15 May 2017
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13 January 2015
Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of WILD RIVER, one of the crowning achievements of Elia Kazan, director of A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and Splendor in the Grass. Starring legendary actor Montgomery Clift (Red River, A Place in the Sun) in one of his most gripping roles, Lee Remick (Anatomy of a Murder) and Jo Van Fleet (Cool Hand Luke, East of Eden), Wild River is an expansive portrait that combines erotically charged love story with social realism, in the classic Kazan manner. Wild River is released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD edition) as part of the Masters of Cinema Series on 23 February 2015.
Regarded as one of the crowning achievements in the career of both director Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront) and actor Montgomery Clift, Wild River charted new territory for cinema at the dawn of the 1960s, combining psychology, eroticism, documentary realism, and
In the early 1930s, an administrator for the Tennessee Valley Authority (Clift) arrives in the small town of Garthville with the business of convincing an elderly landowner to sell her land to the government. Soon afterward, he’s thrown into conflicts emotional (falling in love with the landowner’s widowed granddaughter, played by Lee Remick, who is expected to marry another man) and societal (the employment of black labour on the authority’s river project).
With its mix of the personal and the political, Wild River, in the words of critic and scholar Adrian Martin, shows us that "there is only, in each case and circumstance, the particular problem, the isolated breakthrough, and the irretrievable loss.” The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Wild River in a special Dual Format edition that presents the film on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.
Wild River will come in 1080p HD presentation with its original aspect ratio and will come with a 40 page booklet with a new essay by Adrian Martin, a score of rare archival imagery, and more!
Wild River will be released in a dual format on 23rd February and we will be reviewing the film nearer the release date and you can pre-order your copy now Wild River (1960) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD)
21 January 2014
Brilliantly suspenseful and surprisingly moving, Classe tous risques is a devastating study of loyalty and betrayal, distinguished by a bleak, incisive psychological realism. Previously unseen in the UK, it was released in cinemas by the BFI last September and now comes to DVD and Blu-ray in a Dual Format Edition on 24 February 2014. Special features include a documentary on the life and career of the great Italian-born character actor Lino Ventura.
French gangland boss Abel Davos (Lino Ventura) has been on the run in Italy for a decade in order to escape a death sentence. But when police finally close in, he turns to his old criminal friends to help him and his young family return to Paris. With loyalty in short supply, it takes an insouciant stranger (coolly played by Jean Paul Belmondo in the same year as his breakthrough performance in A Bout de souffle), to come to the rescue.
The directorial debut of the influential Claude Sautet (Un Coeur en hiver, Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud), and based on the novel by death-row-inmate-turned-writer José Giovanni (Le Trou, Le Deuxième souffle), Classe tous risques features a stand-out performance from Ventura as a bad man trying to do right by his children.
- Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
- Brand new restoration
- Monsieur Ventura (Doug Headline, 1996/2014): documentary on the life and career of Lino Ventura
- Original French and US trailers
- Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essay by the Guardian’s John Patterson
Check out the film's trailer....
Classe tous risques will be released on Dual Format (DVD&Blu-ray) by BFI on 24 February,pre-order/buy Classe Tous Risques (DVD + Blu-ray) [Amazon]
25 October 2013
The White Dove (1960)
Katerina Irmanovová, Anna Pitasová, Karel Smyczek
Josef Kilián (1963)
Pavel Jurácek, Jan Schmidt
Pavel Bartl, Pavel Silhánek, Stanislav Michler
Buy The White Dove & Josef Kilián: DVD
Second Run has continued it’s love of 60s Czechoslovakian New Wave cinema with films by two of it’s key players. The people in question are František Vláčil and Pavel Jurácek. Vláčil would later direct what is often considered the greatest Czech film ever made Marketa Lazarová and Jurácek is more well known as a writer for his screenplays for Ikarie XB-1 and Daisies. All of these films are available from Second Run and all are highly recommended.
The first film is The White Dove. It’s a very simple story it’s about a boy who nurses a dove after he injures it so it can return back home. It contrasts his story and the girl Susanne waiting for it’s return to his home in the Baltics. There really is much more to that story than that, it’s only slightly over an hour. It exceeds its simplistic story which wonderful cinematic touches throughout. It’s compared to Kes in the press notes but it’s a very strange comparison cause it has tons of surrealistic touches, which is the complete opposite of Ken Loach’s great film. It’s photography is truly stunning and leaves indelible marks on the viewer’s memory, it won award for it’s cinematographer Jan Curík who would later shoot Valerie and Her Week of Wonders and The Joke.
Jan Curík also shot the other film on the disc Josef Kilián. It’s directed by Pavel Jurácek and Jan Schmidt and is only slightly over half an hour. It’s obviously inspired by Kafka and it’s no coincidence that the year the film came out 1963 was the same year that there was a large conference which including a cultural reappraisal of Kafka’s work. It was later “banned forever” after the 1968 Soviet invasion.
It’s a Kafkaesque nightmare of bureaucracy. A young man goes to a cat rental place to rent a cat for a day (best idea ever for non cat owners) but when he comes back to return the cat. He then enters into a world of bureaucracy to try to solve his issue. There is a truly stunning shot of him against a wall of filing cabinets, which is reminiscent of the famous un-filmed deleted scene of Brazil, which was used for the criterion cover. It has cats and has a labyrinth of surreal bureaucracy so ticks 2 important cinematic boxes for me.
So overall another great release from Second Run and hopefully more hidden Czech gems will come in the near future. According to the booklet Karel Zeman’s A Jester’s Tale will be come out soon which Pavel Jurácek also wrote and hopefully The Joke comes out so I can see it.
6 September 2013
BD/DVD Release Date:
9th September 2013 (UK)
Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt
Buy Plein Soleil:
Plein Soleil Special Edition Blu-ray [Amazon]
As I was introduced to French cinema through my interest in the Nouvelle Vague films of Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, and Éric Rohmer, and consequently their critical writing for the influential film journal Cahiers du Cinéma (in particular Truffaut’s Une Certaine Tendance du Cinéma Français), it may come as no surprise that René Clément has never ranked high on my list of filmmakers to further explore. Couple this with already seeing Patricia Highsmith’s best-selling novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, adapted to film by Anthony Minghella and the prospect of sitting through Plein Soleil becomes less intriguing.
First of all – for those of you who have neither read Highsmith’s novel nor watched Minghella’s adaptation – a brief outline of the story is in order. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a thriller that, in all its versions including Clément’s Plein Soleil, follows Tom Ripley, an intelligent career criminal, as he cons his way into the life of a rich playboy, Philippe, by feigning his acquaintance to the man’s father. Ripley is hired by the father to travel to Italy, find Philippe, and bring him back to San Francisco. Now, without wanting to give away any of the film’s plot, Plein Soleil begins with Ripley (Alain Delon) already in Italy and already ingratiated with Philippe (Maurice Ronet) and his circle of friends.
For many, including myself, Clément’s version is the most rewarding. Not only is it the most tense and entertaining of the two adaptations, it also boasts some glorious cinematography by Henri Decaë, the noted cinematographer of such films as Lift to the Scaffold, Bob le Flambeur, Le Beau Serge, and The 400 Blows by directors Louis Malle, Jean-Pierre Melville, Claude Chabrol, and François Truffaut. The film is also noteworthy for its fatalistic point of view. But it is also these two points that mark the film out as an imitation.
As the featurette René Clément at the heart of the New Wave, included with Studiocanal’s restored release, attests, Clément felt unfairly treated by the Nouvelle Vague directors and thought himself a more avant-garde artist than the “Tradition of Quality” directors he had been lumped with. Perhaps this is why he made Plein Soleil with Decaë and also why the film as a fatalistic aesthetic reminiscent of Jean-Pierre Melville, a director admired by the Nouvelle Vague. Nonetheless, Plein Soleil is an entertaining and gorgeously photographed film well worthy of anyone’s time.