6 items from 2015
Twilight Time brings Sam Fuller’s exotic 1955 color noir House of Bamboo to Blu-ray, a resplendently colorful film and the first major Us production to film in post-war Japan. While Fuller re-tooled Harry Kleiner’s script for the 1948 film The Street with No Name to meet his own offbeat needs, the film experienced a rather cool reception, garnering praise for Joseph MacDonald’s cinematography (and has since been hailed by sources as some of the best uses of widescreen photography in the history of cinema) but little else. Following on the heels of successful black and white titles like Hell and High Water (1954) and the acclaimed film noir Pickup on South Street (1953), it’s a harder title to classify, featuring Fuller’s usual signature of off-balance touches in a production that now seems ahead of its time (especially compared to something like 1964’s black and white provocation The Naked Kiss »
- Nicholas Bell
This week on Off The Shelf, Ryan is joined by Brian Saur to take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for the week of August 25th, 2015, and chat about some follow-up and home video news.
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Episode Links & Notes Follow-up Honeymoon Killers Don Hertzfeldt’s Kickstarter News Arrow’s Us announcements for November French Battlestar Galactica Blu-ray release Spartacus Restoration Screenshots City of Lost Children 20th Anniversary Blu-ray KLStudio Classics – I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Delirious, Up The Creek Vincent Price Oop Moc Announcements: Shane, Robinson Crusoe On Mars, The Quiet Man New Releases
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem Burn, Witch, Burn The Couch Trip Cruel Story Of Youth (Masters Of Cinema) Day for Night (Criterion) Diggstown Dressed to Kill Elena Face to Face aka Faccia A Faccia Hackers The Hunger La Sapienza La Grande Bouffe My Darling Clementine Navajo Joe »
- Ryan Gallagher
(Samuel Fuller, 1953; Eureka!, PG, DVD/Blu-ray)
A hard-nosed tabloid newsman in New York before scripting B-movies in Hollywood in the 1930s, Samuel Fuller served as a much decorated infantry sergeant in North Africa and Europe during the second world war. He returned to the cinema after the war, becoming a writer-director-producer, starting with I Shot Jesse James, a low-budget western questioning the nature of courage and hero worship. War movies, noir thrillers and westerns were his forte, action films of visual power that combined nuanced social commentary with brutal directness. They confused middle-class critics the world over into thinking Fuller was a rightwing thug rather than a sensitive artist who sympathised with outsiders, losers and men in the street.
Pickup on South Street was made at 20th Century Fox under the sympathetic eye of producer Darryl F Zanuck during Fuller’s only time as a well-paid contract director. It’s a masterly film noir, »
- Philip French
With a retrospective opening at the Museum of Arts and Design and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence screening at Film Forum, Nicolas Rapold talks with Roy Andersson for the New York Times. More goings on: Martin Scorsese's poster collection at MoMA, Barbara Hammer’s portrait of the poet Elizabeth Bishop, a revival of Samuel Fuller's Pickup on South Street, a Rainer Werner Fassbinder mini-retrospective in Los Angeles, Frederick Wiseman in Chicago, Don Hertzfeldt in Vienna, Alejandro Jodorowsky in Bordeaux and more. » - David Hudson »
Pickup on South Street is the most claustrophobic American film before Psycho. Hitchcock's lament for the aridity of the modern age focused on "private traps." Sam Fuller's 1953 noir, the finest distillation of his tabloid sensibility, is about public traps: the confinement of rigid political identity, the division of society into citizens and criminals, the solely economic line that separates pauperhood from respectability. The macguffin here is a piece of microfilm that, in the opening scene, is being ferried to communist agents by the unwitting courier Candy (Jean Peters) but gets stolen en route by the pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark). The picture is a race to convince Skip to turn over the film and forgo the big score he expects from selling it.
Oscar 2015 winners (photo: Chris Pratt during Oscar 2015 rehearsals) The complete list of Oscar 2015 winners and nominees can be found below. See also: Oscar 2015 presenters and performers. Now, a little Oscar 2015 trivia. If you know a bit about the history of the Academy Awards, you'll have noticed several little curiosities about this year's nominations. For instance, there are quite a few first-time nominees in the acting and directing categories. In fact, nine of the nominated actors and three of the nominated directors are Oscar newcomers. Here's the list in the acting categories: Eddie Redmayne. Michael Keaton. Steve Carell. Benedict Cumberbatch. Felicity Jones. Rosamund Pike. J.K. Simmons. Emma Stone. Patricia Arquette. The three directors are: Morten Tyldum. Richard Linklater. Wes Anderson. Oscar 2015 comebacks Oscar 2015 also marks the Academy Awards' "comeback" of several performers and directors last nominated years ago. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress Oscars for, respectively, Olivier Dahan »
- Steve Montgomery
6 items from 2015
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