Interesting releases from Australia’s Imprint

Will Graham (Clive Owen) conbtemplates the futility of violence in Mike Hodges' I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2002)

The Australian company Imprint has been releasing extras-laden special editions on Blu-ray of movies which strangely remain elusive in North America. Among some recent acquisitions are Mike Hodges’ I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2002), Barbet Schroeder’s Charles Bukowski-scripted Barfly (1987), a minor but interesting B-movie by prolific journeyman Lesley Selander, The Catman of Paris (1946), and Walter Hill’s The Warriors (1979), thankfully in a two-disk set which includes the superior theatrical cut as well as the misconceived “ultimate director’s cut” from 2005.

The Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing (1990):
Criterion Blu-ray review

Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) becomes a dangerous doppelgänger for Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) in the Coen Brothers' Miller's Crossing (1990)

With their new Blu-ray release, Criterion add the Coen Brothers’ third feature, Miller’s Crossing (1990), to the Collection. One of the darkest, most sombre films in the Coen canon, this moody gangster story updates hardboiled noir as a complex meditation on male fragility and violence. Sumptuously shot by Barry Sonnenfeld, it features a superb cast of great character actors.

Asia extreme

Boxer Leo (Masataka Kubota) and prostitute Monica (Sakurako Konishi) face off against yakuza gangs in Takashi Miike's First Love (2019)

Although there are obviously differences from culture to culture, many Asian movies share a tendency to to ignore the kind of “realism” Western, and particularly American, movies so often feel is necessary – which is one reason so many U.S. remakes of Asian genre movies take on a pedestrian quality nowhere evident in the originals. Three recent Asian movies – from Korea, Japan and China – use different approaches to explore societies in which economic and social inequality engender violence and to some degree madness. One uses blackly comic satire, one pushes genre tropes to absurd extremes, and one pushes neorealism into the realm of nightmare.

Recent Viewing 1

It looks like I haven’t reported on my home viewing in quite a while, so looking back over my notes, there are far too many titles to comment on in detail. Some of these are films I’ve looked at again because of recent Blu-ray releases – the Alien series, for instance, and the Red Riding […]

Blasts from the past

Marcel Carné’s Hôtel du Nord (1938): Criterion Blu-ray review

In-flight entertainment

Gerry O’Hara’s The Brute (1977)

Flipside: the Art of Andy Milligan

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