Adam Egypt Mortimer Selects

Adam Egypt Mortimer Selects

Adam Egypt Mortimer - director of Some Kind of Hate, Daniel Isn't Real and Archenemy

"The first time I saw Seijun Suzuki’s mod yakuza mind-blower Branded To Kill, it was a bootleg VHS tape. No subtitles. But even without language, it ripped my head off: the imagery, the music, the unhinged approach to visual storytelling within a relentless string of precise shots. It became and remains one of my favorite movies — as did the idea to watch movies divorced from the distraction of language. I started to experiment. Syncing Dario Argento’s Inferno to operas by Giuseppe Verdi (with respect to Keith Emerson’s awesome original score) radically improved the film. When the campy dialogue is replaced by music, the film’s over-the-top performances reveal themselves as expressionistic achievements on the level of Dr. Caligari or Nosferatu. 

It’s in this spirit that I present an arrangement of incredible Arrow face-melters that work on the highest levels of aesthetics. Films that use relentless camera movement, bodies flying through space, wild color, impeccable compositions, psychedelic explosions, sensational violence, stillness that vibrates with tension — all in service of blowing minds and giving you that electrical fizzy feeling of a crazed cinematic experience.  I’ve thought of these as triple or even quadruple features, so you can watch, for example, Max Ophul’s masterpiece of non-stop ornate craning and tracking Le Plaisir against King Hu’s revolutionary wuxia masterpiece Come Drink With Me, a movie whose action is wrapped up in the most luxurious of shot and set design.  These selections fall into a few categories: DEMENTED SPIRITUAL QUESTS, VISIONARY CRIME, KINETIC MASTERMINDS, PORTRAITS OF THE ARTIST AS AN UNHINGED LUNATIC, and FUCKED UP MONSTERS. If you’re interested in more in-depth discussion of these movies and their juxtapositions, I’ll be doing deep dives on my twitter, @adamegypt."

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Adam Egypt Mortimer Selects
  • The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter

    1984 • Hong Kong • Directed by Chia-Liang Liu

    After one of its lead actors (cherub-faced action icon Alexander Fu Sheng) unexpectedly died midway through production, master director Lau Kar-leung (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin) retooled his latest martial arts epic, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, as ...

  • The Boxer's Omen (Cantonese version)

    1983 • Hong Kong • Directed by Kuei Chih-Hung

    After suffering an injury in the ring, embattled boxer Zhen Wei enlists the aid of his brother, Zhen Xiong, to avenge him and find the key to an omen which may release their family from an ancient curse. Black wizards, Taoist monks, rampaging monster...

  • The Sacred Spirit

    2021 • Spain • Directed by Chema García Ibarra

    Julio is dead. It's terrible news for OVNI Levante, the association of ufology aficionados that he ran. The death hits one its members, José Manuel, particularly hard. Julio and he had a secret project to change human destiny. Now he must carry on a...

  • Dead or Alive

    Beginning with an explosive, six-minute montage of sex, drugs and violence, and ending with a phallus-headed battle robot taking flight, Takashi Miike's unforgettable Dead or Alive Trilogy features many of the director's most outrageous moments set alongside some of his most dramatically moving s...

  • Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards!

    1963 • Japan • Directed by Seijun Suzuki

    Starring original Diamond Guy, Jo Shishido, Seijun Suzuki's Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! is a hard hitting, rapid-fire yakuza film that redefined the Japanese crime drama. Detective Tajima (Shishido) is tasked with tracking down a consignmen...

  • The Red Queen Kills Seven Times

    An age-old family curse hits sisters Kitty and Franziska following the death of their grandfather Tobias. Every hundred years, so the legend goes, the bloodthirsty Red Queen returns and claims seven fresh victims. Was Tobias just the first... and are Kitty and Franziska next?

  • Tokyo Fist

    Once again Shinya Tsukamoto steps out from behind the camera and stars as Tsuda, the archetypal Japanese salary man, a cog in the machine seemingly cut off from his own being by hours and hours of work. He's married to polite and compliant Hizuru (Kahori Fujii), the dictionary definition of an id...

  • Le Plaisir

    Le Plaisir takes three of de Maupassant's stories as its source: in Le Masque, a masked dandy conceals a secret; in La Maison Tellier, the girls of a small-town brothel are taken on an outing to attend the communion of the madam's niece; and in La Modèle, a painter falls in love with his model, b...

  • Come Drink With Me

    1966 • Hong Kong • Directed by King Hu

    Years before Shaw Brothers’ kung fu films made them the biggest film studio in Hong Kong, local audiences flocked to their wuxia pian films: mythic tales of swordfighting (and often gravity-defying) heroes fighting for honor. In his final film for the studi...

  • Inferno

    1980 • Italy • Directed by Dario Argento

    After the box office smash Suspiria comes this second mind scrambling instalment of the Three Mothers trilogy, a psychedelic trip into gut wrenching horror. Join master of terror Dario Argento as he takes you inside a world of surreal fear and bloody viol...

  • Bad Black

    Welcome to Wakaliwood, Uganda: home of “DA BEST OF DA BEST MOVIES!” and the vanguards of DIY commando cinema. Under the guidance of writer/producer/director Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey (IGG) and with producer/star Alan Ssali Hofmanis, this crack crew of self-taught filmmakers and martial arts ...

  • Sister Street Fighter

    After the massive success of 'The Street Fighter', Toei decided to build a new karate series around a female lead and cast a young actress who had appeared in a cameo role alongside her mentor Sonny Chiba. Still a teenager at the time, Etsuko Shihomi exploded onscreen in her first leading role an...

  • The Great Yokai War

    2005 • Japan • Directed by Takashi Miike

    Decades later, none other than Takashi Miike (Audition) helmed The Great Yokai War, a loose remake of Spook Warfare that used cutting-edge digital effects to renew the franchise for a new generation. In it, a young boy is given a grave responsibility: to ...

  • Gwilliam

    2016 ・ United States ・ Directed by Brian Lonano

    A recently released criminal is looking for a good time. He can forget his sins but he can never forget... Gwilliam.