Issue four

Why has Japanese director Yasuzo Masumura been so completely and utterly ignored in the West? Although credited with sparking off the Japanese New Wave in the 1960s, and recognised as a major influence on directors such as Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura, over here Masumura has remained little more than an obscure curio. The stunning audacity and hysterical beauty of his work certainly deserves a closer look and the release of some of his major films on DVD – for the first time in the UK – provides us with the perfect opportunity. Last month we reviewed Manji, this month we have Red Angel and Blind Beast.

Cinema releases include Norwegian black comedy The Bothersome Man, Nanni Moretti’s Berlusconi satire The Caiman and Ray Lawrence’s follow-up to Lantana, Jindabyne. Our rock’n’roll film of the month is Julien Temple’s documentary on the Clash singer, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten. Also out is the sharply intelligent Spanish thriller The Night of the Sunflowers – read our interview with the director Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo. And don’t miss sixties revolutionary classic The Battle of Algiers, which is re-released nationwide. Read our interview with Saadi Yacef, who starred in the film and on whose memoirs the script was based.

In London the Barbican’s Roman Polanski season kicks off with his masterful debut Knife in the Water. Also at the Barbican is the rare legendary silent Häxan (Witchcraft Through the Ages), screening with a hammered dulcimer score performed by Geoff Smith. And we review Surrealist silent The Seashell and the Clergyman, which screened at the Union Chapel last month with a soundtrack performed by Minima.

In the DVD section we have Nic Roeg’s perverse erotic thriller Bad Timing and Roger Corman’s Poe adaptation The Masque of the Red Death

Picking their top films in our Jukebox is Airport Girl, a downbeat country-pop combo hailing from the Midlands. Take a look at their selection here!

Every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! We’re pleased to announce that our April winner is Abigail Brown. Well done Abigail, you’ve won our big Masumura prize, which includes DVDs of Blind Beast, Red Angel and Manji, courtesy of Yume Pictures. This month we have a DVD of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s legendary surreal Western El Topo, courtesy of Tartan Video. So get spinning!

The Electric Sheep Magazine team