Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Rare dvd

Here is a list of more rare DVDs that aren't really rare - just not seen enough and often tough to find.

Croupier [Image]- This is a terrific drama with a young [pre-famous] Clive Owen who works as a croupier to to curb his own gambling addiction but gets word of an inside job that he can't pass up. The script is very strong with nary a wasted scene. It should be a classic.

Day of the Outlaw
[MGM] - This is a rarely seen Andre de Toth western from the 1950's. Shot in a stark black and white the film is about a tough rancher who faces off against a group of thugs who come to town and take over for a day or two. It has a good amount of tension with a nihilistic streak that would have made Peckinpah proud.

The Rabbit is Me [First Run Features]- A terrific East German film about a young woman who has an affair with a judge who happened to sentence her brother to prison for political activity. A tricky dynamic is at work and a very political one as well. Made in the 1960's the film was banned in East Germany for years.

Reconstruction [Palm]- This postmodern romance from Denmark played many festivals and had great word of mouth - for those who saw it. Basically it is about a photographer who meets and falls in love with a woman in the course of one intense day. Influenced, no doubt, by Last Year at Marienbad it is both complex and perplexing but worth seeing again and again.

The Soft Skin [Fox Lorber] - Hard to imagine that a Francois Truffaut movie could be rare but this one [which is out of print] is. Directed after the success of his first three films [which everyone knows] the film never took off and it's hard to know why. But the doomed love affair it deals with fits right into the themes of the French New Wave of the period.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

39 or 59

Was 1959 a better year in film than 1939?
It's certainly better than 2009.

Eleven great films from 1939
Gunga Din
The Wizard of Oz
Gone with the Wind
The Rules of the Game
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Only Angels Have Wings
The Roaring Twenties
Le Jour se lève

Eleven great films from 1959
The 400 Blows
Some Like It Hot
The World of Apu
North by Northwest
Jazz on a Summer's Day
Hiroshima, mon amour
Wild Strawberries*
Day of the Outlaw
Room at the Top

* made in 1958 but released in the US in 59

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rashomon already played

RASHOMON IS PLAYING AT THE NUART blares the headline on the LA Times [web] today.

Followed by a nice sentence: The beautifully restored print of Akira Kurosawa's landmark 1950 drama "Rashomon" visits the Nuart Theatre for a one-week engagement beginning Friday.

Nice press, you say?
The only problem is Rashomon actually closes tonight.
It opened last Friday.

Nice work LA Times. This is what you get with a depleted staff at a sinking newspaper? If anything you'd think the Arts & Entertainment section would be their strongest department. [Sigh].

BTW I saw Rashomon last night. And the print never looked better. The black and white is ravishing.