Criterion resurrects an important American independent film with a stunning Blu-ray of Jack Garfein’s Something Wild (1961), a showcase for members of the Actors Studio and the Method.
A recent trip to England produced stacks of new disks, some interesting books, and several in-flight movies.
2016 was an impressive year for movies on disk, with a wide variety of new and classic releases, prestige productions and exploitation, and some interesting rediscoveries … too many to pick just a handful of “bests”.
At my annual New Year’s ritual of dinner and movies at my friend Steve’s, I finally got to sample the home 3D viewing experience; we sampled a number of movies, old and new, cheap and expensive, but while the experience had some interesting aspects, I can’t imagine wanting to watch in 3D too often.
Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog (2015) is a charming, discursive, ultimately deeply moving exploration of death, loss, grief and life. Criterion’s Blu-ray edition provides an illuminating conversation with the filmmaker about her art, her career, and her experience of life.
Criterion’s Blu-ray release of One-Eyed Jacks is one of the disk highlights of the year, its restored image and sound confirming this great western’s stature. Marlon Brando’s sole directing effort is a key transitional moment between the traditional western and the national myth it represented and the modern deconstruction of that myth by filmmakers like Sam Peckinpah and Arthur Penn.
Artsploitation Films has released George Moises’s Counter Clockwise (2016), a new low-budget addition to the time travel paradox sub-genre; and several notable cinema personalities have recently departed.
With a three disk first volume, Arrow Video embark on an ambitious undertaking with the American Horror Project, which intends to gather together independent, fringe features from the ’70s and ’80s, surrounded by supplementary features which provide context and possibly a cumulative history of this genre niche. Set one gathers three movies of varying quality.
Shout! Factory releases new Blu-ray editions of John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist III (1990), each disk sporting a new 2K transfer and a wealth of supplementary materials.
Sometimes sharing a favourite movie doesn’t produce the reaction we expect; it can be puzzling, even a little painful to discover that a friend doesn’t always like the same things we do.