Movies: The Ultimate Insider's Guide

I was quite surprised to receive my copy of Movies: The Ultimate Insider's Guide in the mail the other day. This is a cute book of short film reviews by an amazing variety of people covering movies from around the world. I contributed a piece on Kumashiro Tatsumi's World of Geisha (Yojohan fusuma no urabari, 1973).  It was put out by the City Secrets people, who do travel guides, and is probably the only time I'll ever be a "fellow author" with the likes of Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Anjelica Huston, Barbara Kopple, Sydney Lumet, and Martin Scorsese. Japanese film is well represented numerically, even though the choice of films is eclectic (Ozu Yasujiro's Tokyo Story, Hamano Sachi's Lily Festival, Itami Juzo's Tampopo, Kaneko Shusuke's Gamera 3, Kitano Takeshi's Fireworks, Kobayashi Masaki's Kwaidan, Kurosawa Akira's Stray Dog, Miyazaki Hayao's Nausicaa, Oshima Nagisa's In the Realm of the Senses, and Ichikawa Kon's An Actor's Revenge). People wrote on what they wanted to write on, so it is like a Lonely Planet for the movies.

I was surprised to see it because I wrote my piece about four or five years ago and had long since assumed the project was not going to get published. In the meantime, I also wrote on World of Geisha for Chris Fujiwara's Defining Moments in Movies. Since the first piece was longer, it's nice to see it come out.

I also noticed that one of my co-authors is Milos Forman. Milos was actually the head of the Film Division at Columbia when I was doing an MFA there in the eighties. A sign of how hands-on he was as chair is that I did not meet him once during my two years in the School of the Arts. So in this book again, I am close, yet so far from Milos Forman.

Purchase it at Amazon.

Everything © Aaron Gerow. Send comments and suggestions to