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.
Robert Altman’s masterpiece, McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), finally gets a worthy disk release. Criterion gives us a wonderful transfer along with almost three hours of informative supplements.
Two new BFI releases, Peter Hall’s Akenfield (1974) and Andrew Grieve’s On the Black Hill (1988), view the 20th Century through the relationships of people in rural Britain to the land, evoking physical hardship and timeless mystical connections.
Two excellent recent Blu-ray releases from the BFI illuminate the extremes of high and low art in British film of the early 1970s. Ken Russell’s version of D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love is exemplary literary adaptation, while Don Sharp’s Psychomania is … well, something else again!
Despite truly dismal digital projection a recent big-screen viewing of The Birds reconfirms its status as one of Hitchcock’s finest films, and one of the best disaster films ever made.
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.