Artsploitation Films is a distributor with a taste for offbeat horror as represented in two recent Blu-ray releases, the German Der Samurai and the French (though shot in English) Horsehead, both visually stylized and more interested in metaphor and atmosphere than crude shocks.
Two distinguished British actors passed away in June after long and varied careers in film and television: the imposing Christopher Lee and the debonair Patrick Macnee, both at age 93.
The first West German film to address the futile waste of young lives in the final days of World War 2, Bernhard Wicki’s The Bridge is given an impressive Blu-ray presentation by the Criterion Collection.
The Offence and Equus, two play adaptations from the 1970s, now available in excellent Blu-ray editions, highlight Sidney Lumet’s strengths and weaknesses as a filmmaker.
The 19th Century French writer Guy de Maupassant had a spare style and an acute understanding of social class and psychology, both characteristics which lend themselves well to cinematic adaptation. Criterion’s Blu-ray edition of Jean Renoir’s A Day in the Country and the older Montparnasse DVD edition of Robert Wise’s Mademoiselle Fifi represent the best of de Maupassant on film.
Criterion has released two excellent Blu-ray editions of Costa-Gavras’ finest films: The Confession and State of Siege examine dramatically political repression and violence on both the Left and Right.
Arrow Video’s spectacular Blu-ray of Rabid is a reminder of just how good and natural a filmmaker David Cronenberg is, while the director’s recent Maps to the Stars seems a less personal work.
Two recent Blu-ray releases highlight very different attitudes to the crime thriller in the ’70s: Robert Culp’s Hickey and Boggs and Douglas Hickox’s Brannigan.
Spectacular action reminiscent of the original Mad Max trilogy can’t quite overcome a disappointing script and weak lead performance in George Miller’s return to the post-apocalyptic world he created more than three decades ago.
We bring our whole personal history to every movie we see, even ones we’ve seen (many times) before; as we’re in a constant state of change, so the movies we watch seem to change with each viewing.