5 items from 2011
When, in 1934, Jean Vigo died of tuberculosis, he was only 29, "a neglected figure at the margins of the industry who had seen one of his films (Zéro de Conduite) banned by the French authorities and another (L'Atalante) recut and retitled by its producer." Dennis Lim in the Los Angeles Times: "Vigo lends himself to romanticization, and not just because of his tragic early death and the aura of unfulfilled promise. He led a brief but colorful life as a fellow traveler of the French surrealists and the son of a well-known anarchist who was apparently murdered in prison. Vigo's first film, the silent, 23-minute À Propos de Nice (On the Subject of Nice), part of the 'city symphony' genre that flourished in the 1920s, confirmed that the young Jean was very much his father's son…. All of Vigo's films were shot by Boris Kaufman, brother of the Soviet film pioneer »
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Coen Brothers Collection The only title in this collection that's new to Blu-ray is Miller's Crossing, which just happens to be one of my favorite films from the Coen brothers and it joins Blood Simple, Fargo and Raising Arizona in this all-in-one set. Buying all four in this one collection will save you about $18 over buying each title individually, so if you're a Coen fan and don't have any of them yet this just may be the set for you.
In the "Buy Now" link below I've included not only the collection, but the individual titles as well if you'd rather cherry pick a couple over buying them all together. If you want my opinion, I'd say the collection is the way to go since I would otherwsie recommend buying just Miller's Crossing and Fargo, but if you did that, »
- Brad Brevet
Assigning the year to which a film belongs affects how we think of it – but should we choose production or release date?
Let's try to push past the wordplay: how we date movies is serious business. Literary critics seem to rub along without having to write Twelfth Night (1602), but open any film book and you will find great thickets of brackets – Date Movie (2006) – mucking up otherwise perfectly respectable sentences. Moreover, the specificity these dates purport to offer is quite illusory.
Twasn't ever thus. Early film histories, such as Paul Rotha's The Film Till Now, first published in 1930, were largely unencumbered. Within a few decades, alas, parentheses had become de rigueur – but what to fill them with? Opinions varied. In later, much-expanded editions of Rotha's book, the most influential of its kind, films were dated "by their year of production, and not, as is misleading in some film books, by »
The Criterion Collection will release The Complete Jean Vigo on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 30 for the list prices of $39.95 and $29.95, respectively.
A collection of all four films made by the French cinema legend before he died of tuberculosis in 1934, at the way-too-young age of 29, The Complete Jean Vigo marks the first time the filmmaker’s entire canon has been compiled in one collection.
Film scholars will tell you that Vigo helped to establish French cinema’s poetic realism movement of the 1930s and 1940s, a swell that yielded such masterpieces as Renoir’s Grand Illusion and Carne’s Children of Paradise. And later on, Vigo’s work was the spark that ignited the artistic explosion that became known as the French New Wave. What I can tell you is that you don’t need a film class to enjoy Vigo’s final movie, 1934’s L’Atalante, a sensual »
From the pioneers of the silver screen to today's new realism, French directors have shaped film-making around the world
France can, with some justification, claim to have invented the whole concept of cinema. Film historians call The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, the 50-second film by the Lumière brothers first screened in 1895, the birth of the medium.
But the best-known early pioneer, who made films with some kind of cherishable narrative value, was Georges Méliès, whose 1902 short A Trip to the Moon is generally heralded as the first science-fiction film, and a landmark in cinematic special effects. Meanwhile, Alice Guy-Blaché, Léon Gaumont's one-time secretary, is largely forgotten now, but with films such as L'enfant de la barricade trails the status of being the first female film-maker.
- Andrew Pulver
5 items from 2011
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