Criterion releases a superb Blu-ray edition of Jan Troell’s 2-part epic about poor Swedish farmers looking for a new life in the US in the mid-19th Century.
Among other recent disks, Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England and Frank Perry’s The Swimmer use realistic performance and imagery to dig below material reality to strange symbolic and psychological depths, while the Estonian documentary Disco and Atomic War transforms the social and political facts of the Cold War into something strange and very funny.
Continuing my survey of one month’s movie viewing: Red Dawn (Dan Bradley, 2012): As dumb as John Milius’ original about small town American kids fighting against vicious invaders. Milius had Nicaragua(!) taking over the States; here it’s North Korea backed by, for some reason, the Russians (aware of how much U.S. debt is held by […] Read More
Miklos Jancso is one of the key figures of Hungarian cinema, but my first encounter with his work didn’t go well. In fact, when I saw the first two parts of his unfinished Vitam et Sanguinam trilogy at the 1981 Hong Kong International Film Festival, I so disliked them that I made no subsequent efforts […] 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