Criterion release a subtle masterpiece of Spanish cinema in Luis Garcia Berlanga’s The Executioner (1963), a dark critique of life under the Franco regime disguised as a domestic comedy.
The French comic filmmaker Pierre Etaix, whose work spanned the decade of the ’60s only to vanish for 40 years before being rediscovered and restored in 2010, has died at the age of 87.
Criterion releases some high-end trash with an extras-packed edition of Valley of the Dolls, and a collection of journalistic reviews by Graham Greene offers interesting insights into movies in the ’30s.
Some fairly random thoughts on an old TV show, a couple of violent satires, and large-A Acting in the films of Bennett Miller.
Revisiting old favourites like the original Star Trek series and familiar genres from samurai sword fights to supernatural monsters is like eating comfort food, triggering familiar emotions; even Satanic horrors can be paradoxically soothing.
Criterion’s new Blu-ray of Kenji Mizoguchi’s The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939) makes available one of the earliest masterpieces by this great Japanese director; although the film shows its age, the director’s remarkable technique of long takes and composition in depth is impressive.
I’ve recently been dipping into the ’60s and ’70s with two Criterion Blu-rays of major works by Orson Welles, a couple of Robert Altman’s signature titles, and a new J.G. Ballard adaptation from Ben Wheatley.
With Kubo and the Two Strings, Laika Entertainment continue to expand the possibilities of stop-motion animation in a fantasy which takes the nature of storytelling as its main subject.
The Immortal Story (1968), Orson Welles’ last completed fiction feature, adapted from an Isak Dinesen story, gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Criterion with a collection of substantial supplements providing background and context for the director’s first colour feature, which is also the most erotic film he made.
Some movies are so odd it’s hard to see how they came to be made … like Laslo Benedek’s brooding thriller The Night Visitor (1971) with its pulpy plot and cast of major international stars.