DVDBeaver Newsletter - November 24th, 2006


Päivää! - A decent week with 13 new reviews - 2 comparisons, 2 Criterions, some vintage TV, a multi-film boxset, cinema by Rohmer, Sturges, Kiarostami, Olmi etc..


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NEW ARTICLE - for those getting a foothold into the Avant-garde, look no further than Daryl Chin's new article - At Home and Abroad: Some Views from the Avant-Garde on DVD.


Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.


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LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!):

Viva Pedro: The Almodovar Collection (Matador, Law of Desire, Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Bad Education, Live Flesh, The Flower of My Secret and Talk to Her) Sony Pictures

Douglas Sirk Collection (All That Heaven Allows, Imitation Of Life, Magnificent Obsession, Written On The Wind, All I Desire, Has Anybody Seen My Gal, All That Heaven Allows and The Tarnished Angels) - R2 UK Universal

The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998) R2 DE - Warner Home Video

 Eros (Antonioni, Soderbergh, Wong 2004) R2 UK - Artificial Eye

Brooklyn Lobster (Kevin Jordan, 2005) Hart Sharp Video

The Architect (Matt Tauber, 2006) Magnolia

Glamour Girls (Love Me Tonight / The Blue Angel / Pandora and the Flying Dutchman / The Good Fairy / Lured) - Kino Video

Blood & Sand (Rouben Mamoulian, 1941) - 20th Century Fox

The Clock (Vincente Minnelli, 1945) Warner Home Video

Miracle in the Rain (Rudolph Maté, 1956) Warner Home Video

A Summer Place (Delmer Daves, 1959) Warner Home Video

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) Warner Home Video

Performance (Donald Cammell, 1970) Warner Home Video

Caprice (Frank Tashlin, 1967) 20th Century Fox

Little Murders (Alan Arkin , 1971) 20th Century Fox

Road Show (Hal Roach , 1941) Alpha Video

Atomic Age Classics 5: C Is for Communist - Alpha Video


RECOMMEND: This may not be the week to go by my eclectic taste - I LOVE Perry Mason - Season 1 Vol. 2 - some of my favorite TV ever. And while I'm at it I intend to tuck into Star Trek - The Animated Series to boot. Aside from those eccentricities - Preston Sturges - The Filmmaker Collection is a must own - whether you get the NTSC or the PAL editions. I was actually surprised by my own positive reaction to Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003 - certainly not for all, but you might enjoy it as an obtuse diversion as I did. I haven't seen Tickets, but after Per-Olaf's review I intend to pick it up. 


New Reviews:


Little Fish - “Little Fish” is a at time painful story, played beyond perfection by Blanchett and Weaving, and beautifully shot. It may not be a masterpiece, but it is worth every second. DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2006

Swept Away - “Swept Away” is unpleasant, mean-spirited and simplistic. No wonder Guy Ritchie couldn’t wait to remake it.

A Tale of Springtime - In acclaimed director Eric Rohmer's first of the "Tales of the Four Seasons" series: 1992's "Tale of Springtime", four characters intertwine in real-life cadence. We are introduced to them, garner their likes, dislikes, demeanours... and then they interact. It's that simple... and that wonderful. Typical Rohmer.

Preston Sturges - The Filmmaker Collection - Universal's Boxset is as lean and competent as you might have anticipated - we get 7 films (over 7 single-layered DVDs) progressively transferred for region 1 in the NTSC standard. The Great McGinty (1940), Christmas in July (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Great Moment (1944) and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2006

Edward R. Murrow - The Best of Person to Person - In one memorable scene from “Good Night and Good Luck” (2005), Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) interviews Liberace. The flamboyant pianist tells Murrow that he’s just looking for a good woman to marry, prompting the newsman to raise a skeptical eyebrow as he tries to maintain his composure. Whether Murrow’s doubletake really occurred is a question left open to history, but the Liberace interview was a real one, one of many from Murrow’s long-running series “Person to Person” (1953-1959). DVD Release Date: November 7th, 2006

Symbio-psycho-taxi-plasm Two Takes - In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, director William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York's Central Park, leaving them to try to figure out what kind of movie they're making. A couple enacts a break-up scenario over and over, a documentary crew films a crew filming the crew, locals wander casually into the frame: the project defies easy description. Yet this wildly innovative sixties counterculture landmark remains one of the most tightly focused and insightful movies ever made about making movies. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003 - The BFI has collaborated with the inimitable Quay Brothers to release a truly comprehensive compilation of their short films on DVD; a world first. The Quays were extensively involved with the preparation of the DVD, personally supervising the transfers, recording commentaries on selected titles, and contributing an exclusive 20-minute illustrated video interview. DVD Release Date: November 20th, 2006

Tickets - The making of ‘Tickets’ started with a conversation between director Abbas Kiarostami and producers Carlo Cresto-Dina and Babak Karimi. Kiarostami suggested the idea of a trilogy of feature-length documentaries to be directed by three different directors. When asked to name the directors he would have liked to have on board, he immediately mentioned Ermanno Olmi and Ken Loach. A fax was sent to the two masters, who both immediately replied with an almost identical phone call: 'I am in! The three of us can make tremendous work together'.

Star Trek - The Animated Series - I was surprised by the high quality of The Animated Series. The writing is superb, with intelligent plots and snappy dialogue. The acting is as forceful and witty as when the actors appeared in the flesh. Perhaps due to the compressed time frame (thirty minutes versus sixty minutes for the live-action TOS), I felt that a higher percentage of TAS episodes were tense, thrilling, and exciting than the percentage of TOS adventures. DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2006

Changing Times - Depardieu is super, as usual. He really doesn’t get enough credit as an actor (has everyone forgotten his brilliant performance in Maurice Pialat’s “Loulou”?), at least not in America where he has become the default butt of Francophobic jokes. La Deneuve is still La Deneuve. “Changing Times” isn’t a masterpiece, or even one of Téchiné’s major works, but it’s still of interest. Don’t be fooled by the silly tag line on the DVD cover (“Can your first love also be your last?) – there’s a lot more than meets the eye here. DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2006

Death in the Bunker: The True Story of Hitler's Downfall - Koch Vision has released several WW2 archival documentaries in the past few months: Embedded’ 45: The Shooting War in Germany (also directed by Michael Kloft), They Filmed the War in Color: France is Free, and They Filmed the War in Color: The Pacific War. Of the four, “Death in the Bunker” is the least compelling, because it relies on so many talking heads, and covers ground more familiar to most viewers. But just for the sheer sake of actually documenting the events and preserving them for a general audience, the program and the DVD is worthwhile.

Grey Gardens - The Maysles brothers pay visits to Edith Bouvier Beale, nearing 80, and her daughter Edie. Reclusive, the pair live with cats and raccoons in Grey Gardens, a crumbling mansion in East Hampton. Edith is dry and quick-witted - a singer, married but later separated, a member of high society. Edie is voluble, dresses - as she puts it - for combat in tight ensembles that include scarves wrapped around her head. There are hints that Edie came home 24 years before to be cared for rather than to care for her mother. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

Perry Mason - Season 1 Vol. 2 - Perry Mason is an attorney who specializes in defending seemingly indefensible cases. With the aid of his secretary Della Street and investigator Paul Drake, he often finds that by digging deep, startling facts can be revealed. Often relying on his outstanding courtroom skills, he often tricks or traps people into unwittingly admitting their guilt. DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2006

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of November 27th, 2006


12:01 (Jack Sholder, 1993) Image Entertainment

L'Armee des Ombres (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969) - R2 UK BFI

Edi (Piotr Trzaskalski , 2002) Facets

George Reeves Double Feature (Thunder in the Pines & Jungle Goddess) VCI

Hammer Film Noir - Vol. 4 (Terror Street, Wings of Danger) VCI
Hammer Film Noir - Vol. 5 (The Glass Tomb, Paid to Kill) VCI

The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961) - R2 UK BFI

Marlene Dietrich: Movie Collection - 18-disc - (Angel, Blonde Venus, Desire, Destry Rides Again, The Devil Is A Woman, Dishonored, The Flames Of New Orleans, Follow The Boys, A Foreign Affair, Golden Earrings, Morocco, Pittsburgh, The Scarlet Empress, Seven Sinners, Shanghai Express, The Song Of Songs, The Spoilers, Touch Of Evil) - R2 UK Universal Pictures Video

Otomo (Frieder Schlaich, 1999) Facets

Presagio (Luis Alcoriza , 1975) Facets

Sara (Maciej Slesicki, 1997) Facets

School of Senses (András Sólyom, 1996) Bunyik Entertainment

Superman - The 1948 & 1950 Theatrical Serials Collection - Warner Home Video

Things to Come (Special Edition) (William Cameron Menzies, 1936) Liberation Ent

Time to Leave (Francois Ozon, 2005) Strand Releasing


Week of December 4th, 2006


20 centímetros (Ramón Salazar, 2005) Tla Releasing

1900 - Special Collector's Edition ( Bernardo Bertolucci, 1977) Paramount Home Video

The Architect (Matt Tauber, 2006) Magnolia

The Beales of Grey Gardens (Albert + David Maysles,2006) Criterion Collection

The Conformist: Extended Edition (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) Paramount Home Video

Forbidden Hollywood Collection 1 - Baby Face, Red Headed Woman, Waterloo Bridge (1931) - Warner Home Video

Holiday (George Cukor , 1938) Sony Pictures

The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998) R2 DE - Warner Home Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: Anna Boleyn (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) - Kino Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: Oyster Princess & I Don't Want (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919) - Kino Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: Sumurun (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) - Kino Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: The Wildcat (Ernst Lubitsch, 1921) - Kino Video

The Michael Haneke Trilogy: The Seventh Continent/Benny's Video/71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance - R2 UK - Tartan

Mikio Naruse - Three Films - Repast (1951) Sound Of The Mountain (1954) Flowing (1956) - R2 UK Eureka, MoC

The Premiere Frank Capra Collection - 6 disc - (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It Happened One Night, You Can't Take It with You, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, American Madness and Frank Capra's American Dream) Sony Picture

Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton Film Collection - Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - 2 disc, The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s , The Comedians - Warner

Mission Impossible - The Complete First Season (1966) - Paramount Home Video

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (William Greaves, 1968) Criterion Collection

The Wim Wenders Collection, Vol. 2 - Room 666 (1984), The Scarlet Letter (1972), Tokyo-ga (1985), A Trick of the Light (1996), The Wrong Movement (1974) - Anchor Bay



Border Radio (Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss 1987) - Criterion Collection

The Double Life of Veronique 2-disc (Krzysztof Kieslowski,1991) Criterion Collection

Monsters And Madmen (4 DVD Box Set) - (The Haunted Strangler, Corridors of Blood, The Atomic Submarine and First Man into Space) - Criterion Collection

Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1970) - Criterion Collection

Sanjuro (Akira Kurosawa , 1963) - - Criterion Collection

Yojimbo & Sanjuro: Two Films By Akira Kurosawa - Criterion Collection

Yojimbo (REISSUE) (Akira Kurosawa , 1961) - Criterion Collection


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DON'T FORGET: Craving the stuff you can't seem to get anywhere else? Beavers TOP YesAsia picks are listed HERE






Marlene Dietrich (6-disc - Screen Goddess Collection) - The Lady Is Willing (Dir. Mitchell Leisen, 1942), Shanghai Express (Dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1932), Foreign Affair (Dir. Billy Wilder, 1948), Destry Rides Again (Dir. George Marshall, 1939), Blonde Venus (Dir. Josef von Sternberg), Devil Is A Woman (Dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1935) - R2 UK Universal is 60% OFF HERE !

Stalker (1979) - 58% off!

The Cook Thief, His Wife And Her Lover (1989) - 69% off!

The Almodovar Collection (Vol.1) - 38% off!

The Girl on the Bridge (1999) - 65% off!

Battle In Heaven (2005) - 60% off!

La Haine (1995) - 55% off!

Bicycle Thieves (1948) - 28% off!

The Almodovar Collection (Vol.2) - 38% off!

Land And Freedom (1995) - 60% off!

Mirror (1974) - 60% off!

Innocence (2005) - 60% off!

Last Year At Marienbad (1961) - 55% off!

Kes (1969) - 69% off!

Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection - 54% off

Sherlock Holmes - The Complete Collection (Jeremy Brett) - 60% off!