By Calum Marsh
By Michelle Orange
By Michael Atkinson
By Simon Abrams
By Zachary Wigon
By Aaron Hillis
By Casey Burchby
By Stephanie Zacharek
The Pinky Violence Collection
For the exploitation film fans and/or Asian-girl fetishists on your holiday shopping list: a four-disc box of sukeban ("bad girl boss") films from Japan's Toei studio. According to the accompanying 24-page booklet by Chris D. (author of Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film), "pinky violence" is "a Japanese pop slang term for ultra-violent movies featuring female protagonists and varying degrees of softcore sexuality." Check, check, and check! Dating from 1971 through 1973, these underseen (and undertheorized) films feature stars of the genre like Reiko Ike, Reiko Oshida, and Miki Sugimoto as reform-school girls, bikers, go-go dancers, etc., and must have been a major influence on Kill Bill. The more-or-less self-explanatory titles found here are: Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess, Girl Boss Guerilla, Criminal Woman: Killing Melody, and highlighting the set, the anarchic Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom, which operates on the assumption that few anti-fascist allegories wouldn't be improved by the insertion of a gratuitous shower scene or a severely undermotivated lesbian tryst. Extras include commentary tracks for each film and an audio CD featuring singing by Reiko Ike, and the whole collection comes in eye-catching hot-pink packaging.
Shoot the Piano Player
Arguably Truffaut's best film, this tragicomic gangster flick gets a two-disc release from Criterion. Among the supplements: new interviews with actors Charles Aznavour and Marie Dubois and legendary cinematographer Raoul Coutard, documentary excerpts featuring Truffaut, and an essay from critic Kent Jones.
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