Criterion’s release of Felipe Cazals’ Canoa: A Shameful Memory (1976) makes available a key film in Mexican cinema history. A devastating depiction of political violence, the film uses radical techniques to deconstruct a brutal incident which actually occurred in the small town of San Miguel Canoa in 1968.
Recent binging on Twilight Time Blu-rays ranges from politics to comedy to science fiction, absurd studio productions and idiosyncratic independents; from the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions to the overthrowing of a future society of privileged immortals to underhanded contemporary business wars, from dinosaurs deep inside the Earth to the destruction of an alien race on the moon.
The collector is attracted to more than just the movie itself; there’s a desire to heighten and amplify the experience of watching by surrounding it with tangible things which can serve as reminders of the experience of the movie. Shelves of special editions make us feel more connected to the movies we love.
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.
It’s interesting that Criterion has released Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool (1969) so soon after Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s Chronicle of a Summer (1962). The two films, separated by an ocean, by different cultures and by almost a decade, represent two distinct approaches to the same essential problem: is it possible for film to capture […] Read More
D. A. Pennebaker was one of the founders of direct cinema, working with people like Richard Leacock and the Maysles brothers, Albert and David, to free documentary from the limitations of the voice-of-god narrator and didactic purpose. Their idea was that documentary should merely observe and record events, with no narration to impose interpretation. But […] Read More
The latest pair of releases from the BFI’s Flipside series offer a fascinating snapshot of what was happening to the male sense of identity at the height of the feminist impact on filmmaking in the ’70s and early ’80s. While people like Sally Potter, Lizzie Borden and Marleen Gorris were dissecting and reformulating the ways […] Read More