Probably the only thing that improves upon Bo McGuire’s astonishing short, Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers (2017), is that the film is available on his website right now to see – click HERE to visit his site and watch! The 15-minute short is an experimental fantasy of some family drama that resists easy description. McGuire labels it on his site as a “lyrical meditation exploring personal family relationships, archetypes and myths through a variety of means & textures” and a rough cut to a feature-length “transgenerational docudrama,” while the Chattanooga Film Festival offered this synopsis – “A failed poet takes up cinematic arms when he returns home to Hokes Bluff, Ala. to find his aunt has locked his drag queen uncle out of the family home.” When asked about his inspiration for the short by Indie Grits, McGuire offered this:
Gail Bryant was a lady from my hometown of Hokes Bluff. She had a tick where she would snap her neck to throw her silver hair to the side. One day Gail was snapping that neck and the next day she was in the ground. That pissed me off. The same thing happened to my Nanny and Papa without the neck snaps and that really pissed me off. Then my Aunt Sharon went behind everyone’s back and tried to sell Nanny and Papa’s house, and Meryl Streep got up on the Oscars hollering, take your broken heart, make it into art.
McGuire, the self-described “queer son of a Waffle House cook and his third-shift waitress on the corner of George Wallace Drive in Gadsden, Alabama,” crafts a Southern Gothic dreamscape that is equal parts John Waters and Terrence Malick. Steeped in corner store pageantry, Socks on Fire veers from scenes of straight documentary to magical realist reveries, with McGuire appearing in oscillating roles of interested relation, impartial chronicler, co-conspirator, and mystical trickster. While often ostentatious and unabashed, McGuire never stoops to exploitation but rather preserves an air of respect and poetic gravity throughout the short. It is McGuire’s greatest success here, creating a kind of cinematic eye dialect from the iconography of slim cigarettes, pick-ups, fireworks, Crimson Tide merchandise, and nature’s damp, inevitable power. It’s a mini-masterpiece and I can’t wait to see Socks on Fire in its full, feature-length glory!
Shout out to the Chattanooga Film Festival and to Bo McGuire! I was lucky enough to spend a little time with Bo (even catch a screening of Rock Steady Row with him) and he’s as affable and charming a guy as you’re likely to find. Bo was definitely a personal and cinematic high point of my CFF experience. Thanks Bo!
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Aboard the Calypso – Sea and Cinema with Jacques Cousteau.
Explorer. Inventor. Author. Conservationist. Filmmaker. Jacques Cousteau was an iconic figure in marine exploration, spending more than sixty years investigating undersea kingdoms and sharing his tales with the world. Over three award-winning feature films spanning twenty years, Cousteau reveals the beauty and dangers beneath the waves of the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the frozen Antarctic, finding seldom seen tropical wonders, describing the pressures of living in an underwater base for weeks at a time, and persevering through the life or death struggle to survive at the South Pole. Both the committed naturalist and the keen showman, Cousteau portrayed his oceanic marvels with the idealism and the spectacle of science fiction and inspired generations to care for alien worlds here at home and no longer hidden from view.
Special Edition Three-Blu Ray Set Features:
- New high definition digital transfers of The Silent World, World Without Sun, and Voyage to the Edge of the World, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
- French and English-language audio tracks
- Introductions by Wes Anderson, James Cameron, and Werner Herzog
- Of Silence and Men: The Pioneers of The Silent World, a 50-minute documentary featuring interviews with Jacques Cousteau, co-director Louis Malle, camera designer André Laban, Cousteau scholar Franck Machu, and Malle biographer Pierre Billard
- Two Men, A Masterpiece, an interview with Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle
- The Silent World’s Legacy, interviews with Jacques Cousteau, Luc Besson, and Jacques Perrin
- Early films of Jacques Cousteau: 18 Meters Deep, Shipwrecks, Landscapes of Silence, Seals in the Sahara, Around a Reef, Off Tunisian Coasts, One sortie du “Rubis,” SCUBA Diary, Danger Under the Sea, Rhythm on the Reef, and The Red Sea
- Station 307 and The Fountain of the Vaucluse, a pair of short films by Louis Malle made in collaboration with Jacques Cousteau
- Edmond Séchan’s Academy Award-winning short The Golden Fish, produced by Jacques Cousteau
- Restoration demonstration
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Luc Jacquet and excerpts from Cousteau’s 1953 book The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Arthur Lipsett: In Between Artist.
Admired 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.
- 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
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Lost One.
In Peter Lorre’s only directorial effort, German scientist Dr. Karl Rothe murders his fiancée for betraying him and disclosing his research to enemy nations. Instead of being punished, Rothe’s crime is covered up by Nazi authorities, leaving the doctor gripped by a compulsion to kill. With the end of World War II, Rothe finds work at a refugee camp under an assumed name, but his past catches up with him when a fellow scientist and former Nazi agent arrives looking for sanctuary of his own. Co-written and starring Lorre as well, The Lost One was rejected by audiences upon its release but has since become a masterpiece of post-WWII German cinema, an intensely haunting and fatalistic film that interrogates the psychological cruelty that enabled the war and the individual and collective guilt that followed.
- New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by the German Film Institute, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary by Lorre biographer Stephen D. Youngkin
- Peter Lorre – The Double Face, Harun Farocki’s 1984 documentary
- Displaced Person: Peter Lorre, Robert Fischer’s 2007 documentary
- Interview with German film historian Christoph Fuchs
- Theatrical trailer
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Lorre scholar Sarah Thomas, excerpts of Lorre’s own work script, biographical character sketches, documents on the film’s rating, and Bertolt Brecht’s poem to Lorre, “To the Actor P.L. in Exile;” and a new paperback edition of Lorre’s original novel “The Lost One,” unreleased in Germany until 1996 and available in North America here for the first time
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Adapted from the critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of an “internationally ignored” rock singer and her search for stardom and love. Born an East German boy named Hansel, Hedwig marries an American G.I. to get over the Berlin Wall to freedom and suffers a botched sex-change operation in the process that leaves her with just a one-inch mound of flesh. Finding herself high, dry, and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, Hedwig pushes on to form a rock band and encounters a lover/protegé in Tommy Gnosis, a young Christian army brat who eventually leaves her, stealing her songs to become a huge rock star. Left to stalk Tommy’s stadium tour with her group, the Angry Inch, Hedwig crisscrosses America intent on exposing Gnosis and claiming her rightful position in the pantheon of rock icons.
- New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary featuring Mitchell and DeMarco
- Deleted scenes with optional commentary
- Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig, a feature-length documentary on the musical and the film
- I am Hedwig, new interviews on with Mitchell, Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, Darren Criss, and Taye Diggs, the stars of Hedwig‘s Broadway productions
- Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig, Katherine Linton’s documentary on the lives of four students attending the Harvey Milk School for LGBTQ youth and the recording of Wig in a Box, a tribute album raising funds for the institute operating the school
- Anatomy of a Scene, a making of featurette on the adaptation of the musical at the Sundance Institute
- New video appreciation by critic Kim Morgan
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek
“It’s bloody well brilliant.” – Todd Brown, TWITCH FILM.
“The world will never be the same.” – Peter Debruge, VARIETY.
After his partner is killed in the line of duty, Miami Police Department detective and martial artist Kung Fury time travels from the 1980s to World War II to kill rival kung fu master, Adolf Hitler (a.k.a. “Kung Führer”), only to be sent back to the Viking Age where he must face powerful warrior women and Norse Gods. This ’80s inspired, action extravaganza pits Kung Fury against lethal arcade robots, martial arts masters, laser-dinosaurs, and Nazi mutants. With only his biceps, his skateboard skills, a collection of similarly badass heroes, and a mere 30-minutes to save history, Kung Fury kicks and quips his way to victory. Constrained by a miniscule budget, David Sandberg’s Kung Fury was shot on green screen to construct a fanciful trailer of epic, B-movie awesomeness that became an internet sensation and inspired a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The result is an homage to 1980s adventure films and side-scrolling video game battles, complete with astounding visual effects and a shredding electropop synth score. A darling of the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, Kung Fury now hits hard media with the mighty force of Thor’s enchanted hammer!
Hack Time Edition – Package Includes: