Criterion’s Blu-ray edition of Fellini Satyricon should go a long way towards establishing this phantasmagoric adaptation of the ancient Roman novel as one of the director’s finest and most creatively significant films.
Arrow Video has quickly become one of my favourite sources for both genre and “art” films, with impressive editions of a wide range of titles; most recently I’ve been immersing myself in some of their horror releases.
There’s no connection between the cute CG bear in Paddington and the likable stoner detective in Inherent Vice, other than the fact they are at the centre of two of the most entertaining movies to be released recently.
Recent Blu-rays from Twilight Time are as eclectic as ever. A couple of mainstream Hollywood classics; an oddball excursion into pulp by one of the great Hollywood directors; and a devastating animated fable by a Japanese-American filmmaker based on a very English graphic novel.
Criterion’s Blu-ray of Kihachi Okamoto’s The Sword of Doom (1966) provides a spectacular transfer of this difficult, idiosyncratic samurai film. In the finest performance of his career, the versatile Tatsuya Nakadai provides one of the screen’s great depictions of madness.
The collector is attracted to more than just the movie itself; there’s a desire to heighten and amplify the experience of watching by surrounding it with tangible things which can serve as reminders of the experience of the movie. Shelves of special editions make us feel more connected to the movies we love.
Styles of movie horror have evolved, a process well-illustrated by comparing several new releases – John Erick Dowdle’s As Above, So Below and Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, for instance – with the seven features in the second Vincent Price Collection from Shout! Factory.
After a year of work, the documentary I’ve been working on with Janine Tschuncky is finally getting out into the world, showing on-demand here in Winnipeg. We had a screening at the Cinematheque on Saturday January 10 before a receptive audience. Now we have to get down to the work of distribution!
Criterion’s latest Eclipse release opens a window on a previously little-seen world: the Japanese home front during World War 2 as depicted under oppressive regulations during the war. The great Keisuke Kinoshita managed to inject elements of subversive critique into supposedly uplifting calls for national unity and shared sacrifice. Keisuke Kinoshita and World War II is one of the most revelatory releases of the year.
Despite perennial predictions of the demise of movies-on-disk, 2014 offered a rich and varied selection of new and old titles in often impressive editions from many different companies, though not necessarily from major distributors. The cream came from specialty labels like Criterion, the BFI, Arrow, Eureka/Masters of Cinema, Shout! Factory, Olive Films, Kino Lorber, Flicker Alley and Twilight Time.