Heath Lowrance has written in multiple genres: westerns, noir, crime fiction, horror. Some of his work will be republished in 2021.
What was your first One Inch Tall movie?
I don’t really remember, but it was probably one of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai movies, Seven Samurai I think, which I’m sure I enjoyed although I didn’t think to pursue more films like it until many years later, working in a video store.
What was the last One Inch Tall movie you watched?
Tokyo Drifter, by Seijun Suzuki. It was fun, but so visually rich that I kept getting distracted by the beautiful color palette and forgetting to read the subtitles.
Shooting from the hip, name a favorite One Inch Tall movie?
Probably something from Fellini, maybe 8 1/2 or La Dolce Vita.
Speed round, let’s hit some genres:
Favorite One Inch Tall crime flick?
This is kind of a toss-up between three: I really like Pepe le Moko because I’m a big fan of Jean Gabin and he’s super charming in that one. Rififi is up there too, because it’s just a great story and Jules Dassin’s direction is flawless. And Kurosawa’s High and Low has some brilliant acting and a really suspenseful story.
Favorite One Inch Tall horror flick?
Oh man, that’s my favorite genre so it’s hard to pick just one. I guess the expected answers might be something like Let the Right One In, or something like Ju-on or Ringu, so to avoid being obvious I am going to say either the Korean movie I Saw the Devil or the Austrian film Funny Games. The first one is super gory and dark, and the other is just brutal and disturbing.
Favorite One Inch Tall thriller flick?
I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but the first one that comes to mind because I just saw it recently would be Le Samourai. Alan Delon is super cool in it, and it’s got great atmosphere.
Favorite One Inch Tall epic?
That would have to be something Japanese, like Seven Samurai or The Hidden Fortress. Kurosawa was pretty great at filming epics and exciting battle sequences.
Favorite fight/action scene in a One Inch Tall movie?
The hallway fight scene in Oldboy, by Park Cham-Wook. Anyone who says any different is just wrong. That long, continuous take from the side, the camera following as our man makes his torturous way down the hall. It was like a side-scrolling video game and by the end of it, man, you really felt his exhaustion. So damn good.
What is the most beautiful One Inch Tall movie?
You ever see The Fall, by Tarsem Singh? It’s staggeringly gorgeous to look at, so colorful and fantastical, and the visual story-telling is so good you barely even have to look at the subtitles to understand what’s going on. It’s also just goddamn heart-breaking. I actually cried at the end, but I’m kind of a pushover anyway.
Any advice for someone stepping over the one inch tall barrier for the first time, or who might be hesitant, and what’s a good starter One Inch Tall movie?
Probably something really accessible, like a Hong Kong action movie or something. John Woo’s Hardboiled is probably a good choice, or maybe even an old Bruce Lee. Those movies are fun and stylish and highly visual, and could maybe help someone get over any trepidations about diving deeper into foreign language film.
I think what a lot of people misunderstand is that foreign language doesn’t mean concerns that are foreign to them, or feelings that are foreign to them, or humor that is foreign to them. Just because it’s in a different language doesn’t mean you won’t find something in it to relate to, to empathize with. It’s just that foreign films, by the best film-makers anyway, can offer a new way of seeing familiar themes.