Latest Blog Posts

by Michael Barrett

13 Oct 2015

Now on Blu-ray are three American International Pictures starring Vincent Price, all with jolly commentaries to sweeten the appeal for the actor’s fans.

The earliest film on offer, Tales of Terror, features three Prices for the price. He stars in three stories, all elaborated by screenwriter Richard Matheson from tales by Edgar Allan Poe. The movie is one of several Poe/Price pictures made in the early ‘60s by producer-director Roger Corman and, like the previous ones, benefits immeasurably from Daniel Haller’s Gothic designs, Floyd Crosby’s expressionist widescreen photography (complete with a squashed and woozy dream sequence), and Marjorie Corso’s lush costumes, all in Pathe color, and scored with Les Baxter’s rich spookery.

by Michael Barrett

7 Oct 2015

Let’s say you wanted to make a living by playing music for silent movies. In terms of employment prospects, that might put you somewhere between a lamplighter and the drummer on a Viking ship.
Or so you’d think. Ben Model has been making a living at it for several years, and between regular gigs at the Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress’ Packard Preservation Campus, plus traveling to various festivals, he averages 15 shows a month.

by Michael Barrett

1 Oct 2015

This three-DVD set conveniently gathers six hard-to-find films that French filmmaker Agnès Varda made on California visits in 1967-1968 and in 1980. Beautifully restored, they look sunny and gorgeous, and bear her distinctive sense of curiosity, intelligence, color, and craft.

In 1967, Varda arrived in America with her husband, Jacques Demy, who was making the film Model Shop  for Columbia. The first disc has two short documentaries she made in Northern California. Saturated with color, light, and whimsy, Uncle Yanco  (1967) is an impromptu profile of her father’s cousin, an artist in a houseboat colony of young bohemians in Anaheim. By re-creating and filming their “first meeting” several times, Varda calls attention to the artificial aspect of the project. We have the option of hearing a largely French soundtrack or an English one narrated by Yanco and Varda.

by Jedd Beaudoin

28 Sep 2015

Entourage: The Movie was almost universally panned when it hit theaters—enough that reviews worked as a repellant for some. But as its DVD release reveals, it’s not that bad.

by Chris Barsanti

25 Sep 2015

The cartel wars’ corrosive corruption and psychotic butchery that have been progressively pulverizing Mexican society for over a decade have just now begun registering as more than a blip on the American cultural consciousness. One would think that such horror-film savagery and rock-and-roll street combat happening right next door, with a constantly mutating cast of heroes who turn out to be villains and villains who turn out to be monsters, would have grabbed more attention sooner. But, then, it was only after Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper reimagined another murky conflict into a reassuring and essentially false good-guy crusader narrative that the public turned out in real numbers for an Iraq War film.

Now there is Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, set in a U.S.-Mexico border zone awash in drug money, paranoia, and double-digit body counts. Emily Blunt (painfully miscast) plays Kate, an FBI agent who during a seemingly routine raid in an Arizona suburb stumbles into a cartel kill-house where the walls are filled with dozens of plastic-wrapped corpses, like some macabre art exhibit. Pulling that string gets her yanked into a larger cross-agency task force swaddled in official hush-hush.

//Mixed media

Terror, Dolls, Madhouses: Three for the Price of Price

// Short Ends and Leader

"Three Vincent Price projects from American International.

READ the article