Recent Disks From England

Basil Dearden’s The Bells Go Down, which I wrote about last week, is just one of a number of disks I recently received from England. Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia, but the past few years I’ve been digging back into British film – partly seeking out titles I have memories of from long ago, […]

DVD Review: Compliance (2012)

“Inspired by true events.” “Based on a true story” … audiences have had good reason to be skeptical about such claims at the start of a movie at least since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). And as Craig Zobel’s uncomfortably tense Compliance unfolds, the viewer may feel an increasing sense of disbelief … how could […]

Flipside: the Art of Andy Milligan

There’s far more stuff in the world than any of us can ever have complete first-hand knowledge of, so we often have to rely on second- and third-hand information about things we haven’t yet encountered. This leads to a tendency to form opinions about things we actually know nothing about … and judging by a […]

The rise of boutique DVDs: The Flipside

Even with the tens of thousands of movies released on DVD since the format debuted in the late ’90s, vast amounts of film history remain untouched. Of course, home video has always been a commercial enterprise, the preservation and dissemination of history mostly a by-product. Companies with large back-catalogues of titles have been constantly faced […]

Recent Viewing part 3: brief notes

Two years after writing The Wild Bunch (1969), Walon Green teamed up with respected documentary producer David L. Wolper for one of the oddest films ever to win an Academy Award. The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971), although it got the Oscar for best documentary, isn’t actually a documentary at all … or at least it calls […]

Recent Viewing part 2

I’ve been falling behind on my notes about what I’ve been watching, so I won’t be going into a lot of detail here, just making a few observations about some of the movies I saw in the past month. The Oxford Murders (Alex De La Iglesia, 2008) Spanish director Alex De La Iglesia has a […]

Blasts from the past

Vinegar Syndrome Partners

Criterion Blu-ray review: Jan Troell’s The Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1972)

Seeking cinematic truth: two new Criterion Blu-rays

Nuclear war and the movies