By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

“It might be worth pointing out (not out of ethnic pride, but because it might shed some light on the rawness and the specific themes of the early comics) that the pioneers behind this embryonic medium based in New York were predominantly Jewish and from ethnic minority backgrounds. It wasn’t just Siegel and Shuster, but a whole generation of recent immigrants and their children – those most vulnerable to the ravages of the great depression – who were especially attuned to the rise of virulent antisemitism in Germany. They created the American Übermenschen who fought for a nation that would at least nominally welcome “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free … ” To namecheck just a few of these secular Jews who had adopted Clark Kent-like secret identities: Gaines was born Max Ginzberg; Goodman’s parents immigrated from Vilnius, Lithuania; Jack Kirby (né Jacob Kurtzberg), the powerhouse who co-created Captain America with his landsman Joe Simon, was born in the slums of New York’s Lower East Side; and Stan Lee, who became the face of Marvel Comics, was Goodman’s wife’s cousin, nepotistically hired as a 17‑year-old office boy named Stanley Lieber. Though not welcome in the higher precincts of advertising and publishing, they were all able to find their niche at the bottom of the barrel.”

“It might be worth pointing out (not out of ethnic pride, but because it might shed some light on the rawness and the specific themes of the early comics) that the pioneers behind this embryonic medium based in New York were predominantly Jewish and from ethnic minority backgrounds. It wasn’t just Siegel and Shuster, but a whole generation of recent immigrants and their children – those most vulnerable to the ravages of the great depression – who were especially attuned to the rise of virulent antisemitism in Germany. They created the American Übermenschen who fought for a nation that would at least nominally welcome “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free … ” To namecheck just a few of these secular Jews who had adopted Clark Kent-like secret identities: Gaines was born Max Ginzberg; Goodman’s parents immigrated from Vilnius, Lithuania; Jack Kirby (né Jacob Kurtzberg), the powerhouse who co-created Captain America with his landsman Joe Simon, was born in the slums of New York’s Lower East Side; and Stan Lee, who became the face of Marvel Comics, was Goodman’s wife’s cousin, nepotistically hired as a 17‑year-old office boy named Stanley Lieber. Though not welcome in the higher precincts of advertising and publishing, they were all able to find their niche at the bottom of the barrel.”

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima