DVDBeaver Newsletter - April 16th, 2007
Sekoh! - Although there are just 9 new reviews this week - this newsletter is jam-packed with information. It includes an original DVD article by Jonathan Rosenbaum, 31 new calendar additions, 24 hand-picked UK sales, a bona-fide essential boxset is now listed, the next two weeks on the calendar including the biggest week of the year to day (April 23rd), films by Pasolini, Nick Ray, Altman, Godard... truly an indulgent time for film fans. Drink deep or taste not the digital spring! Y'see what I'm saying?
YOUR ASSISTANCE: We are having some trouble cutting the mustard, expenses-wise, these days - any suggestions to improve would be greatly appreciated. How can we do better? Tell us! We'll do it! (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks!
NEW ARTICLE: "Eleven Treasures of Jazz Performance on DVD" by Jonathan Rosenbaum
LISTED!: Late Ozu: Early Spring, Tokyo Twilight, Equinox Flower, Late Autumn and The End of Summer.: Master filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu directed fifty-three feature films over the course of his long career. Yet it was in the final decade of his life, his “old master” phase, that he entered his artistic prime. Centered more than ever on the modern sensibilities of the younger generation, these delicate family dramas are marked by an exquisite formal elegance and emotional sensitivity about birth and death, love and marriage, and all the accompanying joys and loneliness. Available for PRE-ORDER HERE (NOTE: I own all 5 films in 'questionable' DVD versions and am highly confident that the Eclipse package will be at the same wonderful standard as their first release - the Early Bergman Boxset.
RE: Gaumont's Histoire(s) subtitles - Read what Jonathan Rosenbaum has to say HERE.
The StoryMakers Studio!: Get the “story behind the story” of the great Hollywood movies in the comfort of your home theater. The StoryMakers Studio presents Live & Unscripted interviews with the people who make top movies. Click HERE.
BIG UK SALE (Great cinema that is either not available in Region 1 - OOP or unreleased - or the UK DVDs are superior issues): Brighton Rock  56% OFF!, The Heart Of The Matter  63% OFF!, Belle de Jour - 40th Anniversary  70% OFF!, Last Year At Marienbad  53% OFF!, Europa Europa  70% OFF!, Vera Drake  70% OFF!, L'Enfer (2005) 70% OFF!, Détective (1985) 70% OFF!, L'Appartement  67% OFF!, The Tree of Wooden Clogs  60% OFF!, Pepi, Luci, Bom  67% OFF!, The Man Without A Past  70% OFF!, Goodbye Lenin!  73% OFF!, A Matter Of Life And Death  75% OFF!, Wuthering Heights  66% OFF!, The Deadly Affair  58% OFF!, The Battle Of The River Plate (Digitally Remastered Edition)  62% OFF!, The Way Ahead  60% OFF!, Blithe Spirit  60% OFF!, The Red Shoes - Plus Documentary  69% OFF!, Tiger Bay  66% OFF!, City Lights  57% OFF!, The Black Windmill  69% OFF!, The Blue Lamp  46% OFF!
BLU-RAY STORE HD-DVD STORE HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE
Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.
STRATEGIES: The best way to take full advantage of Amazon is to use PRE-ORDERs - lock in at the discount price by ORDERING - if perchance you decide against the purchase you have until the release date to cancel - at no charge.
AND if you will purchase more than 35 DVDs (or anything) in a 365 day period (and live in the Continental US) it makes excellent financial sense to subscribe to Amazon Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on your purchases!
LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!):
NOTEWORTHY: Of course the big new calendar listing is Late Ozu. But there is also other new entries on the horizon to get excited about!
CLASSIC: The Cecil B. Demille Classics Collection is great news with 16 Silent shorts to salivate over.
HOPEFULLY BEST: We are still looking for the definitive version of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's entrancing Blissfully Yours with English subtitles. Hopefully Strand will come through early next month.
Ditto for Leone's Duck, You Sucker (aka A Fistful of Dynamite).
I don't know what could make it better than existing editions but The Hustler is coming to a 2-disc SE in June.
SUNDRY: It is VCI, so we will be apprehensive, but Gauguin's life inspired The Moon and Sixpence.
Outside of the upcoming Alejandro Jodorowsky boxset both El Topo and The Holy Mountain will be sold separately. (not Fando Y Lis though).
DON'T MISS: The Hill is a hell-of-a-film. N'uff said.
GARBO? - We've been told that The Painted Veil 2006 DVD will include the 1934 Garbo version. Hmmmm...
FROM THE UK: So much goodness coming - Boulting's The Magic Box, Alexander Mackendrick's Mandy, and long out of print in NTSC-ville The Masque of the Red Death. Night of the Eagle is a very strong horror effort too!
The Magic Box (John Boulting, 1951) R2 UK Optimum
Fantastic Voyage - Special Edition (Richard Fleischer,1966) 20th Century Fox
Scouts to the Rescue (Alan James, 1939) Vci Video
The Moon and Sixpence (Albert Lewin, 1943) Vci Video
The Painted Veil - 2006 /The Painted Veil - 1934 (Naomi Watts/Greta Garbo) Warner
The Hustler (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (Robert Rossen, 1961) 20th Century Fox
The Hill (Sidney Lumet, 1965) Warner Home Video
David and Lisa (Frank Perry, 1962) Homevision
Circle of Iron (2-Disc Special Edition) (Richard Moore, 1978) Blue Underground
The Cecil B. Demille Classics Collection - 5-disc - (The Squaw Man/The Virginian/Carmen/The Cheat/Joan the Woman/The Romance of the Redwoods/The Little American/Old Wives for New/The Whispering Chorus/ Don’t Change Your Husband/Male and Female/Why Change Your Wife?/The Affairs of Anatol/Manslaughter/The Road to Yesterday/The Volga Boatman/Miss Lulu Bett) Koch Lorber
The Bow (Kim Ki-duk, 2005) Tartan Video
Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002) Strand Releasing
52 Pick-Up (John Frankenheimer, 1986) MGM
El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1971) Anchor Bay
The Holy Mountain (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973) Anchor Bay
The Third Part Of The Night (Andrzej Zulawski, 1971) R2 UK Second Run
Mandy (Fred F. Sears, 1952) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment
Little Children (Todd Field, 2006) R2 UK Entertainment in Video
Dr. Crippen (Robert Lynn, 1962) R2 UK Optimum
Circus of Horrors (Sidney Hayers, 1960) R2 UK Optimum
The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) R2 UK Optimum
Night of the Eagle (Sidney Hayers, 1962) R2 UK Optimum
The Italian (Andrei Kravchuk, 2005) Sony Pictures
Queen of Outer Space (Edward Bernds, 1958) Warner Home Video
True Grit - Special Collector's Edition (Henry Hathaway, 1969) Paramount Home Video, Caged (John Cromwell, 1950) Warner Home Video
Duck, You Sucker (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Sergio Leone, 1972) MGM
Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959) [HD DVD] Warner
Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959) [Blu-ray] Warner
Late Ozu (5pc) - Early Spring, Tokyo Twilight, Equinox Flower, Late Autumn and The End of Summer - Criterion/Eclipse
The Ultimate Matrix Collection [HD DVD] (5-disc) - Warner Home Video
The Frighteners: Director's Cut [HD DVD] (Peter Jackson, 1996) Universal Studios
RECOMMENDATIONS: We were a bit ambivalent until Jonathan Rosenbaum gave us his opinion on the subtitles (see the review comments)... so now we giving a triple-barreled thumbs-up to Histoire(s) Du Cinema. Probably the most sought-after releases this year to date.
You don't have to be an Altman fan to pick-up Thieves Like Us. Great value! BTW, I'm reminded Region 1 is supposed to be coming out with They Live By Night (and 9 other Noirs) this year... <Gary tapping foot with scowl on face>
VERY HIGH!: Henrik has steered me in the right direction more than once and he is gung-ho on Ghosts. I've order and am waiting - thanks for the strong recommendation Mr. Sylow.
DON'T BOTHER: The new colorized The Gospel According to St. Matthew offers nothing more than a curiosity factor.
SECONDS: It is inferior, but as the definitive is way out-of-print we suggest the Edko Wanee & Junah. A film that is included in our TOP 100 DVD choices (The Enter-One edition that is...)
The Gospel According to St. Matthew -
Certainly Pasolini's most
satisfying movie, devoid both of the frequent lapses into pretentiousness that
mar (for example)
and the sloppy editing and awkward acting of movies like
The director's Catholicism and Marxism serve him well here as the Messiah is
presented as a determinedly political animal fuelled by anger at social
injustice, while the miracles are allowed to remain unexplained (but also never
presented in terms of flashy special effects). The film's beauty, in fact,
derives from its simplicity, with the Italian landscape (and non-professional
actors) turned into a convincing milieu for the all-too-familiar goings-on by
marvellous monochrome camerawork. And Pasolini's
use of music, from Bach to Billie Holiday, is astounding. DVD Release Date:
March 27th, 2007
Pulp - Following Get Carter was never going to be easy, and Hodge threw a lot of fans by changing tack with this comedy effort. Caine appears for the director again, this time as a trash novel author who travels to Malta to help write faded film star Rooney's memoirs. While researching the actor's past, Caine uncovers a scandal involving some of the island's more disreputable characters and becomes involved in a thuggish plot that could have graced one of his own novels. Very funny in places, not least because of Rooney's unusually acute, self-parodying performance and Hodges' deft handling of visual gags. DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2007
Notes on a Scandal - The original title of Zoe Heller’s 2003 novel asked, ‘What Was She Thinking?’, referring to Sheba Hart, a new instructor at a rough London comprehensive school who tumbles disastrously into an affair with a teenage pupil. As becomes clear in Richard Eyre’s screen version, however, the question might also apply to the story’s acrid narrator, Barbara Covett, the battle-axe veteran teacher who becomes Sheba’s confidante and nemesis: the deeper the film journeys through Barbara’s own words and thoughts, the stranger and more damaged she appears. Barbara (Judi Dench) is sinking into desiccated spinster solitude when Sheba (Cate Blanchett) alights on campus dewy and open as a flower, and Barbara catches the scent. She plays emotional nursemaid to the conflicted younger woman but, in her journal, skewers this frivolous product of ‘bourgeois bohemia’ with all the attentive scorn of a spurned lover. DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2007
Ghosts - Based on the factual event, where 23 illegal Chinese migrant workers, in February 2004, drowned while cockling at Morecambe Bay, Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts is a painful, part fact part fiction, account of modern day self-imposed slavery. Having researched the situation himself, both in China and England, as well as drawing on the reports of Guardian journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai, Broomfield exposes the exploitation of poor and desperate people, from snakeheads and gangmasters who extort them, to public officials who accept bribes to give them slave labour. The title Ghosts, is the term used to describe the English, but is more fitting for the illegal migrants, who are invisible to most of us, and when seen, are exposed to xenophobia, racism and violence, as exploited as their “masters” see fit. Using largely non-acting cast and filmed in a semi-documentary style, Ghosts is a film not to be missed. Ghosts is as painful to watch, as it is one of the best films of the year. DVD Release Date: April 9, 2007
Thieves Like Us - Perhaps Altman's most persistently charming film, a remake of Nicholas Ray's They Live By Night (or rather, second adaptation of Edward Anderson's novel), in which a trio of semi-competent bank robbers attempt to emulate the big-time gangsters publicised by the media, comics, and radio serials, and finally get their come-uppance after a brief respite from prison and poverty. Altman adheres to Ray's conception of the youngest criminal (Carradine) and his plain-Jane lover (Duvall) as innocents all at sea in an uncaring world, although the tone here is one of bitter-sweet irony rather than romantic pessimism. And while casting a critical eye on Depression America, with a New Deal being promised that would keep democracy safe, there is none of the cynicism that has occasionally flawed some of Altman's fascinating genre parodies/tributes. Never portentous, never a mere spoof, this is a touching, intelligent, and - in its own small way - rather wonderful movie. DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2007
Hot Blood - While admittedly far from being one of Ray's best films, his tale of the stormy courtship of Wilde and Russell - gypsies from rival tribes introduced to one another by their parents for an arranged marriage which obeys the laws not only of tradition but financial enterprise - is fascinating both for its mise-en-scène and as an example of the director's interest in ethnology. Indeed, the two elements combine to create a boldly flamboyant celebration of ritual, the gypsies' love of music, dance and colourful costumes allowing Ray to transform a potentially clichéd romantic sparring session into lurid, restless images often strangely reminiscent of the musical. An oddity, then, but one distinguished by Ray's characteristic refusal to patronise or glamorise his characters. DVD Release Date: March 26th, 2007
The Last King of Scotland - If ever there was a film that lives and dies with its lead actor, it’s this one. Forest Whitaker gives a terrific, ambiguous performance as Idi Amin, the army commander in post-colonial Uganda who seized power from President Milton Obote in a military coup in 1971 and who spent the next eight years amusing the world with his bullish and bizarre rhetoric, from awarding himself a CBE to claiming kingship rights to Scotland. But with Amin’s headline-grabbing, near-comic banter came a rule of terror, expulsion and murder that was peculiarly coloured by the many years Amin served in the British imperial army. DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2007
Histoire(s) Du Cinema - as TV series/video essay - was made for Canal+, ARTE and Gaumont, from 1988 to 1998. The work subdivides into four chapters of two parts each. Of those four chapters, the first was broadcasted on five European channels simultaneously, the three others have been screened at film festivals. The series was shown as part of an installation at Documenta X, the interdisciplinary arts festival in Kassel, Germany, in 1997. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has screened each episode as it has become available. Undeniably a work of enormous scope, Jean-Luc Godard's Histoires du cinéma eludes easy definition. An extended essay on cinema by means of cinema. A history of the cinema, and history interpreted by the cinema. An hommage and a critique. An anecdotal autobiography, illuminated by Godard's encyclopedic wit, extending the idiom established by JLG par JLG. An epic - and non-linear - poem. A freely associative essay. A vast multi-layered musical composition. Histoire(s) Du Cinema is all of these. It is above all, a work made by a man who loves and is fascinated by the world of film. DVD Release Date: April 5th, 2007
Wanee & Junah - Animator Wanee and screenwriter Junah are in love and live together to give each other comfort. However, one day, the return of Wanee's stepbrother and her first love (Youngminn) recalls the fading memories of Wanee's puppy love. Under the same roof, Wanee's house is filled with memories of Junah and Youngmin. The queer coexistence of present and past love leads to an unexpected confusion in their minds... Directed by Kim Yong-kyun, Kim Hee-sun, Joo Jin-mo and Cho Seung-woo played remarkably well in the trio love affairs, with the coexistent scenes of memories and the present.
Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:
Week of April 16th, 2007
All Night Long (Basil Dearden, 1962) R2 UK Network
Brute Force (Criterion Collection) (Jules Dassin, 1947) Criterion
Coffret Chantal Akerman - possibly no Eng. subs (les années 70 : Hôtel Monterey / Je, tu, il, elle / Jeanne Dielman, / News from home / Les Rendez-vous d'Anna) - Carlotta Films
The Forty-First (Grigori Chukhrai, 1956) Kino Video
La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995) Criterion
Harold Lloyd - The Short Films 2-disc (Two Gun Gussie, The Non-Stop Kid, Captain Kidd's Kids, Get Out And Get Under, Now Or Never, The City Slicker, Ring Up The Curtain, From Hand To Mouth, High And Dizzy And Among Those Present) R2 UK Cinema Club
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - possibly no Eng. subs (Chantal Akerman, 1976) Carlotta Films
The Last King of Scotland (Widescreen Edition) (Kevin Macdonald, 2006) 20th Century Fox
Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre, 2006) 20th Century Fox
Overlord (Criterion Collection) (Stuart Cooper, 1975) Criterion
Pulp (Mike Hodges, 1972) MGM
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (Giles Foster, 1985) BBC Warner
Thieves Like Us (Robert Altman, 1974) MGM
Week of April 23rd, 2007
Anna Karenina (Julien Duvivier, 1948) 20th Century Fox
China Doll (Frank Borzage,1958) MGM
Columbo: Mystery Movie Collection 1989 - Universal Studios
Deja Vu (Tony Scott, 2006) Touchstone / Disney
Documentaries of Louis Malle (6-disc - Vive le tour / Humain, Trop Humain / Place de la République / Phantom India / Calcutta / God's Country ... of Happiness) - Criterion's Eclipse label
Elegy of a Voyage (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002) Ideale Audience
Fixed Bayonets! (Samuel Fuller, 1951) Fox Home Entertainment
Forgotten Noir 4: Man From Cairo & Mask of Dragon - Vci Video
Forgotten Noir 5 - FBI Girl & Tough Assignment - Vci Video
Forgotten Noir 6: I'll Get You & Fingerprints Dont Lie - Vci Video
Forgotten Noir Collector's Set 2 (Man From Cairo / Mask of the Dragon / FBI Girl / Tough Assignment / I'll Get You / Fingerprints Don't Lie) - Vci Video
Fritz Lang Box Set - (Metropolis, Dr Mabuse - The Gambler, Spione, M and The Testament Of Dr Mabuse) R2 UK Eureka Entertainment
Gabrielle (Patrice Chéreau, 2005) R2 UK Artificial Eye
I Deal in Danger (Walter Grauman, 1966) 20th Century Fox
I'm an Elephant, Madame (Peter Zadek, 1969) R2 DE Kinowelt
Ironside: Season 1 - Complete 1st Season (8pc) (1967) Shout Factory
James Cagney - The Signature Collection (The Bride Came C.O.D. / Captains of the Clouds / The Fighting 69th / Torrid Zone / The West Point Story) Warner Home Video
Jane Eyre (Robert Stevenson, 1944) 20th Century Fox
Jean Renoir Collection - (Nana, La Marseillaise, The Testament of Dr. Cordelier, The Elusive Corporal, La Fille De L’Eau (1925 short), The Little Match Girl, Charleston Parade) - Lions Gate
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948) R2 DE Kinowelt
Lured (Douglas Sirk, 1947) R2 DE Kinowelt
Les Miserables (1935 & 1952 Two-Disc Set) (Lewis Milestone, 1952) - 20th Century Fox
Man in the Middle (Guy Hamilton, 1964) 20th Century Fox
Night at the Museum (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Shawn Levy, 2006) 20th Century Fox
Night at the Museum [Blu-ray] (Shawn Levy, 2006) 20th Century Fox
The Odd Couple - The First Season (Alan Rafkin, 1970) Paramount Home Video
The Panic in Needle Park (Jerry Schatzberg, 1971) 20th Century Fox
Pier Paolo Pasolini Vol.2 - Hawks and Sparrows (1966), Oedipus Rex (1967), Pigsty (1968) - R2 UK Tartan
Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (Quay Brothers) - Zeitgeist Films
Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series - 4-disc [Blu-ray] - BBC Warner
Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series - 4-disc [HD DVD] - BBC Warner
Play Dirty (André De Toth , 1968) MGM
The Purple Heart (Lewis Milestone, 1944) 20th Century Fox
Phantom Museums: The Short Films of the Quay Brothers - 2-disc - Zeitgeist Films
The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006) Miramax
The Queen [Blu-ray](Stephen Frears, 2006) Miramax
Sailor of the King (Roy Boulting, 1953) 20th Century Fox
Sleep, My Love (Douglas Sirk, 1948) R2 DE - Kinowelt Home Entertainment
Tonight We Raid Calais (John Brahm, 1943) 20th Century Fox
Wet Asphalt (Frank Wisbar, 1958) R2 DE Kinowelt
OUR CURRENT 'A" STORES:
50 CLASSIC TV SHOWS ON DVD- best of vintage TV!
SOME REGION FREE DVD PLAYERS TO CONSIDER
SOME OF THE BEST JAPANESE CINEMA ON REGION 1 DVD
54 DVDs TO CONSIDER WHILE SHOPPING AT AMAZON FRANCE (PAL)
SOME OF THE BEST OF 'FRENCH LANGUAGE' CINEMA ON DVD (NTSC)
'BEST OF WORLD CINEMA' on UK (PAL) DVD
BEST OF ITALIAN CINEMA
(on NTSC DVD)
SEE OUR ESSENTIAL CRITERION STORE - Best of the Best!
SEE OUR ESSENTIAL FILM-NOIR STORE!
Hope all is well in your part of the world,
P.S. DVD of the Year - 2006 still remains a popular place to peruse.