Literally nothing on this blog makes me happier than posting about MMC! titles getting actual spine numbers and Arrow Video has made that happen once again with the announcement that Tomu Uchida’s A Fugitive from the Past will be released in September! A massive film that nicely bookends with his Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (another film also promoted by MMC! and later released by Arrow Video), Fugitive is a masterpiece of Japanese guilt, treating the demand for atonement as a near metaphysical inevitability. Gritty in texture yet profound in its look and sensibility, Fugitive will likely catch many Arrowheads off guard and find the declaring a newly discovered masterpiece. Once again, you’re welcome!
With a new print of Giorgio Ferroni’s Mill of the Stone Women appearing at the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival compliments of Arrow Video, it was easy to expect a Blu-ray edition to be forthcoming from the label. Then again, an AV release of Mill might have been expected back in 2017 when MMC! imagined an Arrow Video edition of this minor Italian Gothic masterpiece. The forthcoming Arrow Video release newly announced for November 2021 is a stacked limited edition boasting four versions of the film and a plethora of special features. MMC! managed to predict the inclusion of all four versions, anticipate Wolfgang Preiss’s archival interview being included on this latest version, and correctly invented an audio commentary by Tim Lucas. As always, film fans, you’re welcome!
November looks like a winning month from Arrow Video with a 4K UHD standard edition of Battle Royale for the UK, a 4K UHD release of The Hills Have Eyes, an impressive limited edition release of The Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge, and Shinji Somai’s Sailor Suit and Machine Gun. Could we see an Arrow set of Somai’s more dramatic works sometime in the future, providing much needed editions of Moving or Typhoon Club and saving us from solid but region-locked releases of Third Window Films? MMC! can only hope.
Arrow Video absolutely crushed its August announcements today with a stunning array of titles. The crown jewel for many will be 4k UHD, Steelbook, and Blu-ray releases of David Lynch’s Dune (1984). Added to that are releases of The Brotherhood of Satan (Bernard McEveety, 1971), Blind Beast (Yasuzo Masumura, 1969), and a UK-only edition of A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim Jee-woon, 2003), plus their 4k UHD release of The Cat o’ Nine Tails (Dario Argento, 1971), a collection of past Sergio Martino releases, and some restocks. Of course, MMC! is happiest to see Adam Carter Rehmeier’s lovable, irascible, and oh-so catchy Dinner in America (2020) get the Arrow Video treatment. MMC! imagined an AV edition of the film following last year’s Fantasia International Film Festival and we’re pleased to see that FIFF Q&A session make it onto the disc. As always, you’re welcome. Now if only that Arrow Video release wasn’t UK only….
It’s another month of Criterion announcements and another example of MMC!’s Collection wishes coming true. This month sees the Criterion Collection announcing the release of Martin Bell’s Streetwise (1984) and Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell (2016) in a collected edition. MMC! imagined this release back in 2015 and it’s good to see we accurately predicted the inclusion of some short film work and Cheryl McCall’s 1983 Life magazine article. Once again cineastes, you’re welcome!
Screenings of Masaki Kobayashi’s The Human Condition (1959) were scheduled at MMC! headquarters in April, but those plans will be delayed to June to coincide with the release of Criterion’s blu-grade in June. Also coming in June will be an upgrade of MMC! favourite and past Top Ten entrant Pickup on South Street (Sam Fuller, 1953), a stand-alone release of the excellent Olympic documentary Visions of Eight (1973), Dee Rees’s queer coming-of-age story Pariah (2011), and an electrifying and exhaustive collection – The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs.
I’ve long feared the hazard of imagining a Criterion release of a given film only to have the Collection announce it mid-month as a forthcoming title, thereby leaving my research and writing wasted. Alas, that day has finally arrived with the Criterion Collection announcing Edmund Goulding’s Nightmare Alley as a May 2021 release, leaving my work over the past couple of weeks sunk. Nightmare Alley may be MMC!’s favourite film noir of all time and it’s a timely choice with Guillermo del Toro’s remake scheduled to arrive later this year. Criterion’s other announcements for May 2021 are equally superb – a stand-alone edition of Ahmed El Maanouni’s Trances, the iconic and star-studded Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the tantalizingly salacious Merrily We Go to Hell, and Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai featuring an absolutely gorgeous cover treatment!
MMC!’s intended discussion of Nightmare Alley attended to the film’s fascinating production history, its horror noir adjacency, and to the distinctive manner by which the film explicitly dealt with film noir’s organizing force: fate. For the curious, I’ve provided below a glimpse of what an MMC! package of Nightmare Alley might have looked like (minus that partially drafted discussion of the film).
The cover art may not be revealed but Moonstruck is coming to Criterion Collection this November and MMC! is here to take all the credit, having previously proposed the Norman Jewison film as a quasi-valentine to my lovely wife who rightfully adores the movie. Our MMC! edition bears a strong resemblance to the actual Criterion release just announced. Both versions port over the current Blu-ray’s special features, each leaving out the lamentable cooking and food featurette, and both include an interview specifically considering the significance of opera to the film. And so, as always … you’re welcome, cinephiles.
The rest of November’s Criterion slate looks solid with an Essential Fellini box set (More weird packaging!), Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Coolness!), Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (Meh!), and Claudia Weill’s Girlfriends (An MMC! favourite discovery from last year!).
And for those waiting for MMC!’s next proposal, a new imagined Criterion edition will arrive before the end of this week and it’ll be British, recent, and widely celebrated!