Very brief comments on several dozen disks viewed over the past few months.
Criterion releases a new Blu-ray edition of Barbet Schroeder’s fascinating and problematic documentary about Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, featuring a vibrant transfer from the original 16mm reversal stock.
Takes From the Winnipeg Film Group, a new documentary by Dave Barbver and Kevin Nikkel tries to rein in the long and unruly history of the legendary film co-op.
Two Italian classics – Mario Bava’s Kill, Baby … Kill! (1966) and Pupi Avati’s Zeder (1983) – and an imaginative new movie – David Lowery’s A Ghost Story (2017) – offer differing thematic takes on survival after death.
Terry Gilliam began to forge an identity separate from Monty Python with a film which seems superficially Pythonesque, but on closer look is a darker, richer and more dangerous view of an absurd world. Criterion’s new Blu-ray of Jabberwocky draws out every detail of a richly imagined Medieval world of blood, filth and horror viewed through Gilliam’s comic lens.
Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 attempts to be a respectful follow-up to Ridley Scott’s ground-breaking original, but it ends up long, drab and ultimately unmemorable.
Digging into the detritus of a lifetime unearths some interesting memories of a movie career which didn’t quite happen.
Digging into the detritus of a lifetime unearths some interesting memories.
The discovery of a previously unknown documentary, Robert Kaylor’s Derby (1971), plus a Blu-ray edition of Stephanie Rothman’s Terminal Island (1973), a rough-and-ready exploitation B-movie, are of much greater interest than Jack Cardiff’s Holiday in Spain (1960), a bloated mainstream Cinerama showcase which dresses its travelogue in a tissue-thin “mystery” plot.
Recent Twilight Time releases trace the western from the frontier myth to post-’60s cynicism, with a side trip to post-war racial tension in Los Angeles.