Thursday, September 23, 2004

WCBE 90.5 FM (NPR): "The Forgotten," "The Blind Swordsman: Zatôichi,” "The Story of the Weeping Camel," "Dirty Shame"

"IT'S MOVIE TIME" with John DeSando & Clay Lowe
Producer: Richelle Antczak
“The Forgotten,” “The Blind Swordsman: Zatôichi,”
“The Story of the Weeping Camel,” “Dirty Shame”
Taped: 4:00 pm, September 22, 2004
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, September 24, 2004
Streaming live on the web at


“The Forgotten” is an action thriller served with a sci-fi twist . . .

“The Blind Swordsman: Zatôichi” is a must see . . .

“The Story of the Weeping Camel” has charmed audiences even in Cleveland . . .

"Dirty Shame” is a dirty shame of a film . . .


Richelle Antczak
It's Movie Time in Mid-Ohio with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . . .


I'm John DeSando

Clay (“The Forgotten”)
And I'm Clay Lowe.

John, the best thing about “The Forgotten” is the anguished performance of Julianne Moore, who plays a mother who can’t convince anyone, including her husband, that she once had a son. Soothed by the family psychiatrist (Gary Sinse), who threatens to commit her; and patronized by her husband (Anthony Edwards), who becomes a foil for her anger; she desperately searches for someone, anyone, who will believe in her story.

Because “The Forgotten” is so well crafted and so well-acted the movie’s secret premise is able to remain quite concealed, until somewhere in the middle of the film, when suddenly all hell breaks loose and we learn, once again, that nothing is ever the same as it seems.

Every bit as clever as “A.I.” with it’s little boy lost in the need of love, and every bit as paranoiac as “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “The Forgotten” will not challenge hard core sci-fi buffs, but it will provide a pleasant evening of escape for those who need to get out of the house and away from TV.

John ("The Blind Swordsman: Zatôichi")
Clay: The masseuse/samurai known as the blind assassin Zatoichi is played by master writer/director/actor Takeshi Kitano (“Kikujiro”) in “Zatoichi: The Blind Assassin.” He uses his blindness like a sword-fighting Tiresias, an implacable and unbeatable force so smart and swift that the robust young men he fights and kills, including other samurai, are like children by contrast.

In “Assassin” he helps 2 young geishas avenge their parents’ murders while showing any youngster the zen-like control and spirituality of a samurai.

This all may seem pretty heavy and dreary until you give in to its subtle humor. The tap dancing conclusion brings American-musical joie de vivre to lighten the preceding bloody business. The inclusion of all the actors in the chorus is a confirmation that Kitano understands the heroic and comedic elements of the samurai genre. His own acting brings an eccentric, attractive presence, a wise personage with a dry sense of humor and wisdom sneaking out of a wry smile.

Clay ("The Story of the Weeping Camel”)
John, the family in “The Story of the Weeping Camel” are real people in a film about nomads and their vanishing way of life. The film’s directors, set up their cameras on the windswept plains of the Gobi desert and began to record. The family cooked, ate, sang, told stories, and herded their sheep, goats, and camels. So, what kind of film is this?

Well, it’s a charming film that took as its inspiration Robert Flaherty’s “Nanook of the North.” Like Flaherty, the filmmakers staged scenes, and like Flaherty they imposed a storyline, but most of all. like Flaherty, they let the people be themselves.

That one of the mother camels wouldn’t suckle her newborn colt, and that a stringed musician had to be brought in to try and soothe her into submission, is the stuff that filmmaker’s dreams are made of. Audiences love it too.

John (“Dirty Shame”)
Clay: For me, Catholic boy who has spent his life suppressing his sexual curiosity with the early help of the Sisters of St. Joseph, John Waters's (He of Serial Mom, Pink Flamingos, and Hairspray fame) new Film, “Dirty Shame” is a deep -throated disappointment: I had hoped my role as a film critic would allow me to watch in good conscience an abundance of T and A and sex acts to rival yours and my adventure in Amsterdam.

Alas, all I witnessed was a sad satire of sex fanatics likened to religious cultists, with Tracy Ullman the chief recruit after a blow to the head that turned her from a “Neuter” into an activist seeking sex from any man who could get up the courage.

“Stupid” is a word that comes to mind; “Over the Top” works as well.

Still Waters do not run deep with this embarrassment. It’s back to that bar in Amsterdam for us. And maybe a bite of that Space Cake.


John, enough of your spacey space cake, it’s grading time.




“The Forgotten” gets a “B” because lost little boys need their mamas . . .

"The Blind Swordsman" earns an "A" because ANTAGONISTS always underestimate the power of disability . . .

"The Story of the Weeping Camel” gets a “B” BECAUSE even BIG BAD camel mamas have to sometimes have to give in . . .


"Dirty Shame" is an "F" because FLATULENCE had a better chance with Waters than sex. . .

Clay, I just awarded an "F" to an NC-17 film. Do you think the nuns will forgive me now for holding that girl's hand in 6th grade?

They would have, if you hadn’t been her brother . . .

I’m outta here.

See you at the movies, folks!


The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is produced by Richelle Antczak in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus 106.7 FM in Newark, WYSO, etc.


Copyright 2004 by John DeSando & Clay Lowe