CineSavant Column

Tuesday October 13, 2020


The relentlessly alert Gary Teetzel has found another item of audio interest, this time for fans of Japanese film composer Akira Ifukube: In fewer than three seconds you’ll surely recognize the very familiar melody line of this title tune from a 1946 Shochiku picture, posted nine years ago by ‘nanamatsu100.’ A nine-year offset is pretty efficient for a CineSavant item — it’s likely that this title sequence is common knowledge among confirmed Kaiju folk.

Anyway, the YouTube link is to the original title theme from that timeless favorite ‘Shacho to Onna-Tennin,’ aka “The President and Shopgirl.” Is the music we’re hearing appropriate for an office romance?  In Harvey Weinstein’s office, maybe.


Next up, a link to a page that ought to provide good reading for fans of science fiction movies. Finnish journalist Janne Wass gives us ‘Scifist 2.0: A Sci-fi Movie History in Reviews. Herra Janne Wass’s reviews are even more detailed and sidebar-oriented than my own. I like his general outlook and sensitivity to the highlights and limitations of films that seem to interest only devotees like myself. Wass is particularly well wired to the histories and context of early European and particularly Soviet Sci-fi, and backs up his thoughtful reviews with biographical data and expressive images. He has full coverage of films I’ve never heard of, like the German Der Herr vom andern Stern (1948) which predates The Day the Earth Stood Still with a similar premise.

I often have my nose in my writing so deep that I don’t keep up with everything good that’s being done around me — but I learned something with each Wass review. In the territorial, egotistical, self-promoting world of Internet film genre journalism, how often do you read praise of the other guy’s efforts, especially when the other guy is writing nearly the exact same kind of criticism?  More power to Mr. Wass.


And it appears that the independently curated, restored and marketed Blu-ray The Puppetoon Movie Volume 2 is finally up for pre-order. Eighteen restored Hi Def Puppetoons adorn Volume 2, and their quality can be seen through a new trailer.

The popularity of George Pal’s Puppetoons has never faded — I was able to attend a tumultuous reception for Mr. Pal at one of the Filmex festivals held in Century City. A day later I discovered him alone in an exhibit of miniatures from his films, and found it very easy to talk to the gentleman. “Nice” was the operative word for the man — it’s hard to believe that he did so well in Hollywood, he was so gentle.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson