DVDBeaver Newsletter for August 25th, 2005


Hello again,

We have updated our Homepage's left navigation bar with 5 new buttons including an 'official statement', the 'Top 100 Films' and more... check it out!

Another full newsletter this week (16 reviews, 12 comparisons)...  with films directed by Yamada, Oshima, Renoir, Rossellini, Scorsese, Welles (Heart of Ages), Tarr, Teshigahara, Suzuki, Godard, Ozu, Tati... and more.

November Criterions
Ugetsu Monogatori (Mizoguchi, 1953), Ran (Kurasawa, 1985), Tales of Hoffman (Powell & Pressburger, 1951), and possibly Pickpocket (Bresson, 1959)

LINK CHANGE: The original 1933 King Kong (2-Disc Special Edition) (DVD) is now available for pre-order
HERE. (initially posted Amazon link is now defunct)

Did you know the AE quietly re-issued the Tarr Werckmeister Harmonies in the correct aspect ratio? Our comparison is coming soon...

NEW Article "Griping the Light Fantastic"by Nick Zegarac talks of Warner, the current state of DVD in regards to the classic and some vital and missing entries in digital format.

Strong personal recommendations of stuff we have recently reviewed/compared this week would be the Yoji Yamada "My Sons" even if the DVD is weak the film is a melodramatic triumph, ditto on the weak DVD front for Nomura's The Castle of Sand, the Criterion Harakiri is important even if you are not keen on the whole samurai thing, and I was pleasantly surprised by Love (Szerelem) .

Director's Chair database - Bela Tarr added - see Homepage (right column) for all.
Next? Clue: He's regarded as the best director of the 90's... and that's no 'coincidence'...

Ominous day for the wallet - Sept 6th is coming (Mann + De Toth westerns, Preminger Noir's, Fellini, Boxsets - take out a loan!.):
3-Iron (2004, Ki-duk Kim) Columbia Tri-Star, Bela Lugosi Collection (Murders In The Rue Morgue (1932) , The Black Cat (1934) , The Raven (1935) , The Invisible Ray (1937) , Black Friday (1940) ) - Universal, The Blue Bird (Maurice Tourneur, 1918) Kino, Career Girls (Mike Leigh, 1997) Fox, Chronicle Of A Disappearance (Elia Suleiman, 1996) Kino, The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Jean-Marie Straub/Dani?e Huillet, 1968) New Yorker, Fear & Trembling (Alain Corneau, 2003) Home Vision, Fellini's Casanova (Federico Fellini, 1976) Fremantle Home Entertainment R2-UK, Garbo: Signature Collection 10-disc (Anna Christie (English and German versions), Camille , Anna Karenina, Ninotchka, Queen Christina, Grand Hotel, Mata Hari, the TCM original documentary "Garbo", the "TCM Archives: Garbo Silents": contains Flesh and the Devil, The Temptress, and The Mysterious Lady. ) Warner Home Video, Hammer Horror Series (Brides of Dracula / Curse of the Werewolf / Phantom of the Opera (1962) / Paranoiac / Kiss of the Vampire / Nightmare / Night Creatures / Evil of Frankenstein)- Universal, Harry and Tonto (Paul Mazursky, 1974) Fox Home Entertainment, The Holy Girl (La Ni? Santa) (Lucretia Martel, 2004) HBO, The House on 92nd Street (Henry Hathaway, 1945) Fox Home Entertainment, The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961) Fox Home Entertainment, The Last Frontier (Anthony Mann, 1955) Columbia Tri-Star, A Lawless Street (Joseph H. Lewis , 1955) Columbia Tri-Star, The Lina Wertmuller Collection (Lina Wertmuller) Koch-Lorber, Man in the Saddle (1951, Andr?De Toth) Columbia Tri-Star, Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944, Preston Sturges) Paramount, Le Paltoquet (Michel Deville, 1986) C'est la vie [R2-UK], Save the Green Planet (Jang Jun-hwan, 2003) Koch Lorber, Somewhere in the Night (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1946) Fox Home Entertainment, Stranger Wore a Gun (1953, Andr?De Toth) Columbia Tristar, Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety, 1973) Kino, Whirlpool (Otto Preminger, 1949) Fox Home Entertainment

Most Recent Reviews:

Love (Szerelem) - Hungarian masterpiece - haunting, atmospheric and beautifully performed film, brilliantly shot by Janos Toth, captures exactly the fear and uncertainty of the time. Another great Second Run DVD!

Trafic - Mr. Hulot is to show his latest autocamper at a carfair, soon becomes an almost impossible task. No English subs, but typically minimal dialogue.

The Killing of Sister George - the key "lesbian picture" of its era and a decent image on the inexpensive DVD from MGM.

The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family - This 1941 film is one of the few upper-class family dramas by Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu, and the domestic furnishings and how they're framed help make it one of his most visually ravishing works.

Mother Joan of Angels - based on the infamous historical episode known as the Possession of Loudon. In the early 17th century in the French town of Loudon a number of nuns from a Ursuline convent were said to be possessed by demons and evil spirits.

For Ever Mozart - Godard mixes fast-paced intellectual vaudeville and graceful philosophical reflections and startling moments of quiet beauty that pierce through the rapid fire barrage of quotation and gunfire.

She's On Duty - sometimes need a perspective counter-balance in cinema... and you may as well see a cute Asian girl in a school uniform firing a gun at bad guys as much as see anything else.

Tale of Sadness and Sorrow - this is just as incomprehensible as most other Suzuki films - filled with some Imamura-style sexuality and each scene as unexpected and unpredictable as the next. Certainly another bizarre product of the psychedelic mind of a cult icon in Japanese cinema.

Rikyu - Breaking a self-imposed 17 year silence from the cinema world Hiroshi Teshigahara returns with this striking example of meditative film making.

Family Nest - Fans of Tarrs later metaphysical work will be hard pressed to find much of the same cinematic qualities that have become his trademark, but the underlying notions of man vs. an oppressive environment should be fully apparent.

The Prefab People - This is simple, stunning filmmaking, ripe with sadness and frustration. The ending, featuring a cynical and deeply saddening bit of Tarr magic that predicts the circular structure of his later work, was enough to make you shed tears.

Avant Garde - Experimental Cinema of the 1920s & 1930s - Kino Video has compiled a collection of experimental films, mostly only seen in cuts and brief sequences in many documentaries, about the birth of film, steeped in historical significance.

Gangs of New York - a bold, epic spectacle brought to the screen - visually stunning, with a storyline that encompasses a grand scope, using a fascinating and turbulent period of American history.

Night and Fog in Japan - Nagisa Oshima's didactic 1960 film seems to anticipate the Maoist Godard: against a black background, different symbolic characters step forward to offer an analysis of the failure of Japan's traditional left and offer suggestions to the new wave of student protesters.

My Sons - Divided into simply labeled interludes this essential melodramatic masterpiece from Yoji Yamada includes numerous universal familial markers including Yasujiri Ozu's themes of generational variances and the conflict of an encroaching new Japan upon the older traditional one. Magnificent film folks.

The Castle of Sand - Yoshitaro Nomura's fascinating mystery/thriller which subtly weaves three separate stories together (one a brilliantly realized flashback of the past).

Quote of the Week
"A director is not entitled to please anyone. He hasnt the right to restrict himself in the process of his work for the sake of success, and if he does he will invariably pay the price; his plan and purpose, and their realization will no longer have the same meaning for him. ... It takes little enough to appreciate art: a sensitive, subtle suggestible soul, open to beauty and good, capable of aesthetic experience..."
- Andrei Tarkovsky from his book "Sculpting in Time : Reflections on the Cinema" translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair

NEW Comparisons:

Eureka (Masters of Cinema # 10) - Region 2 - PAL "The Flowers of St. Francis" vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC

Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC "Harakiri" vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC "Boudu Saved From Drowning" vs. Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC "Sweet Smell of Success" vs. MGM - Region 2 - PAL

Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL "Big Business" vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC "Mon Oncle" vs. Atlantic Film (Jacques Tati Collection) - Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL "Week End" vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC "The Big Combo" vs. Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC

Universal (The Hitchcock Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC "The Man Who Knew Too Much" vs. Universal (The Hitchcock Collection) - Region 2,4 - PAL

Universal (The Hitchcock Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC "Rope" vs. Universal (The Hitchcock Collection) - Region 2,4 - PAL

Tokyo Shock - Region 1 - NTSC "Fudoh" vs. Tokyo Shock (Deluxe Ed.) - Region 1 - NTSC

Alan Young - Region 2 - PAL "Almost Human" vs. No Shame - Region 0 - NTSC

Tel me your choice for Feature DVD of the Month - its almost time!. Gary@DVDBeaver.com

Where I live the horrendously hot weather has dissipated and its a great time to be outside, play with the kids, BBQ, whatever... enjoy!
Gary Tooze