Criterion’s latest Eclipse set showcases a neglected master of pre-New Wave French film, Julien Duvivier; the four films here are stylistically adventurous and have great emotional depth.
Rough Cut Blog
Criterion’s Blu-ray of Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood (1967) gives the film a stunning visual presentation and enhances it with a substantial collection of supplements dealing with the original murder case, author Truman Capote’s approach to reporting the story, and the stylistic and technical innovations brought to the project by Brooks and his collaborators.
A variety of approaches to horror are on display in Guillermo Del Toro’s new film Crimson Peak; a book about Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining which gathers together articles, essays and interviews from the ’80s to the present; and a disturbing 1983 Austrian film based on a real-life multiple murder, Gerald Kargl and Zbigniew Rybczynski’s Angst.
Hard to Be a God (2013), the final film of Russian director Aleksei German, more than a decade in the making, is a dense, obscure, visually stunning adaptation of a novel by the Strugatsky brothers. While German’s storytelling is extremely oblique, this depiction of a brutal medieval world which eventually corrupts Earth scientists who have traveled there to study a Renaissance which failed to happen, is realized with such visceral power that the viewer becomes immersed in the filth, madness and horror, occasionally gleaning brief moments of transcendent beauty.
The visual master Mario Bava virtually invented the Italian genre called giallo, influencing generations of filmmakers who followed and built on his stylistic and thematic example. Arrow video has been releasing a series of impressive editions of Bava’s films on Blu-ray, offering alternative versions and a rich array of supplements to provide a critical and historical context for his work.