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And now on to movie news...
An interesting development in the distribution of classic and obscure films on DVD include the rise of the MOD (manufactured-on-demand) model that has been adopted by many major studios. This means that they are making titles available on a "made-to-order" basis -- basically, putting them out as limited DVD-R editions. As of now, Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster, and other major rental outlets are not carrying these titles. However, Waterfront Video is! So stop by and pick up some long unavailable gems & curios, including:
Sam Fuller's newspaper classic may be didactic at times, but it's fiery and obviously from the heart. As usual with Fuller, there is plenty of grit, piss & vinegar -- as well as an expected dose of soapboxing. The few moments of crowd mayhem are staged excellently and it's no surprise why Scorsese cites the picture as influential. Gene Evans is great in the gruff lead -- he and Fuller were made for each other.
One of Arthur Penn's early features, this feisty, eccentric flick tells the grim tale of a comic (Warren Beatty) caught up in danger he doesn't understand. The narrative is fractured and at times messy (deliberately and otherwise), but the energy of the filmmaking is impressive start to finish. Penn borrows generously from the European cinematic sensibilities of the sixties (Godard, Fellini, Bergman, Bunuel, etc) but filters it all through a distinctly American, noir-tinged lens. The surrealistic moments and oddball bit characters add to the underlying sense of paranoia and disorientation.
Louis Malle's 1984 heist comedy, featuring Sean Penn, Donald Sutherland, Wallace Shawn, and Jack Warden.
2 Weeks in Another Town
Vincente Minnelli's somewhat follow-up to his classic insider Hollywood tale, The Bad & The Beautiful. This one also stars Kirk Douglas.
The Search & The Defector
Two Montgomery Clift films - his first and last! The Search, from 1948, stars an Oscar-nominated Clift as a soldier in occupied Germany (filmed on location) who befriends a young boy separated from his mother. The Defector, from 1966, is a cold war thriller that, although low on actual thrills, does contain one great hallucinatory sequence that presaged the psychedelic movement around the corner.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt & While the City Sleeps
Two Fritz Lang thrillers from 1956 -- the first a courtroom drama with a great twist, the second a serial killer tale that seems to have set the template for many a suspense film to follow.
The Secret War of Harry Frigg & Sometimes a Great Notion
Two Paul Newman films -- the first a WWII set comedy, the second a drama about a family logging business struggling in a changing economy, directed by Newman.
Other recent releases of note:
Life During Wartime
My Dog Tulip
Winter in Wartime
Of Gods and Men
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune
Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird
Stephen Fry in America & Last Chance to See
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