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NeuroticErotica
Sep 9, 2003

Perform sex? Uh uh, I don't think I'm up to a performance, but I'll rehearse with you...



Criminal Minded posted:

Just from looking at the movie's IMDb page and poster, I figured you'd be jazzed for this - depending on how much you liked the movie, that is, I certainly assumed you'd seen it.

I'm a big Monte Hellman fan and I can't decide if I like Two Lane Blacktop or Cockfighter more. Both have Warren Oates in it, who is by far my favorite actor. Cockfighter has the spectacle, but Two Lane Blacktop is an art film hidden in a semi-carsploitation package.

Two Lane Blacktop is one of the most gorgeous American natural light photographed films that I've ever seen. Men in their cars with just the smallest of streaks of light over their face, it looks fantastic. It's perplexing in it's construction, it's not like an American film at all, you have loud engines and quiet actors, but through their silences they speak louder than the engines ever could. There's so much going on in the bizarre relationship between the two racers that I'm not sure that I could pick up on everything that's in the film no matter how many times I go over it. Oates and James Taylor just give such incredible nuanced performances about men wrapped up in obsession that their characters do some weird things that you wouldn't expect in a racing film, but given the two people and just the odd vibe throughout the film, you go completely with it.

Hellman was pretty much seen as a poor man's Peckinpah, in his day and to some degrees still is. It's a real tragedy, because this is a great film that has received a degree of recognition, but nothing compared to what it deserves. Peckinpah's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia has been having something of a resurgance in popularity, but I would rank this above it. And I love Alfredo.

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Criminal Minded
Jan 4, 2005

Spring break forever


Well I'm a sucker for good photography above all so I'll certainly have to give this a look. And a favorable comparison to Peckinpah doesn't hurt either; I've only seen The Wild Bunch and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia but both are completely awesome. And I really loved Oates in the latter, just a great great character and performance. "You two are definitely on my poo poo list."

NeuroticErotica
Sep 9, 2003

Perform sex? Uh uh, I don't think I'm up to a performance, but I'll rehearse with you...



Criminal Minded posted:

Well I'm a sucker for good photography above all so I'll certainly have to give this a look. And a favorable comparison to Peckinpah doesn't hurt either; I've only seen The Wild Bunch and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia but both are completely awesome. And I really loved Oates in the latter, just a great great character and performance. "You two are definitely on my poo poo list."

Hellman and Peckinpah have pretty much always been compared because they used a lot of the same actors and same concepts in their films. Hellman was seen as lower because he was involved in some trashier films, but everything he made was really well done. Sadly he just has had the worst luck being able to get his projects made, especially since the end of the 70s. He's a director's director though, shooting B-Unit on Robocop and was the first person approached to do Reservoir Dogs. I can't imagine what his version would have been like.

As far as Oates goes... I've never seen him in any performance where he just didn't give it his all. That guy put everything into everything.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



October releases!

#410 - UNDER THE VOLCANO



* SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES
* New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by film editor Roberto Silvi
* Audio commentary featuring executive producer Michael Fitzgerald and producers Wieland Schulz-Keil and Moritz Borman
* Theatrical trailers
* New video interview with Jacqueline Bisset
* New audio interview with screenwriter Guy Gallo
* 1984 audio interview with John Huston conducted by French film critic Michel Ciment
* Notes from "Under the Volcano" (1984), a 59-minute documentary by Gary Conklin shot on the set during the film's production, featuring interviews with Huston, cast, and crew
* Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry (1976), filmmaker Donald Brittain's 99-minute, Academy Award–nominated documentary, narrated by Richard Burton, examining the connections between Under the Volcano author Malcolm Lowry's life and that of his novel's main character
* PLUS: A new essay by film critic Christian Viviani
* More!

I don't know much about this movie, but it's been vaguely on my radar for years. I'm not really too impressed with John Huston.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



#408 - BREATHLESS



* SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES
* New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard
* Archival interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard, and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville
* New video interviews with Coutard, assistant director Pierre Rissient, and filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker
* New video essays: filmmaker and critic Mark Rappaport's "Jean Seberg" and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Breathless as Film Criticism"
* Chambre 12, Hotel de suede, an eighty-minute French documentary about the making of Breathless, with members of the cast and crew
* Charlotte et son Jules, a 1959 short film by Godard, starring Belmondo
* French theatrical trailer
* New and improved English subtitle translation
* PLUS: A booklet featuring writings from Godard, film historian Dudley Andrew, Francois Truffaut's original film treatment, and Godard's scenario

No big surprise here. Nice bounty of extras, I'm most interested in the short. Breathless isn't one of my favorite Godards, but it certainly has a great deal of influence.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



#407 - MALA NOCHE



* DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Gus Van Sant
* New interview with Van Sant
* Walt Curtis, the Peckerneck Poet: a documentary about the author of the book Mala Noche, directed by animator and friend Bill Plympton
* Storyboard gallery
* Original trailer edited by Van Sant
* PLUS: A new essay by film critic Dennis Lim

Another one we knew was coming. I've been wanting to see this for a long time.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



#409 - DAYS OF HEAVEN

* DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terrence Malick, editor Billy Weber, and camera operator John Bailey
* New Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
* Audio commentary featuring Weber, art director Jack Fisk, costume designer Patricia Norris, and casting director Dianne Crittenden
* New video interviews with cinematographers Haskell Wexler and Bailey
* PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Adrian Martin and director of photography Nestor Almendros
* More!

The only must-buy title for me this month (unless the Eclipse release turns out to be something cool). It'd be nice to have more Malick participation on the extras, but it still looks like a nice set.

Criminal Minded
Jan 4, 2005

Spring break forever


Alright! I've been waiting for the announcement of Under the Volcano forever, I was actually gonna pick up the book the other night but the only copy the store had was torn and frayed, so I'll pick it up tonight. Breathless and Days of Heaven are definitely must-sees for me as well. Never even heard of Mala Noche, honestly.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


Criminal Minded posted:

Never even heard of Mala Noche, honestly.

It's Van Sant's very first feature movie. I haven't seen it, but it seems pretty drat interesting. Van Sant's hosed up a lot in his career, but when he does something right, he makes a masterpiece. Plus, his really early work was easily his best.

Mike_V
Jul 31, 2004

Let's* go Blackhawks! The Blues and Red Wings suck.

Maybe it's just because the forums' background is the same color, but that Breathless cover art looks really bad/weird.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


Mike_V posted:

Maybe it's just because the forums' background is the same color, but that Breathless cover art looks really bad/weird.

Yeah. The whole Critereon logo over the "B" just looks awkward too.

Peaceful Anarchy
Sep 18, 2005
sXe
I am the math man.



Mike_V posted:

Maybe it's just because the forums' background is the same color, but that Breathless cover art looks really bad/weird.

It's the orientation of the text, and the black line down the middle doesn't help. It's the sort of idea that seems original in your head but looks awful when you actually do it. It might not be so bad on an actual DVD that you can rotate, though.

NeuroticErotica
Sep 9, 2003

Perform sex? Uh uh, I don't think I'm up to a performance, but I'll rehearse with you...



Slackerish posted:

It's Van Sant's very first feature movie. I haven't seen it, but it seems pretty drat interesting. Van Sant's hosed up a lot in his career, but when he does something right, he makes a masterpiece. Plus, his really early work was easily his best.

I've seen Mala Noche and it's a strong argument against his early work being his best. I never thought it went anywhere interesting and most of the time it's Gus saying "Hey guys! I'm gay!", which I guess was edgy at the time, but today is just not that interesting. Maybe the restoration will help it out a lot, but really, I just didn't care for it a lot, and I like his art films a whole heck of a lot.

I really like looking at first time features and seeing how it launched careers - this is one I can't figure out. I will say it's better than Finding Forrester and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. (Jesus, this reminds me - when GVS fucks up, he fucks up!)

Black Trombone
May 9, 2007

I say, do f. that s. squarely in the a., old fruit.

I actually just saw Breathless a couple of days ago, and I can't for the life of me figure out why Criterion waited until now to release it. That movie pretty much amazed me, but then again, it is my first French New Wave film. :3:
Pretty sure I'll be buying it.

Saul
May 9, 2006

fuck your limo

FitFortDanga posted:

#409 - DAYS OF HEAVEN

HOLY poo poo HOLY poo poo HOLY poo poo HOLY poo poo

This confirmed release has just made my day. Having a Malick Criterion will be absolutely incredible. I cannot wait.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


Black Trombone posted:

I actually just saw Breathless a couple of days ago, and I can't for the life of me figure out why Criterion waited until now to release it. That movie pretty much amazed me, but then again, it is my first French New Wave film. :3:
Pretty sure I'll be buying it.

Criterion usually prioritizes movies that are hard, if not nearly impossible, to find (certainly not the case for Breathless). For some reason they've lately been re-releasing a lot of movies that aren't hard to find at all, but spiffing them up big time.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



Fresh from criterionforum.org:

ECLIPSE SERIES 6: CARLOS SAURA'S FLAMENCO TRILOGY



One of Spanish cinema’s great auteurs, Carlos Saura brought international audiences closer to the art of his country’s dance than any other filmmaker, before or since. In his Flamenco Trilogy—Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo—Saura merged his passion for music with his exploration of national identity. All starring and choreographed by legendary dancer Antonio Gades, the films feature thrilling physicality and electrifying cinematography and editing—colorful paeans to bodies in motion as well as to cinema itself.

Blood Wedding



Carlos Saura began what would become his trilogy with this depiction of a single dress rehearsal for choreographer Antonio Gades’s adaptation of poet/playwright Federico García Lorca’s tale of passionate revenge. No mere recording of a ballet, Blood Wedding (Bodas de sangre) uses gripping camerawork and heart-pounding rhythmic editing to evoke the experience of moving with the dancers every step of the way.

Carmen



Saura’s biggest international box-office success was this self-reflexive meditation on both Bizet’s popular opera Carmen and the original novella by Prosper Mérimée. Antonio Gades plays a choreographer who gets involved with his neophyte lead dancer (Laura del Sol), and grows dangerously jealous. Depicting the ups and downs of their affair in between rehearsals for Gades’s ballet, Carmen is a visually hypnotic hall of mirrors in which the dancers become inseparable from their personas.

El Amor Brujo



The Flamenco Trilogy’s most straightforward narrative is also its most forthrightly theatrical, a modern take on composer Manuel de Falla’s gypsy ballet, dressed up in pink sunsets and hellishly red fires. Set in a dusty Andalusian village, El amor brujo (Love the Magician) is a seductive melodrama of a man (Antonio Gades) whose beloved is haunted by the ghost of another.


Not the Mizoguchi set I had hoped for, but I'm always interested when they come up with something I've never heard of. Nice to see something a little more contemporary in the Eclipse line too.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



That Under the Volcano cover is one of the neatest DVD covers I've ever seen. I swear, if Criterion released a coffee table book filled with their DVD cover art, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

STEVIE B 4EVA
Nov 12, 2005

girl in the slayer jacket            i am searching for you

FitFortDanga posted:

Blood Wedding




I am very interested in this, though I haven't read the Lorca play in ages.

Perfect Disguise
May 7, 2007


I'm loving the recent emphasis on Spanish cinema; The Spirit of the Beehive was one of the best surprises Criterion has come out with recently. I've never heard of Carlos Saura, but I'm definitely going to check that set out.

They're releasing a lot of highly available, painfully obvious things recently -- but if that's what it takes for them to get us films by Chris Marker and Mizoguchi, hey, it's cool with me.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



cover art:



Meh.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


Is there any word on a reprint of Notorious? Cause apparently it's out of print now..

Og Oggilby
Feb 12, 2005


Looks like The Lady Vanishes will be re-issued: http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23

It also looks like they're working on a special edition of the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad for 2008. Unfortunately, it looks like the Cabiria special edition isn't happening.


Also, this month's newsletter hints at either One Night with You or The Love Parade coming from them. Or even Love Me Tonight, but it's already out from Kino.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


Og Oggilby posted:

Looks like The Lady Vanishes will be re-issued: http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23


BUT WHAT ABOUT NOTORIOUS :(

lamin
Aug 22, 2003

All posts are equal but some posts are more equal than others

Og Oggilby posted:

Looks like The Lady Vanishes will be re-issued

Argh, another double dip for me. I'm sure the extras will make it worth while though (I hope).

Og Oggilby
Feb 12, 2005


Slackerish posted:

BUT WHAT ABOUT NOTORIOUS :(

How much are you willing to pay for a used Notorious? :haw:

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



lamin posted:

Argh, another double dip for me. I'm sure the extras will make it worth while though (I hope).

I can't decide. The Lady Vanishes is one of my favorite early Hitchcocks, but I'm pretty satisfied with the OOP edition. I guess I'll probably buy it, I just hope it comes out later rather than sooner. My wallet is suffering from all the excellent releases this fall/winter.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


Og Oggilby posted:

How much are you willing to pay for a used Notorious? :haw:

I unno, money's pretty tight right now, but maybe anywhere from $15-25?

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


I got the three-disc set of Brazil for my birthday last night, and some money which I'm going to use to order a couple of other Critereons.

I'm thinking Do the Right Thing and Knife in the Water. Any comments on either of these?

IndieRockLance
Jan 29, 2003

The devourer of worlds demands a Moon Pie to satiate his hunger!

Slackerish posted:

I got the three-disc set of Brazil for my birthday last night, and some money which I'm going to use to order a couple of other Critereons.

I'm thinking Do the Right Thing and Knife in the Water. Any comments on either of these?

Knife in the Water is a great film, although I felt that the Christ imagery was overbearing and a bit out of place. Since it's Polanski's first feature, his directorial style is still a little raw, but here and there you can see elements which would make it into his more well known movies like Chinatown. It isn't Polanski's best, but it is a fairly important piece of film history.

ClydeUmney
May 13, 2004

One can hardly ignore the Taoist implications of "Fuck it, Dude. Let's go bowling."



Slackerish posted:

I'm thinking Do the Right Thing and Knife in the Water. Any comments on either of these?

Do the Right Thing is outstanding. Here's what I wrote about it when I first saw it:

quote:

Outstanding early work by Spike Lee. I guess this was before Lee became as strident and as preachy as he tends to be now; this is a warm, affectionate portrayal of a New York neighborhood during a very hot day--the happiness of which makes the ending to come all the more powerful and devastating. The performances throughout are wonderful, and Lee shows himself capable of creating some rich, layered characters, and capable of sweet moments I wouldn't have expected (the scenes between Da Mayor and Mother Sister were wonderful). This is far better than I expected it to be, and among the best looks at American race relations I've seen, even almost twenty years later. With its great sense of place and an ending so powerful, it's hard not to view this as a masterpiece, plain and simple.

Not a bit of that has changed since I wrote it, and in fact, I think even more highly of it the more I think about it. It's really a superb piece of filmmaking.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


ClydeUmney posted:

Do the Right Thing is outstanding. Here's what I wrote about it when I first saw it:


Not a bit of that has changed since I wrote it, and in fact, I think even more highly of it the more I think about it. It's really a superb piece of filmmaking.

I saw the movie back in January and I loved it to death, it's probably in my top 20, maybe even my top 10. Have you explored the DVD at all?

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



Chances are you're not going to watch Knife in the Water more than once.

Criterion's DTRT is a great disc, the extras are phenomenal.

Slackerish
Jan 1, 2007

Hail Boognish


FitFortDanga posted:

Chances are you're not going to watch Knife in the Water more than once.

I'm especially interested for the eight short films included on the second disc, I'd love to see some of Polanski's earliest work.

Og Oggilby
Feb 12, 2005


It looks like Bottle Rocket may finally come out from Criterion since the Wilson Brothers mentioned it in an interview (as posted on the Criterion Forum site).

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters also seems to be in the works (also on CF). The Warner DVD is apparently great (16x9, both English and Japanese audio, Paul Schrader commentary, 1985 featurette, and the trailer). However, it's out of print. It seems to be owned by Zoetrope and/or Lucasfilm.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



Og Oggilby posted:

It looks like Bottle Rocket may finally come out from Criterion since the Wilson Brothers mentioned it in an interview (as posted on the Criterion Forum site).

Finally. People have been clamoring for a Criterion Bottle Rocket for years.


Og Oggilby posted:

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters also seems to be in the works (also on CF). The Warner DVD is apparently great (16x9, both English and Japanese audio, Paul Schrader commentary, 1985 featurette, and the trailer). However, it's out of print. It seems to be owned by Zoetrope and/or Lucasfilm.

Interesting. It used to be one of my favorites, after about 5 times I started getting tired of it. Still, it's a great film. I didn't even know the DVD was out of print. The Schrader commentary is pretty good, hopefully they'll get to keep it.

WhatWouldRoarkDo
May 11, 2006

This sentence is false.

Something that's been bugging me for a while...this seems like a good place to ask:

Is there a list somewhere, or is there some clever way to find out, which movies on Netflix are available in their Criterion edition? For example, I got Time Bandits from Netflix, and it wasn't Criterion...just the normal dvd release. On the other hand, when I got Brazil, they sent me disc one of the three-disc Criterion release...even though the artwork that they show on Netflix's website is for the regular DVD release. I'd love to see every Criterion release that I possibly can through Netflix, but it seems there's no way of telling if you're going to get Criterion or not until it shows up at your door. Of course, this isn't a problem for movies that have only had Criterion DVD releases (I've gotten Tokyo Olympiad, Idi Amin Dada, Band of Outsiders, etc.), but what about flicks like Traffic, Do The Right Thing, Dazed and Confused, etc?

If such a list doesn't exist already, I propose that we goons make a project out of it. We'll just split up the entire Criterion library among all the Netflix users in CD, have everybody add their assigned portion to their queue, and then report whatever they get...

...but somebody else should administrate this project...not me.

p.s. Super-psyched for House of Games. For me, that's a buy, not a rent.

Daunte Vicknabb
Feb 22, 2005

You are already dead

WhatWouldRoarkDo posted:

Something that's been bugging me for a while...this seems like a good place to ask:

Is there a list somewhere, or is there some clever way to find out, which movies on Netflix are available in their Criterion edition? For example, I got Time Bandits from Netflix, and it wasn't Criterion...just the normal dvd release. On the other hand, when I got Brazil, they sent me disc one of the three-disc Criterion release...even though the artwork that they show on Netflix's website is for the regular DVD release. I'd love to see every Criterion release that I possibly can through Netflix, but it seems there's no way of telling if you're going to get Criterion or not until it shows up at your door. Of course, this isn't a problem for movies that have only had Criterion DVD releases (I've gotten Tokyo Olympiad, Idi Amin Dada, Band of Outsiders, etc.), but what about flicks like Traffic, Do The Right Thing, Dazed and Confused, etc?

If such a list doesn't exist already, I propose that we goons make a project out of it. We'll just split up the entire Criterion library among all the Netflix users in CD, have everybody add their assigned portion to their queue, and then report whatever they get...

...but somebody else should administrate this project...not me.

p.s. Super-psyched for House of Games. For me, that's a buy, not a rent.

As someone who is taking a far more serious interest in classic films these days, especially Criterion releases, I wholly approve of this project. The only Criterion I have received so far from my admittedly limited Netflix dips (actually, only about 3 movies I have rented have criterions) was The Royal Tenenbaums, and unfortunately I didn't realize that Criterions were known for their extras at the time so I never looked into that aspect.

As someone with pretty much zero watch history of classic films, I'd like some recommendations on a few Criterions worthy of blind-buys, as my birthday is coming up shortly and I want to add a few to my DVD collection. I was thinking that I'd get Seven Samurai for sure since I do love that movie, and If..., 400 Blows, and Do The Right Thing all seem to be highly recommended, but I'd like some other good candidates. I'm open to anything, any genre.

FitFortDanga
Nov 19, 2004

Nice try, asshole



Daunte Vicknabb posted:

As someone with pretty much zero watch history of classic films, I'd like some recommendations on a few Criterions worthy of blind-buys, as my birthday is coming up shortly and I want to add a few to my DVD collection. I was thinking that I'd get Seven Samurai for sure since I do love that movie, and If..., 400 Blows, and Do The Right Thing all seem to be highly recommended, but I'd like some other good candidates. I'm open to anything, any genre.

I have a lot favorites (too many to name) in the collection, but I'd say these are the safest bets for blind buys (besides the ones you already mentioned):

Beauty and the Beast
The Seventh Seal
Brazil
Fires on the Plain
Kwaidan
Naked
Sansho the Bailiff
The Third Man

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LaptopGun
Sep 2, 2006

All I'm going to get out of him is a snappy one-liner and, if I'm real lucky, a brand new nickname.

Daunte, I agree with with all of Danga's recomendations. I especially recommend Brazil and The Third Man. To contribute others:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (someone was bound to say it)
The Last Temptation of Christ
Ran (Hell, I like all three Kurasuwas here)
Throne of Blood (I love Macbeth, so maybe I'm a bit too attached to this one)
Traffic
Yojimbo
Videodrone

Brazil for my money is the greatest DVD release I have ever seen, let alone the best Criterion. I know some may disagree with me, but I really feel it is worth every cent. Of course, I didn't pay full price thanks to a sale I heard about through this humble thread...

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