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New to Home Video 5/2/17

2 May

Review

Review

Review

Home Video Hovel: The Handmaid’s Tale, by Scott Nye

28 Apr

No, sorry, this isn’t the new prestige show with Elizabeth Moss and some fetching bonnets. Instead, let me take you back to 1990, when an acclaimed director, writer, composer, and cast made a very uninteresting movie. You see Volker Schlöndorff working from a screenplay by Harold Pinter, based on a major novel by Margaret Atwood, with an acclaimed cast (Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Aidan Quinn) headed by one of the most viable young actresses on the scene (Natasha Richardson) and a score by one of the screen’s most interesting composers (Ryuichi Sakamoto) and you think…oh wait a minute, there’s probably a reason this doesn’t get talked about much anymore. There is indeed.

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The L.A. Rep-port: 4/28 to 5/5, by Scott Nye

27 Apr

UCLA concludes their spectacular series pairing silent and early sound Japanese and American films. On Friday they have Yasujiro Shimazu’s First Steps Ashore (1932, 35mm) alongside Josef von Sternberg’s life-changing The Docks of New York (1928, 35mm). Then on Sunday, they shine a spotlight on cinematographer/director Henry Kotani with fragments of two films he shot – Told in the Hills (1919, 35mm) and Johnny Get Your Gun (1919, 35mm), as well as the short feature Light of Sympathy (1926, 35mm). The films are preceded by a lecture by film historian Daisuke Miyao, who curated the series.

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New to Home Video 4/18/17

18 Apr

Review

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EPISODE 526: TCM Classic Film Festival 2017

16 Apr

In this episode, David and Scott are joined by Jake Bart to discuss this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival.

The L.A. Rep-port: 3/14 to 3/20, by Scott Nye

13 Apr

As David mentioned on the podcast, I’ve been unusually preoccupied these past few weeks, so apologies for the lack of columns, but there was no question, none at all, that I would carve out time to spotlight UCLA’s Friday night double feature of Orochi (1925, 35mm) and The Mark of Zorro (1920, 35mm). Now the chance to see the Wayne-family-killing Zorro on film with live accompaniment by Cliff Retallick is special enough, but samurai film Orochi is the real draw. In the silent era in Japan, instead of the piano accompaniment we’re used to, films were narrated by benshi, who would explain the major actions in the film and even talk back to the screen when they saw fit. Major stars even grew out of this tradition. For all the obvious reasons, such performances don’t really happen anymore, but UCLA’s bringing it back, along with a composed score performed live with traditional Japanese instruments. This is an insanely rare, and very cool opportunity.

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New to Home Video 4/11/17

11 Apr

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New to Home Video 4/4/17

4 Apr

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New to Home Video 3/28/17

28 Mar

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The L.A. Rep-port: 3/24 to 3/30, by Scott Nye

24 Mar

The big happening this week is undoubtedly the annual Noir City series happening at the Egyptian over the next ten days, full of seedy crime films both rare and popular, some virtually unseen and not available on DVD and some standard-bearing classics. This year has an interesting twist – they’re pairing the films by year, showing an A-picture and a B-picture for each night, much as they would have been shown upon release, and proceeding chronologically. They won’t be hitting every year between 1942 and 1953, but they’re getting most of them.

You’re better off just going to the Cinematheque site and browsing the schedule yourself, but my experience with the series over the years has been that it’s hard to really go wrong on any given night. Eddie Muller and Alan Rode of the Film Noir Foundation assemble the program, and they know their stuff, which partially means knowing what plays to an audience. And baby, these films play. I can certainly vouch for This Gun for Hire (1942, 35mm), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950, DCP), and The Big Heat (1953, DCP), but with titles like Quiet Please, Murder (1942, 35mm), Escape in the Fog (1945, 35mm), Behind Green Lights (1946, 35mm), and I Was a Shoplifter (1949, 35mm), I’m excited to see what’s in store for us.

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