Mill of the Stone Women (Giorgio Ferroni, 1960)


AV_Inferno_DVD_.inddHans, a young artist, arrives at the famous Dutch windmill of Professor Wahl to study the horrible stone statues contained within the local landmark, a mechanical carousel of history’s most notorious women meeting their gruesome and untimely ends. There, he becomes captivated with Wahl’s mysterious and seductive daughter notwithstanding Hans’s relationship with a local art student. Warned by Professor Wahl to stay away from his seriously ill daughter and suspicious of her private doctor, Hans begins to suspect that deadly family secrets are being kept within the mill…

Giorgio Ferroni’s Mill of the Stone Women was Italy’s first horror film shot in color and has become a classic of the Italian Gothic genre. Arrow Video proudly presents four versions of the film with this release, newly restored from the best materials available and including the notorious “topless” shots of sexy French star Dany Carrel originally cut from the US release.

Special Features:

  • New high definition transfers of the film in its 95-minute international version, 90-minute French version, 96-minute Italian version, and 93-minute German version
  • High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD Presentation
  • Uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
  • Newly translated English subtitles for French, Italian, and German editions
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Introduction to the film by author and critic Alan Jones
  • Audio Commentary with film critic Tim Lucas
  • Archival interview with actor Wolfgang Preiss
  • Deleted and alternate scenes
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Stills and poster gallery
  • Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Andrea Bini, an essay by Pete Tombs, and a comparison of the versions of the film by Tim Lucas, illustrated with original stills and posters

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Criterion Made Mine! The Tampopo Edition

868_dvd_box_348x490_originalCriterion’s April 2017 titles have been announced and in addition to Buena Vista Social Club (Wim Wenders, 1999), Woman of the Year (George Cuckor, 1942), and Rumble Fish (Francis Ford Coppola, 1983), Juzo Itami’s Tampopo (1985) has made its expected arrival to the Collection. Now MMC! can’t take all the credit for Tampopo‘s admission to the Collection, but I can’t help but note the upcoming Criterion edition includes The Making of Tampopo, Rubber Band Pistol, and a Nobuko Miyamoto interview and addresses the concept of seishin in Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos’ video essay. MMC! so rarely gets to pat itself on the back when Criterion makes its announcements, but I’ll say that MMC!‘s proposed edition from nearly four years ago had this.

Thanks Criterion! Now bring on Minbo: The Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion, A Taxing Woman, and A Taxing Woman’s Return!

Aniki-Bobo (Manoel de Oliveira, 1942)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Aniki-Bóbó.

criterion logoSet in the director’s hometown of Porto, Portugal, Aniki-Bóbó features a romantic rivalry amongst a group of young, school-age children. Eduardinho, an unofficial leader and bully to a band of his classmates, has affection for Teresinha, a pretty girl who begins noticing the interest of a shy boy named Carlitos. When Carlitos steals a doll for Teresinha and is accused of pushing Eduardinho off an embankment and toward an oncoming train, the youngster must negotiate feelings of guilt, betrayal, and persecution. Manoel de Oliviera’s first feature film was a commercial failure on its initial release, but has become regarded as a classic work in Portuguese cinema, a forerunner to Italian neorealism, and an inspiration to generations of Portuguese filmmakers.

Disc Features:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • A new piece about Manoel de Oliveira’s first career in cinema with scholar Randal Johnson
  • A pair of city symphonies by de Oliveira on Porto – Labor on the Douro River (1931) and The Artist and the City (1956)
  • Excerpt from Sergio Andrade’s documentary Manoel de Oliveira: His Case, featuring interviews with de Oliveira and actors Fernanda Matos and Horácio Silva
  • Manoel de Oliveira and the Age of Cinema, a short documentary made for Portuguese television on the filmmaker
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Dennis Lim and a reprint of Aniki-Bóbó‘s source story, José Rodrigues de Freitas’ Millionaire Children

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Introducing Criterion Now!

criterion-nowThe good folks at CriterionCast have introduced a new podcast to the family – Criterion Now – a round table discussion of current Criterion-related events hosted by Aaron West.  Think of it as The McLaughlin Group for cinephiles, film nerds, and Criterion-heads, with Aaron as the straw that stirs the drink.

Episode 1 was released a couple of days ago with discussions of Criterion’s wacky New Year’s drawing, some Criterion titles, and the new streaming service FilmStruck. Joining Aaron on this episode is his Criterion Close-Up partner, Mark Hurne; podcasting power couple Ericca Long and Cole Roulain of The Magic Lantern; and administrator/lion tamer of the Criterion Considered Facebook group, Matt Gasteier.

10 on the 10th – January 2017

I’m please to say that among the last 10 movies that I’ve watched is my favourite film of 2016 (at least for now) – La La Land. As part of that minority that was left cold by Chazelle’s Whiplash (2014) and entirely underwhelmed by Chazelle’s co-scripted 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016), I’m won over by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and ready for Chazelle’s next film.  As for the rest, no clear duds here and some real fondness was generated for All Night Long and Arrival.

  1. la-la-land-posterFour Hours of Terror (Tsuneo Kobayashi, 1959)
  2. All Night Long (Basil Dearden, 1961)
  3. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  4. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
  5. The Swinging Cheerleaders (Jack Hill, 1974)
  6. The Birth of Saké (Erik Shirai, 2015)
  7. White Christmas (Carl Tibbetts, 2014)
  8. The Invitation (Karyn Kusama, 2015)
  9. La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)
  10. Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra, 2015)

Usually my list of the last 10 films I’ve watched covers the last week or two of screenings, but this list goes back even farther. A major reason for this has been our binge watching all 7 volumes of the Found Footage Festival. For those looking to cleanse their palettes after Son of Saul, I highly recommend exploring the FFF and becoming familiar with Instant Adoring Boyfriend, Corey Haim’s Me, Myself, And I, Dancing with Frank Pacholski, Rue McClanahan Cat Care Video, Carnival in Rio with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rejuvenique, and Mikenastics.

My ever-shifting “Best of 2016” list is up on Letterboxd for anyone interested and I may post something more substantive here at MMC!, perhaps in February when I’ve had a chance to catch up with just a few stragglers – The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook), One Piece Film: Gold (Hiroaki Miyamoto), Moana (John Musker and Ron Clements), Silence (Martin Scorsese), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade), Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul), Midnight Special (Jeff Nichols), The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer), Jackie (Pablo Larraín), The Autopsy of Jane Doe (André Øvredal), Neither Heaven Nor Earth (Clément Cogitore), Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Werner Herzog), Ixcanul (Jayro Bustamante), Paterson (Jim Jarmusch), Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross).

Every Day (Gabe Spitzer, 2015)

Anyone who’s seen my Letterboxd account knows I’m a big fan of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries. I’ve also alluded here at MMC! to my wife’s love of running. With that in mind, I thought I’d get 2017 off on the right foot with Gabe Spitzer’s Every Day (2015), a portrait of elderly runner Joy Johnson that I saw for the first time this week and left both me and my wife teary-eyed by its end. Johnson didn’t begin running until age 59 but became an accomplished distance runner nonetheless, completing numerous races at various distances, running the New York City Marathon 25 consecutive times, posting a best time at NYC in 1999 at 3:55:30 while age 73, and even running the Twin Cities Marathon and New York City Marathon just 4 weeks apart at the age of 81. Watching Joy should offer some ambition in facing 2017.