Burning in a lake of fire

Big in Japan and inhabiting a “cult” niche in much of the rest of the world, 1960’s Jigoku is also known as Hell or The Sinners of Hell and does pretty much as advertised. It’s a portrait of Hell, its sinners, and what happens to wrongdoers down below after bad lives lived up top. Director and co-writer Nobuo Nakagawa does it as a tale told in two halves. In part one he tells the story of Shirô (Shigeru Amachi), a decent sort of guy, a student who, led astray by his friend Tamura (Yôichi Numata), one night knocks down and kills an innocent bystander, Kyôichi, a death that sets off a long chain … Read more


Hannah Herzsprung, Hell

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 16 February Kyoto Protocol comes into force, 2005 On this day in 2005, the Kyoto Protocol came into force. A United Nations treaty, its intention is to get industrialised countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, so as to stabilise the climate before it collapses. The theory runs that 150 years of heavy industrial activity has increased the amount of dangerous gases in the atmosphere and that only by restricting current and future emissions can humanity hope to arrest the trend in global mean temperature rise. The gases in question are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and sulphur hexafluoride, plus … Read more