John Boorman – Hell in the Pacific (1968)


A shot-down American pilot finds his way to a small, unpopulated island where he hopes to find provisions. He soon discovers that he is not alone; there is a Japanese officer marooned on the island also. Will they continue to fight each other to the death, or will they reach a modus vivendi?

Lone Japanese soldier Toshiro Mifune diligently scans the ocean from his island lookout as he must have thousands of times before, but this time he spies an abandoned life raft resting on a rocky bluff. Within minutes he’s face to face with American sea-wreck survivor Lee Marvin and the two begin an elaborate game of cat and mouse. Director John Boorman presents this two-man war as a deadly game between a pair of overgrown children, who finally tire of it (as kids will) and settle into tolerated co-existence and then even something resembling a friendship. With impressionistic strokes, Boorman paints a lush tropical paradise in colors you can drink from the screen, capturing the texture of their experience as refracted through the cinema: the look of the island as seen through the haze of smoke, the sound of a sudden rainstorm as it hushes the island in a calming roar, the timelessness of life outside of civilization. Continue reading

John Boorman and Walter Donohue – Projections No1 (1991)

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Edited by John Boorman and Walter Donohue
Projections is a forum for practitioners of the cinema to write about their work. The first issue includes a journal compiled by John Boorman which records his responses to the events and trends of 1991, and their implications for the future of cinema. Like his Emerald Forest diary, Money into Light, it is a fascinating mix of anecdote, personal reflections, thoughts on the nature of cinema, and comments on the practical business of making films. Continue reading

John Boorman – Projections No.9 (1999)

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Foreword by John Boorman, vi
Introduction by Michel Ciment, vii

1 Robert Bresson: L’Argent, I
2 Eric Rohmer: Conte d’ete, 13
3 Claude Chabrol: La Ceremonie, 18
4 Alain Resnais: On connait la chanson, 26
5 Louis Malle: Au revoir les enfants, 33
6 Alain Cavalier: Therese, 51
7 Claude Sautet: Un Coeur en hiver, 64
8 Maurice Pialat: Van Gogh, 70
9 Bertrand Tavernier: Un Dimanche ala campagne, 83
10 Claude Miller: Garde a vue, 93
11 Patrice Leconte: Ridicule, 103
12 Marcel Ophuls: Hotel Terminus, 111
13 Otar Iosseliani: Les Favoris de la lune, 123
14 Olivier Assayas, 132
15 Catherine Breillat: 36 fillette, 138
16 Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Delicatessen, 144
17 Robert Guediguian: Marius et Jeannette, 152
18 Arnaud Desplechin: La Sentinelle, 160
19 Manuel Poirer: Western, 167
20 Jacques Audiard: Un Heros tres discret, 175
21 Mathieu Kassowitz: La Haine, 183 Continue reading