4 items from 2017
The uncanny Georges Franju strikes again, in an Agatha Christie-like thriller imbued with his special mood, the eerie music of Maurice Jarre and some great actors including Jean-Marie Trintignant, Pierre Brasseur, Dany Saval, Marianne Koch and Pascale Audret. If mood is the key, then Franju has found an ideal setting, a beautifully preserved castle in Brittany.
Spotlight on a Murderer
Blu-ray + DVD
Arrow Academy USA
1961 / Color / 1:37 full frame (1:66 widescreen?) / 92 min. / Street Date May 30, 2017 / Available from Arrow Video.
Cinematography: Marcel Fredetal
Film Editor: Gilbert Natot
Original Music: Maurice Jarre
Produced by Jules Borkon
Directed by Georges Franju
Until a few years ago most U.S. fans knew of Georges Franju solely through the great »
- Glenn Erickson
Georges Franju’ Spotlight On A Murderer (Pleins feux sur l’assassin – 1961) will be available on Blu-ray May 30th from Arrow Academy.
When the terminally ill Count Herve de Kerloquen (Pierre Brasseur, Goto, Isle of Love) vanishes without trace, his heirs are told that they have to wait five years before he can be declared legally dead, forcing them to devise ways of paying for the upkeep of the vast family chateau in the meantime. While they set about transforming the place into an elaborate son et lumiere tourist attraction, they are beset by a series of tragic accidents if that s really what they are…
The little-known third feature by the great French maverick Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face, Judex) is a delightfully playful romp through Agatha Christie territory, whose script (written by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac of Les Diaboliques and Vertigo fame) is mischievously aware of the »
- Tom Stockman
No, not a blind Sherlock Holmes, but a blind Van Johnson, who directs his butler, his girlfriend Vera Miles and the London police to thwart a crime based on something he overheard in a bar. Henry Hathaway directs a complicated murder mystery that plays like a combo of Rear Window and Wait Until Dark, with a cranky Van Johnson as the central character.
23 Paces to Baker Street
Kl Studio Classics
1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date February 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Cinematography: Milton Krasner
Film Editor: James B. Clark
Original Music: Leigh Harline
Produced by Henry Ephron
Directed by Henry Hathaway
In the 1950s the murder mystery thriller came of age, as creakier older formulas »
- Glenn Erickson
France has a rich history of horror. There’s the sadomasochistic novels of the Marquis de Sade as well as the blood and guts of Grand Guignol theatre. In cinema, the horror lineage runs deep. There’s Georges Méliès’ shorts and trick films (The Haunted Castle , The Four Troublesome Heads ); the eye-slicing of Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel’s Un chien andalou (1929); Georges Franju’s nauseating documentary on slaughterhouses, Blood of the Beasts (1949), as well as his clinical and poetic Eyes Without a Face (1960); there’s Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nasty Diabolique (1955); and the rotting poetry of Jean Rollin’s collective work. Flash forward a few decades, to the mid-1990s and 2000s, where we find the intense and brutal "New French Extremity" films by Philippe Grandrieux, Bruno Dumont, Gaspar Noé, Marina de Van, and others. And there are the genre filmmakers creating work around the same time as the more »
4 items from 2017
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