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.

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Two from The All-Nighter Room

A lot of time has been spent lately watching short films and some new favourites have been found, particularly from The All-Nighter Room, a Brooklyn based production company founded by Mickey Duzyj and specializing in distinctive animated and documentary shorts. First up is Duzyj’s The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere (2016), the story of Haru Urara, a Japanese racehorse with a massive losing-streak that became a national symbol of perseverance and pride in hard economic times. Next is Mickey Duzyj and Jeremy Johnstone’s Emmy and Webby nominated The Perfect 18 (2014) about IT manager Rick Baird’s perfect round of Putt Putt golf. Both films offer Duzyj’s clean, spare animation design, with the former subtly using colour to represent the expanding popularity of Haru Urara and the latter deploying this crisp style to elaborate on the precision required of competitive miniature golf. Both of these films are surprisingly affective and use the short film format to avoid allowing their subjects to become overblown.

Arthur Lipsett: In Between Artist

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Arthur Lipsett: In Between Artist.

criterion logoAdmired by cinema innovators like Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, and Stan Brakage, Canadian filmmaker Arthur Lipsett was an experimental phenomenon within the National Film Board of Canada, creating avant-garde collage films that mapped the alienation of technological advancement and media saturation. These films, assembled from footage shot by Lipsett and collected from trimmings of other NFB productions, convey Lipsett’s view of increasing dehumanization under the pressures of modernity, yet they remains energetic and enthusiastic in their ironic juxtapositions and rapid-fire pace. This collector’s set provides a complete survey of Lipsett’s experimental works and four related films examining the life and art of one of experimental cinema’s most enigmatic filmmakers.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital restorations of all 8 films – Very Nice, Very Nice (1962), Experimental Film (1963), 21-87 (1963), Free Fall (1964), A Trip Down Memory Lane (1965), Fluxes (1968), N-Zone (1970), Strange Codes (1972) – with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
  • Interview with director George Lucas
  • Two Films by Lipsett, Donald Rennick’s 1967 documentary discussing Free Fall and A Trip Down Memory Lane with a group of teenagers
  • Remembering Arthur, Martin Lavut’s 2006 feature-length documentary on his close friend, Arthur Lipsett
  • The Arthur Lipsett Project: A Dot on the Histomap, a 52-minute documentary from 2007 by Eric Gaucher
  • Lipsett Diaries, Theodore Ushev’s 2010 animated short featuring narration by Quebecois filmmaker Xavier Dolan
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays and capsules by Lipsett scholars William Wees and Fred Camper and filmmakers Brett Kashmere, Amelia Does, and Dirk de Bruyn

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Miracle on 34th Street (George Seaton, 1947)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Miracle on 34th Street.

criterion logoHired by Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square to be its department store Santa, a jolly, white-whiskered man calling himself Kris Kringle soon has everyone in the Christmas spirit, all except his no-nonsense boss Doris Walker and her skeptical daughter Susan. Kris proves himself a valuable asset to Macy’s until the store psychologist has the kind old man committed to a mental hospital and he becomes the subject of a public trial. With his lawyer Fred Gailey at his side, Kris sets out to prove himself to be the one true Santa Claus, defending himself against Scrooges and skeptics alike. Nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and a winner for Best Original Story, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Edmund Gwenn’s performance as Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street was a summertime hit for 1947 and holiday classic ever after.

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200 (Vincent Collins, 1975)

Patriotism has never been as trippy as it is in Vincent Collins’ 200 (1975), a psychedelic commission from the US Information Agency for the American bicentennial.  We were lucky enough to see the short in Kier-La Janisse’s latest Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat Cereal Cartoon Party and the audience loved it (particularly the moment when hamburgers come sailing from the Horn of Plenty).  So salute the flag and check yourself for epilepsy, just as the founding fathers intended!

200 coincidentally marks MMC!‘s 200th post!  Big thanks to you crazy kids (both of you) who stop by MMC!‘s tiny corner of the worldwide inter webs, and thanks in advance to that lone reader who will see us to 400!

99 francs (Jan Kounen, 2007)

“Brilliant, trashy, offbeat.  Exceptional.” – STUDIO.

Drafthouse Films LogoOctave Parango (Jean Dujardin) is the master of his world.  His job: copywriter at the acclaimed ad agency Ross & Witchcraft.  His motto: “Man is a product like any other.”  He has all he desires – drugs, women, luxury – but when Octave ruins a meaningful romance with a beautiful and caring co-worker, he becomes disgusted with himself, his easy-going lifestyle, and the system he helped create, causing him to rebel and sabotage his biggest advertising campaign.  Jean Dejardin (The Connection) tears down the dishonest and hypocritical world of corporate advertising in this blackly comic tale of self-destruction.  Inspired by Frédéric Beigbeder’s best-selling novel, Jan Kounen directs this comedy “bursting with ideas from start to finish!” (Le Parisien).

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Jan Kounen
  • Audio commentary with Kounen, writer Frédéric Beigbeder, and actor Jean Dujardin
  • Making-of featurette
  • Back on the Roof: Behind the Scenes of the Fall
  • Another World: Filming in the Amazon
  • Deleted scenes, with optional commentary
  • Special effects featurette
  • Jan Kounen Podcasts from the set of 99 francs
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (director of the absurd) on Legrand advertising, an excerpt of a 2007 debate between Rousseau and Kounen
  • Deleted making-of scenes
  • Capitaine X and Vibroboy, two short films by Kounen
  • A 24 page booklet featuring concept art, production photos, and new interviews with cast and crew

Deluxe Edition – Package Includes:

  • 99 francs on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 6 hours of bonus material
  • DRM-free Digital Download of the film on 1080p, 720p, and mobile/tablet formats
  • 27″ x 40″ Movie Poster
  • Frédéric Beigbeger’s novel 99 Francs

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