Suzan Pitt in person! This visual animated poem travels between desperation and dark comedy. EL DOCTOR takes place in a crumbling Mexican hospital at the turn of the century in Mexico. Inhabited by surreal characters including a man shot with one hundred holes, a girl who has sprouted morning glories, and a woman who thinks she is a horse, the doctor in charge prefers to drink. The Saint of Holes and a mysterious gargoyle rearrange the Doctor's fated demise and send him on a journey of altered perspective. This 23 minute dark and visually stunning animated film written by Blue Kraning (FEAR ITSELF) celebrates the nature of perception and the miraculous. Taking over five years to complete, the film is entirely hand painted by a small group of artists in Los Angeles and Mexico. EL DOCTOR is directed and designed by internationally acclaimed independent animator Suzan Pitt (ASPARAGUS and JOY STREET). Including animation by Maria Vasilkovsky and Gerard Goulet (TRIPLETS of BELLVILLE), and sound design by David Slusser (PIXAR studios), EL DOCTOR is a rare mind altering animated painting. The film features historic Mexican music recordings from the Arhoolie collection. ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (from IMDB) Florence Carala and her lover Julien Tavernier, an ex - paratrooper want to murder her husband by faking a suicide. But after Julien has killed him and he puts his things in his car, he finds he has forgotten the rope outside the window and he returns to the building to remove it... GAMERA THE BRAVE, 2006, Kadokawa, 97 min. Thirty years after Gamera disappeared during a battle with the flying monsters called Gyaos, a young boy named Toru Aizawa discovers a turtle egg while playing on a beach. The egg hatches in his hand, and Toru keeps the tiny newborn as a pet. The little turtle grows quickly and soon displays some very odd behavior like flying and breathing fire. Toru soon realizes he has found a baby Gamera. When the sea monster Zedus comes ashore and attacks the town of Isheshima, the new Gamera comes to the rescue of Toru and his friends. But the little monster is no match for his larger and much stronger opponent. Will this new Gamera be able to recover and find a way to beat the villainous Zedus? A new creative team led by director Ryuta Tazaki (KAMEN RIDER AGITO, SHIBUYA 15) and special effects director Isao Kaneko (GODZILLA VS. BIOLANTE, TETSUJIN 28) launches a fresh cycle of films unconnected to the 1990's Gamera trilogy. GAMERA THE BRAVE mixes the traditional "friend of all children" Gamera from the classic films of the 1960's with modern special FX techniques. The film opened in Japan on April 29, and makes its US debut at this festival. In Japanese with English Subtitles. Please Note: Due to current unavailability of a 35mm print, GAMERA THE BRAVE will be screened off of a Digi-Beta source. GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, 1956, Rialto, 80 min. Dir. Ishiro Honda and Terry Morse. In 1954 Toho released the blockbuster hit GODZILLA, the first of 28 movies starring the giant monster. Late the following year, US rights to the film were acquired by a group of independent distributors who combined to form Trans World Releasing Corp. In order to increase the appeal of a Japanese production, barely a decade after World War II, Trans World decided to recut GODZILLA to give it an American perspective. Director Terry Morse was hired to supervise the process and helm new scenes with actor Raymond Burr (REAR WINDOW, "Perry Mason") as an American reporter who witnesses Godzilla's rampage during a layover in Japan. This new version, entitled GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, was a huge success upon its release in 1956, and launched Godzilla as an international icon. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Godzilla's American debut, and in anticipation of the upcoming DVD release of both the US and Japanese versions of this film, the American Cinematheque and Classic Media present a rare theatrical screening of GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS. English Dubbed Version. Discussion following film with Terry Morse Jr., editor of GKOTM and son of Terry Morse, who directed the American footage with Raymond Burr. Sponsored by Classic Media's Godzilla DVD collection. GODZILLA, MOTHRA & KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK, 2001, Sony Repertory, 105 min. Acclaimed by fans as one of the most exciting Godzilla films since the heyday of the 1960's, "GMK" features a terrific, redesigned Big G (hint: he's leaner, meaner and packs a nasty bite), bent on destroying Japan as vengeance for the restless souls of WWII victims. Standing in his way are the "Guardian Deities" - i.e. Mothra, King Ghidorah and Baragon. Director Shusuke Kaneko helmed the astounding trio of GAMERA films for Daiei in the mid-1990's - here, he's practically reinvented the Godzilla series for the 21st century. In Japanese with English subtitles. Discussion in between films with GODZILLA 2000 American producer Michael Schlesinger and the cast and crew responsible for the American version. GODZILLA 2000, 1999, Sony Repertory, 99 min. Dir. Takao Okawara. Following TriStar Pictures' poorly received American GODZILLA, Toho brought back the original Japanese Godzilla for his first film in four years. A government team salvages a spaceship that had crashed into the ocean millions of years ago. Unfortunately the craft still houses the consciousness of the long-dead alien crew, who begin looking for the material needed to recreate new bodies. They soon discover that Godzilla's unique genetic structure would allow them to conquer the world. But the King of the Monsters has other ideas and takes on the spaceship and the alien beast Orga for a duel to the death in the heart of Tokyo. GODZILLA 2000 launched the third wave of Godzilla films that recently ended with GODZILLA: FINAL WARS. It was quickly picked up by Sony Pictures and became the first Toho-produced Godzilla movie to receive a wide stateside release in 15 years. English Dubbed Version. THE GREAT YOKAI WAR, 2005, Media Blasters & Kadokawa, 124 min. Dir. Takashi Miike. While attending a festival at an ancient shrine, a timid young boy named Tadashi is chosen to be the next Kirin Rider, a warrior of peace who must defend the world in times of darkness. To prove his worth, Tadashi tries to claim the legendary Goblin Sword from the yokaiâ¦ strange mystical beings that come in a variety of bizarre formsâ some hideous, some cuteâ all who have incredible supernatural powers. As Tadashi sets out on his quest, the evil Lord Yasunori Kato and his henchwoman Agi the Bird-Stabbing Witch (Chiaki Kuriyma of BATTLE ROYALE and KILL BILL) have been capturing yokai and merging them with discarded items to make an army of mechanical monsters called Kikai. Tadashi must unite the good yokai to oppose Lord Kato, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Acclaimed director Takashi Miike's big budget update of the classic Daiei films is great entertainment; a wonderful blend of adventure, horror, and comedy featuring hundreds of bizarre creatures. Co-starring Bunta Sugawara. In Japanese with English Subtitles. Los Angeles Premiere! HORROR EXPRESS, 1973, 90 min. Spanish Eugenio Martin (CANDLE FOR THE DEVIL) directs an international cast at a breakneck pace in this splendid, turn-of-the-20th-century thriller. Trans-Siberian Express passenger, Professor Saxton (Christopher Lee) is transporting what he believes to be the remains of the missing link, much to the disappointment of his rival, Professor Wells (Peter Cushing). What the two feuding scholars don't realize is that the huge corpse is really a revived alien creature from outer space. Before long, the monster is boiling the brains of its victims with its red-eyed stare, absorbing their intellects and throwing the train into a panic. A countess, a beautiful spy, a Rasputin-like monk and a cruel Cossack (Telly Savalas, in fine form) are just a few of the characters making life difficult for our stalwart English heroes as they try to thwart the devilish fiend. (Print is slightly faded.) IF... 1968, Paramount, 111 min. Dir. Lindsay Anderson. More than any other film of the era, IF... perfectly represents the international spirit of youthful rebellion in the late sixties, metamorphosing the angry young working men from earlier films like LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER and Anderson's own THIS SPORTING LIFE into revolutionary iconoclasts, establishing a balance between broader, pop culture movies like WILD IN THE STREETS and Jean-Luc Godard's apocalyptic WEEKEND. Boarding school student, Travis (Malcolm McDowell) is one of the great screen outsiders, a poetic, rebel individualist and sensitive wild man. Director Anderson imbues him with an emotional honesty and intellectual depth rarely seen in films about youth. NOT ON DVD! I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT'S 'IS NAME, 1967, Universal, 99 min. Dir. Michael Winner. One of the great lost films of the sixties. Commercials director Oliver Reed just can't stomach his job's hypocrisy any longer - he appropriately smashes his desk to bits with an axe in the opening moments! so he tries to break away from Machiavellian boss Orson Welles and rediscover his true roots working for a "small literary journal." Unfortunately for him, it's the middle of Swinging 60's London, and he's pursued/distracted by girlfriends, mistresses and soon-to-be ex-wives, while struggling to figure out just what he wants from life. Lured back to mercenary marketing by Welles, Reed delivers an ultimate finger-in-the-eye to crass advertizing with a subversive anti-commercial satirizing the industry's bad-faith venality. Co-starring Wendy Craig, Marianne Faithfull and Carol White. IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (from IMDB) John Putnam and Ellen watch a great fireball going down near a mine. Both are the only ones, who believe the "thing" not to be a meteor but an alien starship. In the following days, people disappear and return, obviously being manipulated in a strange way. After a while, the sheriff becomes distrustful. He and his men enter the mine. But Putnam hopes to reach a peaceful solution and enters the starship ... LA NOIR: THE CITY AS CHARACTER Alain Silver and James Ursini have written extensively on film noir, including the Film Noir Reader series, Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style, and The Noir Style. Today the authors will present a show-and-tell of Hollywood's noir imagining of Los Angeles, its geography and architecture, derived from their most recent book, L.A. Noir: The City As Character. Interspersing clips from influential films noir with photographs of key Los Angeles locations past and present, Silver and Ursini's presentation promises to be an insightful and entertaining portrait of a city as revealed through its most darkly alluring images. This one-of-a-kind lecture will be illustrated with DVD excerpts of canonical noir from the 1940s and '50s, such as DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) and T-MEN (1947), all the way to THE LONG GOODBYE (1973) and other neo-noirs of the '70s through '90s. An audience Q&A with Silver and Ursini will commence after the lecture, followed by a book signing of L.A. Noir: The City As Character in the theater lobby. Patrons will receive a flyer and podcast (downloadable from the Festival's website) for a self-guided tour of noirish Los Angeles. Approx 90 min. plus book signing. In Person: Alain Silver and James Ursini MIRROR MAN, 1971, Tsubaraya Prod., 25 min. Episode 1: "Mirror Man is Born" In the 1980's, the Earth comes under attack by the mysterious forces of the Invaders, nefarious beings from an unknown world bent on conquest and destruction. Professor Mitarai forms the Science Guard Members (SGM), a high-tech fighting force whose task it is to protect our world. Meanwhile, newspaper photographer Kyotaro Kagami discovers that he is actually a member of a race of super powered beings from the Second Dimension. When the Invaders send a gigantic beast to devastate the city, Kyotaro uses his newfound power and transforms into Mirror Man, a towering superhero. But is even Mirror Man strong enough to defeat this terrible foe? MIRROR MAN: REFLEX, 2006, Tsuburaya Prod., 90 min. Dir. Kazuya Konaka. Brothers Chiaki (ARMITAGE III) and Kazuya Konaka (ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT) update the 1971 superhero show for the new millennium. The story revolves around a troubled young man, a strange girl who possesses incredible powers, a beautiful scientist with an unforgettable trauma in her past, giant city-smashing monsters, and a mysterious being from a parallel universe that exists beyond the looking glass. Featuring stunning special effects, moody velvet-dark photography, and the classic MIRROR MAN monsters Aian, Darklon, and Golden Satan, MIRROR MAN: REFLEX will shred your expectations of Japanese science fiction. In Japanese with English Subtitles. Please note all materials tonight are from a digital video source. U.S. Premiere! THE MISSION (FERESTADEH) (1983, United States) Directed by Parviz Sayyad A political thriller shot entirely in and around New York City, THE MISSION was the first feature directed by Parviz Sayyad following his exile from post-Revolution Iran. The film stars Houshang Touzie as an Islamic revolutionary who undergoes a crisis of conscience when he is sent to assassinate an erstwhile colonel in the Shah's secret police. Sayyad himself plays the former SAVAK official, while the director's longtime collaborator Mary Apick appears as a beautiful Ã©migrÃ© student harshly critical of the Khomeini regime. At once gripping, thoughtful, and leavened by bits of comedy, THE MISSION combines narrative tension with a naturalistic depiction of quotidian life among Iranian exiles displaced to early-'80s America. Duly feted at international festivals and hailed by western critics, the film was widely considered an important work: "a masterpiece," raved the LA Weekly, by no less than "Iran's answer to Orson Welles and Woody Allen," while David Denby of New York Magazine called Sayyad's film "the first Gandhian thriller." Producer: Parviz Sayyad. Screenwriter: Parviz Sayyad. Cinematographer: Reza Aria. Editor: Parviz Sayyad. Cast: Houshang Touzie, Kamran Nozad, Parviz Sayyad, Mary Apick. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 107 min. In person: Parviz Sayyad NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS, 2005, Central Park Media, 26 min. The world's first 100% computer generated kaiju film is a loving homage to the classic Japanese monster movies of the 1950's and 60's. In the year 2025, extreme overpopulation has led to the "Mars Terraforming Project", a plan to make the red planet a habitable world. The MTP's efforts awaken the space monster Negadon, who crashes in Tokyo and destroys all in its path. Earth's only hope is Miroku, a prototype robot piloted by its inventor. The award-winning NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS marks the directorial debut of graphics & special effects wizard, Jun Awazu, whose previous credits include KAMEN RIDER 555 and the Godzilla film GMK. In Japanese with English Subtitles. Los Angeles Premiere! PITFALL (1948, United States) Directed by AndrÃ© de Toth Postwar male malaise suffuses this pungent crime melodrama from Ã©migrÃ© genre specialist AndrÃ© de Toth. Dick Powell stars as the dissatisfied family man sucked into an underworld quagmire after a fling with conflicted femme fatale (and Wilshire Boulevard May Co. model) Lizabeth Scott spirals out of control. Bulky newcomer Raymond Burr got his breakout part playing the sleazy private eye stalking Scott, while a pre-FATHER KNOWS BEST Jane Wyatt more than holds her own as Powell's sensible, betrayed wife. At a time when filmmakers typically trekked to New York to capture urban grit, de Toth insisted the independent production be shot in Los Angeles. "It was a must to make this on location," he later explained. "It was a sine qua non for me to make it real." Boasting exteriors that span the area's metropolitan sprawl, from the Santa Monica docks to the suburbanized Hollywood Hills and office towers downtown, PITFALL is an exemplary LA noir, a hard-boiled tribute to what de Toth called "grey, drab Los Angeles, where the cogwheels of life grind people into yesterday's dust." A box-office hit widely admired by critics, the film was also hailed outright for de Toth's decision to shoot locally, with the Los Angeles Times heralding its release under the headline: "De Toth Makes News, Shoots Film in L.A.!" Producer: Samuel Bischoff. Screenwriter: Karl Kamb. Cinematographer: Harry Wild. Editor: Walter Thompson. Cast: Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt, Raymond Burr. 35mm, 85 min. Restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive THE SKULL, 1965, Paramount, 90 min. Director Freddie Francis pours on the atmosphere in this fine adaptation of the Robert Bloch short story, what amounts to the most blood-freezing of Hammer studio's rival, Amicus' many horror efforts. Peter Cushing, a collector of black magic antiquities, covets the skull of the Marquis De Sade, despite its lurid, some say cursed, history. Once it's in his ill-gotten possession, all manner of things start to go terribly wrong, including vividly surreal nightmares and people dying in horrible ways. The great cast includes Christopher Lee as a rival collector, Patrick Wymark as a sleazy dealer, Jill Bennett as Cushing's spouse, with a cameo by Nigel Green as a police inspector. NOT ON DVD. STRANGERS WITH CANDY, 2005, ThinkFilms, 97 min. Dir. Paul Dinello. A daring leapâ¦ backwards! A prequel to the critically acclaimed Comedy Central series of the same name, it is the story of Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris), a 46 year old, one-time "loser, boozer and user" who returns to high school to start her life over and right her 32 years of debaucherous wrongs - only to find that the cool kids, teen adolescence and the State Science Fair prove to be the more dangerous terrain than her former life. Also starring Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello. TORTURE GARDEN, 1967, Sony Repertory, 93 min. Director Freddie Francis follows up Amicus studio's initial omnibus horror film, DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS, with this expertly-handled compendium of four fright tales, all strung together by the spiel of sideshow fortune teller, Dr. Diablo (Burgess Meredith). Five carnival customers (Michael Bryant, Beverly Adams, Barbara Ewing, Michael Ripper and Jack Palance) are offered a look into their possible futures, with ghastly results. Especially macabre is the final entry with Poe fanatic, Palance, paying a visit to the home of fellow collector and Poe-phile, Peter Cushing, something that results in a disagreeably unexpected revelation. New 35mm Print! TRIBUTE TO NAM JUNE PAIK This memorial tribute to the life and career of composer and video/performance artist Nam June Paik will feature a Fluxus-style evening of remembrances, re-presented music and video performances, projected video works, and rare video clips previously unseen in public. It is curated by Carole Ann Klonarides and includes: Zen for Film, presented by curator Julie Lazar; Video Compilation, compiled and introduced by Lori Zippay, Electronic Arts Intermix; and Early Paik sound/music, performed by Los Angeles artist Steve Rodan. ULTRAMAN MAX, 2005, Tsuburaya Prod. Approx. 90 min.. Dir. Shusuke Kaneko and Takashi Miike. The Ultraman franchise returned to it roots with this hit series that brought back several classic monsters as well as original ULTRAMAN stars Susumu Kurobe (Hayata) and Hiroko Sakurai (Fuji). Some of Japan's top directors took a rare turn at television with ULTRAMAN MAX, including this trio of episodes from Takashi Miike (AUDITION, GREAT YOKAI WAR) and Shusuke Kaneko (the Gamera trilogy, GMK) (All three episodes in Japanese with English Subtitles.)