Monday, May 20, 2013

Criterion Titles for August


The Criterion Collection titles for August 2013 were announced a few days ago. This edition includes good news for those of you who are Satyajit Ray fans as well as a welcome return of the Eclipse line. Let’s get started:


The Earrings of Madame de... (1953) Max Ophuls - August 6
Blu-grade - Spine #445


Seconds (1966) John Frankenheimer - August 13
New to the collection - Spine #667


The Big City (1963) Satyajit Ray - August 20
New to the collection - Spine #668


Charulata (1964) Satyajit Ray - August 20
New to the collection - Spine #669


To Be or Not to Be (1942) Ernst Lubitsch - August 27
New to the collection - Spine #670


Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (5 discs) - August 27
Five films from Rainer Werner Fassbinder:
Love is Colder Than Death (1969)
Katzelmacher (1969)
Gods of the Plague (1969)
The American Soldier (1970)
Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)

The only film I've seen from this batch is To Be or Not to Be, which appeared on February's list. I thought it was delightful, so I'm eager to pick up this one in August. 

It's also nice to see the return of the Eclipse series, after a long absence. Let's hope this line will be around for many more years. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Topsy-Turvy (1999)



Topsy-Turvy (1999) Mike Leigh [2:40]
Criterion Collection, spine #558

There’s absolutely no reason why I would want to watch a film like Topsy-Turvy. As a rule, I dislike musicals (operettas, in this case), I dislike Gilbert and Sullivan even more, and besides that, the blasted thing’s nearly three hours long. Yet, on the recommendation of one of our library patrons whom I trust, I watched it.

I approached Topsy-Turvy not knowing (or caring) much about Gilbert and Sullivan. I often make ignorant claims such as “I may not know much about ___________ (name your subject, in this case, musicals/operettas), but I know what I like, and this isn’t it.”

So it astounded me that director Mike Leigh was able to compel me both to like these characters and care about what was happening onscreen, which, in a nutshell, is this: 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

April Movies


Since April was an enormously busy month, I only saw a few movies, yet most of them are worth a look. For right now, all I have time for is to list the films along with links to those I’ve already discussed. Those not linked will, alas, have to wait a bit longer.   


Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Wes Anderson [1:34]
4.5/5


Juan of the Dead (2012) Alejandro Brugu├ęs [1:40]
3.5/5


Collateral (2004) Michael Mann [2:00]
5/5


Topsy Turvy (1999) Mike Leigh [2:40]
4.5/5


Things to Come (1936) William Cameron Menzies [1:37]
4.5/5


The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) Brad Furman [1:58]
3/5


One Night in March (Doc. 2003/2013) Robbie Coblentz [0:39]
4/5


Men in Black III (2012) Barry Sonnenfeld [1:45] 
3.5/5