Showing posts with label 1981. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1981. Show all posts

23 September 2013

Maurice Pialet's Van Gogh Masters Of Cinema Blu-Ray Review

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BD/DVD Release Date:
23rd September 2013 (UK)
Eureka! Video
Maurice Pialat
Jacques Dutronc, Alexandra London, Bernard Le Coq
2-Disc DVD or Blu-ray

Maurice Pialat’s Van Gogh is one of the reasons why I love Masters of Cinema. I was sort of dreading to watch a 2 hour and 40 minute French film on the last 60s days of the life of the artist Vincent Van Gogh but it was one of the most captivating films I’ve seen in a while. Pialet had been obsessed with Van Gogh for a very long time; he made a documentary about him in the 1966.

The film takes a very unsensationalistic take on Van Gogh’s last 60 days of his life till his inevitable suicide. The film for example doesn’t mention the fact he cut his ear off and in fact shows Van Gogh with two ears. It also doesn’t really go much into his art. Van Gogh does paint in the film naturally and you see him hand his physician Paul Gachet his famous portrait, which also happens to have the world record for most expensive painting at public auction in history. It most concerns his relationships with his physician and his daughter and his art dealer brother Theo, who disliked his brother’s paintings.

Jacques Dutronc is cast as the title character. Dutronc was one of the biggest French “Chanson” singers of the 1960s. His music dabbled in garage rock and psychedelic rock. Dutronc began acting in the mid 1970s but it wasn’t till his role in Jean Luc-Godard’s Slow Motion people really took him seriously as a real dramatic actor. Dutronc won a César (the French equivalent to the Oscars or Baftas) for his performance and rightfully so. Dutronc inhabits the role with his gaunt performance that is a transformation to behold.

The film is a naturalistic take on quite an extraordinary life and was real pleasure for beginning to end. The blu-ray release characteristically of Masters of Cinema includes over 2 hours of interviews, over half an hour of deleted scenes and Pialet’s original 60s documentary on Van Gogh. It’s a highly recommended release which should be added to any cinema lover’s collection.


Ian Schultz

2 August 2013

Terry Gilliam's The Time Bandits Will Be Stealing Your TV Screens This Month

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Release Date:
26th August 2013 (UK)
Craig Warnock, David Warner, John Cleese, Ralph Richardson
Buy The Time Bandits:
DVD or Blu-ray

To millions he was one member of the iconic comedy team of Monty Python, but to the rest of us The Time Bandits was the film that established Terry Gilliam as more than the Python's resident animator. This month Arrow Video are releasing The Time Bandits digitally remastered on DVD & Blu-Ray chock full of extras too!

Time Bandits is a delightfully inventive children’s fantasy about young Kevin (Craig Warnock) who finds himself travelling through holes in the space-time continuum in the company of half a dozen fractious dwarfs.

Along the way, he encounters Agamemnon (Sean Connery), Robin Hood (John Cleese), Napoleon (Ian Holm) and winds up as a passenger on the Titanic, although not necessarily in that order. But is this just random entertainment laid on for history fan Kevin’s benefit, or part of a wider struggle between the forces of good (Ralph Richardson) and evil (David Warner)?

At the time, this was a rare example of a small-budget British film successfully taking on American blockbusters. Now, it's a much-loved fantasy classic bursting with inspired images and ideas: Gilliam and co-writer Michael Palin (who also appears) are clearly enjoying themselves as much as their audience.

Seeing this is about to get released has unleashed some nice childhood memories and yes kids I'm old enough to remember watching this.Whilst it was typical Gilliam style surreal, silly, fantastical it a Time Bandits essentially a kids film. Though it officially released July 1981 in UK depending where you lived it could take upto 2 years for it to arrive in your local cinema sometimes even longer for the home release! So kids and cinephiles of today you don't realise how lucky you are withing months cinema then home release!

Special Features

- Brand new 2k-resolution restoration of the film from the original camera negative, approved by director and co-writer Terry Gilliam
- Original uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio options
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Chasing Time Bandits: A new interview with Terry Gilliam
- Writing the Film that Dares Not Speak its Name: A new interview in which Michael Palin discusses co-writing and acting in Time Bandits
- The Effects of Time Bandits: A new interview in which Kent Houston, founder of the Peerless Camera Company, discusses Time Bandits’ optical effects
- Playing Evil: A new featurette in which actor David Warner remembers producer George Harrison and playing Evil in Time Bandits
- The Costumes of Time Bandits: A new interview with costume designer James Acheson
- The Look of Time Bandits: A new interview with production designer Milly Burns
- From Script to Screen – A new animated featurette in which Milly Burns takes us through her production notebooks, locations photographs and storyboards revealing how twentieth century Morocco was transformed into Ancient Greece
- Original Trailer
- Restoration Demonstration
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver

The Time Bandits is also getting a limited cinema re-release on Friday 9th August, here's where you can catch it:

Prince Charles Leicester Square
Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton
The Belmont Picturehouse, Aberdeen
Cameo Picturehouse, Edinburgh
Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool
Hackney Picturehouse
Ritzy Picturehouse, Brixton
Exeter Picturehouse
Cinema City, Norwich
City Screen Picturehouse, York
Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge
Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
Curzon HMV Wimbledon

The Time Bandits will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 26th August.

17 July 2013

Possession Blu-Ray Review

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Rating: 18
BD Release Date:
29th July 2013 (UK)
Andrzej Zulawski
Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen
Buy: [Blu-ray]

Possession is a film directed by noted Polish director Andrzej Żuławski. He worked as a assistant to Andrzej Wajda before he started directing his own film in the early 70s. He eventually moved to France after his 2nd film The Devil was banned in his native Poland. Possession came at the start of the 80s when Foreign films were finding an audience in the UK and US but was shot in English.

Possession is very possibly the oddest film I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something. The film recently has been compared to Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist by some critics most notably Mark Kermode. Both films deal with a total disintergation of a marriage and in both films take a suddenly surreal turn but even more so in Possession.

Mark (Sam Neill) is a spy and returns from a mission and his wife Anna (Isabelle Adjani) demands a divorce. She insists it is not because she is cheating on him but won’t explain her reasons to her huspand. Mark rather stay but agrees to turn the apartment and custody of kid over. He starts going mad in the process. He comes and visits the apartment and discovers she is neglecting the care of their son Bob. He decides to stay and care for the son.

He finds out she has a lover called Heinrich. He soons meets his son’s teacher who looks exactly like his wife (also played by Adjani) and is a nice and calm unlike his crazy wife. She eventually disappears off his radar so he wants to find her wherabouts and hires a PI. The film from this point takes a even more bizarre turn involving tentacled sex, gay lovers, milk bottles, body parts, murder and finally a possible apocalypse.

The performances from the 2 leads are extremely raw and times insanely over the top (Sam Neill especially). Isabelle Adjani won best actress for her role in the film (along with her role in Quartet) and she gives the kind of performance Shelley Duvall should have given in The Shining. The film boosts the most bizarre sex scene in the history of cinema involving Isabelle and a tentacled humanoid, that really needs to be see to be believed. The film has this truly unrelenting feel of disintergating, madness and fear that is very full on.

It’s a truly unique work that I will not forget anytime soon. I’m not sure it’s something I’m gonna pull out anytime but I’m happy I’ve experienced it. It’s being re-released on blu-ray by Second Sight (it was previously out on dvd). It also funnily it comes out right after their release of The Brood which also deals with divorce in a “horror setting” but not remotely as successful. It also includes as usual with Second Sight numerous special features such as an hour documentary on the making of, interviews, comparision of the UK and US reception, commentaries etc.


Ian Schultz

28 May 2013

Andrzej Zulawski's Possession To Debut On Blu-Ray In UK This July

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A horror film like no other, Possession, directed by Andrzej Zulawski, is an intense shocking experience that was originally banned in the UK on the notorious 'Video Nasties' list. Now this hugely controversial film makes its long-awaited Blu-ray debut courtesy of Second Sight Films.

Possession was nominated for a BAFTA and the Palme d'Or and stars Isabelle Adjani (Subway, La Reine Margot), who's astonishing performance earned her Best Actress awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the French Cesars alongside Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Omen III - The Final Conflict). The film features stunning special effects by Carlo Rambaldi (Alien, E.T) and comes to Blu-ray with an amazing array of bonus features on 29 July 2013.

With their marriage in tatters Anna (Adjani) and Mark's (Neill) tense relationship has become a psychotic descent into screaming matches, violence and self-mutilation. Believing his wife's only lover is the sinister Heinrich, Mark is unaware of the diabolical, tentacled creature that Anna has embarked on an affair with. The unhinged woman visits her monstrous lover in a deserted Berlin apartment and will stop at nothing to protect him.

''An unsung masterpiece...the film that prefigures everything that's in Antichrist'- Mark Kermode

Special features:

  • REPOSSESSED - The film's UK and US reception, the 'video nasties- furore and the US recut
  • A DIVIDED CITY - Interview with the composer Andrzej Korzynski
  • OUR FRIEND IN THE WEST - Interview with legendary producer Christian Ferry
  • BASHA - featurette on the artist who created the famed film poster