10 on the 10th – February 2017

the-champions-of-justiceThe last ten films I’ve watched boast various highlights – Takashi Shimura’s warm, paternal energy (Points and Lines), Marina Malfatti’s plunging necklines (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Amanda Donohoe’s long, lean torso (The Lair of the White Worm), the Black Hand’s pack of super-powered, little people henchmen (The Champions of Justice). Still, the biggest surprise of the bunch was discovering that the Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint of The Lair of the White Worm is none other than the constantly irritated, often sweary, and so very young Peter Capaldi!

  1. Points and Lines (Tsuneo Kobayashi, 1958)
  2. I Remember You (Ali Khamvaev, 1985)
  3. The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (Emilio Miraglia, 1971)
  4. The Lair of the White Worm (Ken Russell, 1988)
  5. Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler, 1969)
  6. Sausage Party (Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan, 2016)
  7. The Champions of Justice (Federico Curiel, 1971)
  8. Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (François Girard, 1993)
  9. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (André Øvredal, 2016)
  10. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2016)

the-autopsy-of-jane-doeWhile I enjoyed most of the films listed here, I felt particularly conflicted with Aquarius and The Autopsy of Jane Doe. While Aquarius features a wonderful performance by Sônia Braga, I thought her character was willfully blind to real issues connected to her “dog-in-a-manger” position on her apartment and the film’s Erin Brockovich-like ending was a clever bow tied up over a lot of undeveloped conflicts. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is an amazing concept with a very solid first act that is gradually allowed to deflate into nothing by the film’s conclusion. I could actually see myself watching Autopsy again in the vain hope that it will manage to suddenly live up to its splendid premise and will have somehow remedied its failure in my time away from it. Both films have great things going on in them, but nevertheless left me frustrated.

Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (Francois Girard, 1993)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould.

criterion logoFrançois Girard provides in this unconventional bio-pic a compelling and memorable exploration of Canadian musician Glenn Gould, arguably the 20th Century’s greatest classical pianist. Through thirty-two elegantly constructed vignettes mixing drama, documentary, animation, and avant-garde, Girard reveals glimpses of Gould as performer, recording artist, humorist, outdoorsman, speculator, recluse, and iconoclast. Taken together, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould offers a prismatic understanding of Gould’s complex genius and his personal struggles without dispelling the enigmatic power of his legend.

Disc Features:

Continue reading

Cold Trumpet (Enzo Nasso, 1963)

MMC!‘s post proposing a Criterion treatment for Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (François Girard, 1993) is set to arrive during this weekend’s O Canada! Blogathon. In the meantime, MMC! offers for your consideration Enzo Nasso’s Cold Trumpet (1963), an experimental short featuring another musical virtuoso, Chet Baker. Tromp Fredda (the short’s Italian title) sees the trumpeter through an Antonioni-esque landscape of industrialized decay, where he is acknowledged by some individuals, completely unnoticed by others, and plagued by the sudden appearance of a pair of wind-up musical toys apparently mocking him. Just a little jazz surrealism to lead you to the weekend!

Trailer Tuesday

MMC!‘s “Trailer Tuesdays” are the blogosphere’s most viewed posts. Period.

With that out of the way, let’s watch some trailers!

Rialto Pictures is promoting a new restoration of Julien Duvivier’s Panique (1946), a thriller about murder and betrayal that looks great in this re-release trailer. The Criterion Collection has already declared its appreciation of Duvivier (as has MMC!), so we should naturally be hopeful that a stacked Blu-ray for Panique might appear bearing a wacky “C.”

Continue reading

Mill of the Stone Women (Giorgio Ferroni, 1960)

SCARES THAT WILL LEAVE YOU PETRIFIED!

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

Continue reading

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!