British black-and-white fantasies

Members of a British Army bomb disposal squad inspect the interior of the alien craft in Nigel Kneale's Quatermass and the Pit (1959)

Two excellent recent Blu-ray releases illuminate different strains of British fantasy. They Came to a City (1944), written by J.B. Priestley and directed by Basil Dearden is a Utopian political fable proposing a new Socialist society for post-war Britain, while Nigel Kneale’s Quatermass and the Pit (1959) spins an epic tale of human evolution and our innate propensity for violence through the story of an ancient spaceship discovered buried beneath London.

Year End 2014

Despite perennial predictions of the demise of movies-on-disk, 2014 offered a rich and varied selection of new and old titles in often impressive editions from many different companies, though not necessarily from major distributors. The cream came from specialty labels like Criterion, the BFI, Arrow, Eureka/Masters of Cinema, Shout! Factory, Olive Films, Kino Lorber, Flicker Alley and Twilight Time.

Editing and Representation

I just came across this interesting nature documentary clip on YouTube. It’s from a BBC series called Inside the Animal Mind and it illustrates the remarkable intelligence of the crow. Well, perhaps it does, and perhaps not. If you read the comments below the clip, there are a number of people who (inevitably) cry “fake!” […]

Blasts from the past

The enigmatic Albert Finney

More in-flight entertainment

Criterion Blu-ray review: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blind Chance (1981)

The English-language invisibility of Alfred Döblin

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