Some recent Twilight Time releases showcase the value of melodrama as social critique and character study.
Very brief comments on several dozen disks viewed over the past few months.
More notes on recent viewing, from a sadistic thriller to emotionally resonant anime, from a literary adaptation to two investigations of racism in America.
A round-up of recent viewing ranging from classic fantasy to low budget horror to rugged adventure and a western.
An almost lost masterpiece resurfaces in Criterion’s excellent Blu-ray release of Michael Curtiz’ The Breaking Point (1950) starring John Garfield. This Hemingway adaptation fell prey to Hollywood’s post-war Red Scare, but is now revealed as among the director’s and star’s finest work.
Two recent Twilight Time Blu-ray releases – Roy Ward Baker’s Inferno (1953) and Don Siegel’s Edge of Eternity (1959) – place film noir narratives in bright desert landscapes, one in 3D, the other in panoramic widescreen.
Arrow Video’s commitment to genre releases is on full display in a selection of recently viewed Blu-rays, each featuring informative supplements: the Japanese juvenile delinquent series Stray Cat Rock, Don Coscarelli’s epic Phantasm series, a pair of Gothic gialli from Emilio P. Miraglia, and Spanish director J.P. Simon’s adaptation of Brit author Shaun Hutson’s gross-out novel Slugs.
A pair of made-in-Germany genre-bending thrillers are well-served by excellent Blu-ray editions: Sam Fuller’s Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1972) from Olive Films and Wolf Gremm’s Kamikaze ’89 (1982) from Film Movement.
A collection of random thoughts about recent viewing and reading, including an ambivalent excursion into Netflix streaming.
Criterion adds another landmark of Japanese popular cinema to their collection with an impressive Blu-ray release of the complete Lone Wolf and Cub series, a dark, poetic, bloodily violent adaptation of Kazuo Koike’s epic manga.