Barfly (Barbet Schroeder, 1987)

“He said he was going to cut off his finger if I didn’t make his film.” – producer Menahem Golan.

“Terrific.  Completely original from beginning to end.” – Roger Ebert, SISKEL & EBERT.

Drafthouse Films LogoAmerican poet and novelist extraordinaire Charles Bukowski drew upon his own life to script this story that tickles and jabs the social underbelly of booze, bars and brave madness.  Downtrodden writer Henry (Mickey Rourke) and distressed goddess Wanda (Faye Dunaway) may be wedded to their bar stools, but they like each other’s company and that says a lot, but when a young publisher smitten with Henry’s outsider mystique appears, Henry must choose between life as a literary lion or a freewheeling alley cat.  Barbet Schroeder directs this “classic one-of-a-kind comedy” (Vincent Canby, The New York Times), offering a giddy, whisky-soaked vision of life on the skids and the proud individuals who refuse society’s demands.

Special Features:

Golden Horn Edition – Package Includes:

  • Barfly on Blu-ray or Standard DVD booklet featuring over 6 hours of bonus material!
  • DRM-free Digital Download of the film on 1080p, 720p, and mobile/tablet formats
  • 27″ x 40″ reversible poster
  • Charles Bukowski’s novel Hollywood, inspired by the making of Barfly

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The Beach Party Blogathon!

beach-party-flipperFor those of us too fixated on the world of film to venture out into the sun and sand, Ruth of Silver Screenings and Kristina of Speakeasy are bringing the seaside frolics to us with the Beach Party Blogathon!  The rules are off with this one as long as the choice of film involves the beach or the seaside, so head over and sign up.

Here at MMC!, we’ll be bringing some French misfortune to the Blogathon with Yves Allégret’s beautifully dreary Such a Pretty Little Beach (1949).  With its off-season showers and its noir-ish despondency, Such a Pretty Little Beach is a decade-late classic in poetic realism sure to move even the most frivolous of surfer dudes and beach blanket babes.

Thanks once again to the Beach Party Blogathon‘s organizers for letting us participate and we’ll see you in the second week of June for some fun in the sun pain in the rain.

Forty Guns (Samuel Fuller, 1957)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Forty Guns.

criterion logoJessica Drummond (Barbara Stanwyck) rules over her county in Arizona with an army of forty gunmen until gunslinger-turned-US Marshall Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan) and his brothers arrive, bringing law and order to Drummond’s corrupt empire.  But when Jessica and Griff fall in love and Griff’s brother is murdered, loyalties become divided between romance, family, justice, and revenge.  Written, directed, and produced by Samuel Fuller, Forty Guns explodes off the screen with audacious cinematography, psychosexual energy, and a hyperbolic story that unites style and substance in a muscular Western classic.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Sam Fuller biographer Lisa Dombrowski
  • A new video essay on the film’s pre-production featuring filmmaker Jim Jarmusch reading archived memoranda from the 20th Century Fox archives
  • Stills gallery of photos, posters, lobby cards for American and international promotion
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring a new essay by filmmaker Allison Anders, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1957 review for Cahiers du cinéma, and excepts from Fuller’s autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking

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A Three Reasons Preview

Three ReasonsAlliteration gets used and abused in our latest tease.  We’d like to think that this cheap tactic properly evokes the tabloid sensationalism that rooted the cinematic and narrative values of our relevant filmmaker.  However, despite the stylish of this director’s films, substance was never lacking and these reasons are more than just descriptive plays on words.  (That first one is a dead giveaway!)

Here are our “Three Reasons” for MMC!‘s next Criterion Collection hopeful:

  1. A Woman with a Whip
  2. The Wide, Wide West
  3. Wanton Western Wordplay

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (James Signorelli, 1988)

HERE COMES ELVIRA … THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!

AV_Inferno_DVD_.inddElvira busts out in her outrageously funny, big scream, feature film debut!  When her great-aunt dies, famed horror hostess Elvira heads for the uptight New England town of Fallwell to claim her inheritance of a spooky house, a witch’s cookbook, and a punk rock poodle.  But once Fallwell’s stuffy locals get an eyeful of the scream queen’s ample assets, all hell breaks loose.  Can the Madonna of the Macabre find love with a studly cinema owner, avoid the schemes of her creepy great-uncle, titillate the town’s repressed teens, and become a Las Vegas dance sensation, all without being burned alive at the stake?

Cassandra Peterson stars as horror icon Elvira in this sexy comedy hit, filled with wild wisecracks, campy chaos, and scare movie spooks, all poured into the lowest-cut black gown in horror movie history!

Special Features:

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The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (Peter Greenaway, 1990)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.

criterion logoTaking aim at the neo-conservative values that dominated Britain through the 1980s, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover skewers the decadence and small-mindedness of the era with its visually sumptuous, overtly theatrical tale of food, sex, murder, and revenge.  Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) is a gangster and cultural dilettante holding court nightly at a gourmet restaurant before his wife Georgina (Helen Mirren) and his coterie of thugs, unaware that Georgina is carrying on an adulterous affair with a bookish diner one table over.  When Albert discovers the infidelity, his brutal action inspires Georgina to a gastronomic vengeance even more shocking and ghastly that Albert can imagine.  Writer-director Peter Greenaway presents a lavish cinematic feast steeped in the conventions of 16th century British revenge tragedy, inspired by 17th century Dutch painting, and voicing his harsh dissent over the social, political and cultural failures of Thatcherite Britain.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration of the film’s original 124 minute version, approved by writer-director Peter Greenaway, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Greenaway
  • The Art of Revenge, a new video piece with Greenaway on the influences of art and theater in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
  • New interviews with cast members Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon, Richard Bohringer, and Tim Roth
  • New interview with fashion designer Jean-Paul Gautier on the film’s costumes
  • Hubert Bals Handshake, Greenaway’s 1989 short film
  • “New Possibilities: Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema” and “Nine Classic Paintings Revisited,” two 2010 lectures by Greenaway at UC Berkeley
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by film scholars Tony Rayns, Douglas Keesey, and Ruth Johnston

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