The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.
Russell Rouse's The Oscar is fabulously gaudy and kitschy, with overdone sets and costumes. The film practically hyperventilates in mood, story, and acting. You should see it.
Justin Pemberton's film version of Thomas Piketty's landmark book on the dangers of today's yawning income inequality, Capital in the 21st Century, is more TED Talk than documentary, but it's a handy summary nonetheless.
Something portentous comes out of quiet ordinary postwar English life: three schizoid noirs from directors Carol Reed, Roy and John Boulting, and Tharold Dickinson.
Although it's fair to state that Jerry Hopper is no Douglas Sirk, it's also true that their careers tangoed around each other, as seen in Hopper's Naked Alibi.
Preston Sturges' classic Hollywood comedy The Great McGinty is an incisive and bold political satire that explores the ridiculous depths of American corruption—80 years before the Trump era.
The movements of the camera in Melville's Un flic attempt to overcome one of the most inscrutable divides in existence.
The Ealing name has been revived in the new century, but film buffs will always regard its incandescent era as that period when it held up a scrappy and schizoid mirror to postwar England's depressions and aspirations.
The early Ida Lupino films hold a particular nuance for female characters and the textures of their everyday lives, which has rarely been exhibited in classical Hollywood filmmaking.
The four restored films in Kino Lorber's Blu-ray box. Ida Lupino: Filmmaker Collection, give viewers a fresh opportunity to consider the career of Ida Lupino, the only woman directing Hollywood features in the 1950s. Woman in Hiding (also from Kino Lorber) is an example of the work Lupino did as an actress for hire, and which allowed her to finance her own films.
In the '70s there was something sinister sneaking into suburban homes between the sitcom and the 11 o'clock news where the real horrors played out. The made for TV horror film The Night Stalker would be among the best.
Alphaville's pulpy sci-fi plot acts as a warm coat of familiarity as Godard slyly subverts one genre trope after another.
Reader, we've sifted through many of this year's ghastly Blu-ray offerings so that you don't have to. Venture in for watchable goods for your macabre marathons and blood-curdling binges.
We move through life among strangers whom we try to make less strange by identifying repetitive behaviors as identity. At some point, we might even say we "know" a person. Lynch's Lost Highway shows that we don't know anything about each other.
Hitchcock's motif of treacherous toying with filmgoers is intriguing to spot in his early silent-to-talkie thrillers, Blackmail and Murder!
Jean-Luc Godard's cinematic oddities First Name: Carmen, Détective, and Hélas pour moi, newly released on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, embody the vast landscape of possibilities open to the director during the '80s and '90s.
Followed on a foggy night, a menacing voice on the telephone, trapped in an elevator... Doris Day's Kit Preston verges on a nervous breakdown in Midnight Lace.
From the makers of The Blob, Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr .and Jack H. Harris, 4D Man and Dinosaurus! (restored by Kino Lorber) give film fans a can't-look-away sci-fi gaze into the victims of progress.
Made for TV programs of the '70s really knew how to dish it out. Michael Crichton's Pursuit is all about men conquering each other; whereas Lee Philips' The Girl Most Likely To is a poisoned bon-bon about making pain palatable.
Flicker Alley's The Extraordinary World of Charley Bowers gathers and restores what remains of an elusive and very clever film pioneer, and Kino Lorber shares the silently charming magic of Herbert Brenon's Peter Pan.
All or most of the films in RKO Classic Romances and RKO Classic Adventures are in the public domain and circulated in poor condition. These Library of Congress prints have been digitally restored by Lobster Films in Paris and consistently look and sound very good.
Filmmaking was only one element of a much wider feminist movement that was manifesting itself in various forms, from the flapper to the suffragette to the birth control advocate to the bohemian female writer and political activist.
By the time Yates' Robbery and Kjellin's Midas Run came along, the Hollywood Production Code was weakening as the western world entered a period of rebellious youth, short skirts, sexual permissiveness, Cold War cynicism, colonial wars, and general political uppity-ness.
The French Fantômas films Fantômas, Fantômas Unleashed, Fantômas vs. Scotland Yard and similar crime film projects in Britain, Germany, and the US are related by secret, labyrinthine, diabolical blueprints of unfathomable complication.
Dismissed as "trash" in their day, Charles Bronson films Rider on the Rain and Cold Sweat belong to a Golden Age of internationally co-produced Euro-thrillers that combine pulp storytelling with stylistic elegance and intense emotion.
While Anthony Asquith's Shooting Stars and Underground look excellent on Kino Lorber's digital restoration, Arthur Robison's The Informer, looks most spectacular, thanks to working from the original negative and a tinted nitrate print.
The Tarnished Angels is a paradox. It's highly Sirkian, yet it hardly resembles the glossy Technicolor soaps that made his reputation and were generating so much box office.
If you care about 3-D history, or about Lamas, or about how far the '50s could push erotic buttons (or un-buttons) within family entertainment, you'll have a good time with 'Sangaree' and 'Jivaro'.
Marcello Mastorianni and Rita Tushingham act out Swinging London fantasies for Christopher Morahan's Diamonds for Breakfast.
Flicker Alley, Milestone Films and Kino Classics offer the works of silent film directors Georges Méliès, Lotte Reiniger, Abel Gance, and F. W. Murnau on Blu-ray.
Burt Lancaster's second film, The Midnight Man (1974), reflects a weary outlook of disillusion and regret within the trappings of gumshoe noir.