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30 September 2014

David Lynch Shares His Thoughts On His Career, Cinema And TV In New 45 Minutes Video


There's something uniquely distinctive about David Lynch you can't deny admiring the filmmaker even if your not his biggest fan of his work. You may not understand what he is trying to deliver but he has a style of filmmaking that no other director has got close to matching  his vision for the big screen,

Blue Velvet , Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive are all you can't deny worthy of their places in cinema and televisions greatest ever and in a interview with Thompson on Hollywood caught up with legendary director. At they chat about everything from his career, filmography, his early days from an artist at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (which is holding an new exhibition). The chat goes further into the thought of how easier it is now for filmmakers to create Television than feature films, they even go into Lynch's meditation techniques too!

It's a fantastic little 45 minute video featurette which any student of film should watch, the sound snyc is unfortunately out however it shouldn't stop you enjoying a master of cinema sharing his wisdom on the masses.



29 September 2014

Blu-ray Review - The Gang's All Here (1943, Masters Of Cinema)


Genre:
Comedy, Musical
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
BD Release Date:
29th September 2014 (UK)
Director:
Busby Berkeley
Cast:
James Ellison, Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda, Phil Baker,
buy:The Gang's All Here (1943) [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray]

Busby Berkeley is one of the names most associated with the classic Hollywood musical. It’s not hard to see why with his first Technicolor film The Gang’s All Here. It also happens to be up there as one of the most surreal films to ever come out of the golden age of Hollywood.

The film’s “plot” is the barest of the bare: a young soldier Andy Mason (James Ellison) falls in love with a New York nightclub singer but he has a long-standing engagement to a childhood sweetheart. This all provides a jumping off point for the quite nauseating (but in a good way) film of melodrama, campy dialogue and the musical numbers that are quite mind blowing.

The film’s cinematography and choreography is what the film is all about; the opening musical number perfectly sets the template for what is to come, and fans of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil will recognize the opening song. The first musical number that starts the spiral of surrealism is the much-celebrated “The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat” which of course features the iconic Carman Miranda. It literally ends with a stunning bit of art direction which makes her fruit hat look it’s going on forever.

The film’s climax, however, remains one of the most surreal pieces of cinema I’ve ever seen, never mind of Golden Age Hollywood. It becomes almost psychedelic which is perhaps unsurprising considering its revival in the 60s and 70s when it gained cult status. It remains a classic musical that even non-fans of the genre will be entertained and swept up in its magic.

Eureka as usual has done a very nice package with a commentary: a 20 minutes documentary on the film, and it’s finished off with a deleted scene and the theatrical trailer. The new HD transfer also gives the film’s visual sparkle that makes the imagery pop out of the screen. It also includes a 56 booklet with writings by director David Cairns and Karina Longworth.

★★★★

Ian Schultz


29 September 2014

Blu-ray Review - Night Of The Comet (1984)



Genre:
Horror, sci-fi
Distributor:
Arrow Video
Rating: 15
Release Date:
29th September 2014 (UK)
Director:
Thom Eberhardt
Cast:
Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran,
buy:Night of the Comet [Dual Format DVD & Blu-ray]

Night of the Comet is a very entertaining 80s B-Movie. It’s a crossbred of teen movie, sci-fi and horror film. It wears its cinematic influences on its sleeve and its influences are obvious like Dawn of the Dead, The Omega Man, Invasion of the Body Snatchers etc. It would in turn also become a big influence on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

A comet is set to a hit the earth and it’s the first time there has been one of this ilk since the destruction of the dinosaurs. The teenager Reggie Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart) works at a local movie theatre and stays over night in the projection room with her boyfriend Larry (Michael Bowen). However outside of the cinema everybody has turned to red dust or has become a zombie. A zombie soon kills her boyfriend and Reggie runs back and finds her sister Samantha also survived so they have to survive the post-apocalyptic landscape Southern California.

The film is very much of its time, it has the big hair, the neon clothes, the cheesy power pop soundtrack that are stereotypical of 80s films. It also has a relatively witty screenplay by its director Thom Eberhardt, you find out in the special features the tone was also problematic but it ended up being a comedy. It’s certainly not the greatest film ever made but it has enough charm and humour to entertain pretty much anyone and it’s also refreshing to see girls as the protagonists in these kinds of films.

The transfer Arrow has used showcases’ the film’s vibrant neon aesthetic quite well. It features 3 commentaries, one by director, one by the film’s star and one by the production designer. It also features about an additional 45 minutes of interviews with cast and crew. It’s finished out with the film’s theatrical trailer and a booklet with new writing on the film.

★★★
Ian Schultz

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