Criterion have continued their efforts to restore the reputation of eclectic French filmmaker Julien Duvivier by following their Eclipse set of features from the 1930s with a stunning Blu-ray edition of his first post-war feature, Panique (1946), adapted from a very dark novel by Georges Simenon.
Twilight Time has recently released a strong selection of crime-related Blu-rays, ranging from Marilyn Monroe’s debut as a lead in Roy Ward Baker’s Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) to Sam Fuller’s powerful revenge noir Underworld USA (1961), from Larry Peerce’s urban nightmare The Incident (1967) to a pair of ’70s exercises in police realism, Richard Fleischer’s The New Centurions (1972) and Philip D’Antoni’s The Seven-Ups (1973).
Recent Twilight Time releases trace the western from the frontier myth to post-’60s cynicism, with a side trip to post-war racial tension in Los Angeles.
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.
Three more black-and-white movies in excellent Blu-ray editions – Fritz Lang’s Hangmen Also Die!, Robert Wise’s Odds Against Tomorrow and John Baxter’s Love on the Dole – offer yet another reminder of the richness of monochrome film art.
Recent viewing ranges from classic noir to mediocre ’80s thriller, from low budget horror to a documentary about one of the great craftsmen of fantasy film.
Another eclectic selection from my recent viewing, from an old fondly remembered BBC sci-fi series to an unsettling French psychological thriller, from a nasty John Frankenheimer thriller to a pair of atypical Rossellini features striving to break out of the confines of neorealism.
Criterion releases Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place (1950) in a superb Blu-ray edition with plentiful special features to illuminate this bleak masterpiece about masculine insecurity and the roots of violence.
Criterion’s Blu-ray of The Killers, with two excellent new hi-def transfers of the 1946 Robert Siodmak and 1964 Don Siegel versions of Ernest Hemingway’s short story, as well as Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1956 student film, is a fascinating study in the process and possibilities of adapting literature to film.
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.