Continuing my notes on recently watched movies which I haven’t written about in depth …
The usual year-end round-up – not necessarily the best movies or disks, but some of the ones I most enjoyed, from high art to entertaining trash. The sheer range of what’s available should lay to rest any lingering rumours about the demise of physical media.
Recent viewing features stylized violence, classic martial arts, western noir and political Ozploitation on more disks from England
Despite continuing rumblings about the demise of movies-on-disk, numerous companies continue to produce excellent editions on disk of a vast range of movies covering the entire history of cinema. Once again in 2018 there were far more releases than even an obsessive viewer could keep up with.
A new digital restoration of King Hu’s epic period ghost story Legend of the Mountain (1979) from Masters of Cinema reveals this languid masterpiece in all its pictorial glory; a stunning dream of a movie.
Criterion’s World Cinema Project 2 box set opens windows on a number of unfamiliar national cinemas with an eclectic selection of six distinctive features.
Masters of Cinema have recently released two of director King Hu’s influential martial arts epics featuring excellent restorations commissioned by the Taiwanese government. The Blu-rays provide informative supplements to give context to Dragon Gate Inn (1967) and A Touch of Zen (1971/75).
Criterion make available Edward Yang’s legendary, little-seen masterpiece of the New Taiwanese Cinema, A Bright Summer Day, in a superb 2-disk extras-rich Blu-ray edition.
Genre, of course, is not limited to the fantastic — science fiction, fantasy, horror. Contemporary and historical dramas can also fall within genre boundaries. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve) Denis Villeneuve’s thriller was much-praised by critics and audiences alike, and yet it struck me as a genre movie desperate to convince its viewers that it was actually […] Read More
Sometime during the Ming Dynasty, two wandering soldiers arrive in the southern city of Guancheng. Armed with unusually long swords, they fight their way past the four martial arts schools which reign in the city. One of the pair is captured, while the other escapes and goes into hiding. He is Liang Henlu (Song Yang), […] Read More