Criterion have followed their fine Eclipse set of Julien Duvivier films with a collection of features by another French director pushed into obscurity by the New Wave: Claude Autant-Lara, represented here by four films made during the German Occupation, all starring a fine but not well-known actress named Odette Joyeux.
Criterion’s latest Eclipse release opens a window on a previously little-seen world: the Japanese home front during World War 2 as depicted under oppressive regulations during the war. The great Keisuke Kinoshita managed to inject elements of subversive critique into supposedly uplifting calls for national unity and shared sacrifice. Keisuke Kinoshita and World War II is one of the most revelatory releases of the year.
Criterion’s Eclipse line has three general streams: to explore fringe genres, to introduce work by lesser known filmmakers, to present lesser known works by more familiar directors. The latest release, Masaki Kobayashi Against the System, falls into the third category, presenting three early works by the director of the three-part epic The Human Condition (1959-61, […] Read More
Dr Stein (Mike Daneen): Love demands courage. Lisa (Peggy Neal): Yes, that’s the lesson Guilala taught me. Finding myself off work for a day with some nasty kind of flu bug, by a strange coincidence the mailman knocked at my door and delivered the Criterion Eclipse set, When Horror Came to Shochiku. Given my pitiful […] Read More
One of the things I like about Criterion’s Eclipse series is the lack of snobbery in their choices. Yes, there are serious selections like the early Ozu films and Naruse’s silent works, Louis Malle’s documentaries, Jean-Pierre Gorin’s trilogy of essay films and the early Bergmans … but the people behind the line have shown a […] Read More
An 11-year-old orphan, discovered working in a maharajah’s stables by a cameraman on a scouting trip, represents one of the strangest anomalies in the history of movie-stardom. Osmond Borradaile was in India in preparation for a project based on a story by Rudyard Kipling when he met Selar Shaik and brought him to the attention […] Read More
You could make an interesting double bill out of Daniel Barber’s Harry Brown (2009) and Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block (2011). Both are set in crime-ridden British housing estates where residents are terrorized by youth gangs, both have a gritty tone which strives to create a sense of relevance and immediacy. But while they have […] Read More