Showing posts with label masters of cinema. Show all posts
Showing posts with label masters of cinema. Show all posts

17 March 2015

Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon added to Eureka's Masters of Cinema line!

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Eureka Entertainment to release PAPER MOON, the 1973 American comedy-drama starring Ryan and Tatum O’Neal, on Blu-ray in a Dual Format edition as part of The Masters of Cinema Series on 18 May 2015.

 Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of PAPER MOON, one of the biggest successes in the career of Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture ShowWhat’s Up, Doc?Mask) starring Ryan O’Neal (Love StoryBarry Lyndon) and his daughter Tatum O’Neal, the youngest ever Academy Award recipient for her performance in the film. Shot with stunning monochromatic film, the release will include a slew of extras and a 36-page booklet.  Available in a Dual Format edition as part of Eureka’s award winning The Masters of Cinema Series, from 18 May 2015.

PAPER MOON Trailer  

Available to pre-order from:


Continuing a run of Seventies smash-hits for director Peter Bogdanovich after the enormous success of his The Last Picture Show and What’s Up, Doc?Paper Moon saw the filmmaker sustaining his collaboration with actorRyan O’Neal, and introduced the world to the precocious talent of the future Barry Lyndon star's daughter Tatum, then 10, who for her performance was the youngest-ever actress to be awarded an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. 

After meeting a newly orphaned girl named Addie Loggins (Tatum O’Neal), con man Moses Pray (Ryan O’Neal), who may or may not be Addie’s father, is enlisted to deliver the newly orphaned Addie to her aunt in Missouri. Shortly after however, the two realise that together they make an efficient scam-artist duo. Adventure ensues as the pair blaze through the American Midwest, stealing, swindling, and selling the moon…

With its stunning black-and-white cinematography shot by the great László Kovács and its superb evocation of Depression-era locales, Paper Moon endures as one of the key American comedies of the 1970s. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film in its UK home viewing premiere in a new Dual-Format edition.


• Glorious new 1080p transfer of the film
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Full-length audio commentary with director Peter Bogdanovich
• A group of documentaries about the making of the film
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring a new essay on the film by Mike Sutton, rare production stills, and more!


“Tatum O'Neal makes a sensational screen debut” - Variety

“A charming mixture of Hawksian comedy and Fordian lyricism” – Time Out

23 January 2015

Raymond Bernard’s WOODEN CROSSES [LES CROIX DE BOIS], To Get Masters Of Cinema Release

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of WOODEN CROSSES [LES CROIX DE BOIS], from Raymond Bernard, the director of the epic and definitive French screen adaptation of Les misérables. Alongside All Quiet on the Western Front and Paths of Glory, Wooden Crosses is perhaps the greatest depiction of World War I ever put on screen. Presented from a dazzling new restoration carried out by Pathé in 2014 to mark the 100 years since the start of the war, Wooden Crosses is released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD edition) as part of the Masters of Cinema Series on 30 March 2015.

The film that most firmly established the talent of French director Raymond Bernard before his epic adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les misérables, Wooden Crosses [Le croix de bois] was widely hailed at
the time of its release in 1932 for its searing depiction of the horrors of the European front during World War I; subsequently, Bernard was named soldier of honour of the 39th Infantry Division.

Adapted from a novel by Roland Dorgelès (a former corporal of the 39th), Wooden Crosses offers a kaleidoscope of cinematographic technique to present a visceral, enveloping recreation of one regiment’s experience of battlefield hell. (Its entire cast is comprised of war veterans.) It is an epic tapestry that rivals John Ford’s Four Sons and Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front in both its poetry of trauma and steadfastness of conviction that war must be held in contempt.

From a gorgeous new Pathé restoration carried out for the centenary for the start of the Great War, Raymond Bernard’s Wooden Crosses retains a ferocity that continues to reverberate across generations. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this new restoration of the film in a special Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition.


• New HD 1080p presentation of the film from Pathé’s astonishing 2014 restoration
• Optional English subtitles
• Video interview with historian Marc Ferro and film historian Laurent Veray
• A short documentary on the new restoration
• Wooden Crosses: A Sonic Adventure, documentary exploring early sound design
• Archival interview with Roland Dorgelès
• Archival interview with Raymond Bernard
• Vintage 1914 newsreels
• Documentary piece on early 20th century poster artist Adrien Barrère
• The Absent Battle, the Omnipresent War, a collection of photography from WWI taken by André Schnellbach who served with Dorgelès in the 39th
• Booklet featuring a new and exclusive interview by film critic Emmanuel Burdeau, and rare archival material.

We hope to review this great film closer to release  which is 23rd March pre-order/order Wooden Crosses [Les Croix de Bois] (1932) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD)

16 January 2015

Blu-ray Review - Two For the Road (1967)

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Release Date:
19th January 2015
Rating: PG
Stanley Donen
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney
Buy: Blu-ray - Two for the Road

Two for the Road is a slightly forgotten film by Stanley Donen (Singin’ in the Rain, Bedazzled, Charade), which has been re-released by Eureka in their Masters of Cinema imprint. It stars Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn and both have rarely been better. The film’s influence can certainly be seen in Richard Linklater’s rightfully celebrated Before Trilogy.

Mark Wallace (Albert Finney) is a well off architect who is married to Joanne (Audrey Hepburn) in a relationship which is obviously on the rocks. Through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards the stories of how they fell in love, fell out of love, and got back together are shown. The film is mostly set in parts of Northern France, and more often than not is set on the same road but at different points in their relationship.

It was an interesting period for Hollywood when Two for the Road came out; films like Bonnie &Clyde and Point Blank were murdering the classic Hollywood studio system. I think Donen saw this and decided to make a film which partly owed itself to some of the work from the French New Wave, but simultaneously worked as a mainstream romantic comedy. It was also the first big film that Albert Finney did for an American Studio; he had great success a couple years earlier with Tom Jones (for those who don’t know, it’s not about the Welsh singer). Audrey Hepburn obviously was a massive iconic film star, but even by 1967 her star was fading and she only acted in 5 more films in the next 25 years.

Frederic Raphael, who had a massive success with Darling starring Julie Christie (he won the Oscar for it), wrote the script. It has been said that the interactions between Finney and Hepburn are based on his own relationship with his wife, and it certainly has a feel of an authentic real life romance. Raphael deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for the script.
Christopher Challis shot the film. He learned his trade being a camera operator for Powell & Pressburger, eventually graduating to becoming their DP. Martin Scorsese once said of Challis, “Chris Challis brought a vibrancy to the celluloid palette that was entirely his own, and which helped make Britain a leader in that long, glorious period of classic world cinema”. His innovative work is on glorious display in Two for the Road. The photography of the French landscape just pops with the new Hi-Def transfer.

Two for the Road is fascinating and extremely funny film and a example of old Hollywood director taking his cues from the New Wave but making something still accessible to a mainstream audience in 1960s. It’s editing is fascinating and it’s shot length is extremely short for the period, much more modern than even someone like Sam Peckinpah who is noted for his fast cuts. It’s probably Audrey Hepburn’s finest performance and Finney is always a joy on screen. The film’s influence on future films is undeniable, and it has a wonderful score by Henri Mancini that fits the mood and pace perfectly - he considered it the favourite among his scores.  

The disc contains an interview with Frederic Raphael, a commentary by Stanley Donen, the theatrical trailer and a booklet with essays on the film.

Ian Schultz

13 January 2015

Elia Kazan's Wild River To Receive Masters Of Cinema Release This February

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of WILD RIVER, one of the crowning achievements of Elia Kazan, director of A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and Splendor in the Grass. Starring legendary actor Montgomery Clift (Red River, A Place in the Sun) in one of his most gripping roles, Lee Remick (Anatomy of a Murder) and Jo Van Fleet (Cool Hand Luke, East of Eden), Wild River is an expansive portrait that combines erotically charged love story with social realism, in the classic Kazan manner. Wild River is released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD edition) as part of the Masters of Cinema Series on 23 February 2015.

Regarded as one of the crowning achievements in the career of both director Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront) and actor Montgomery Clift, Wild River charted new territory for cinema at the dawn of the 1960s, combining psychology, eroticism, documentary realism, and
exquisite pictorial beauty within the CinemaScope frame.

In the early 1930s, an administrator for the Tennessee Valley Authority (Clift) arrives in the small town of Garthville with the business of convincing an elderly landowner to sell her land to the government. Soon afterward, he’s thrown into conflicts emotional (falling in love with the landowner’s widowed granddaughter, played by Lee Remick, who is expected to marry another man) and societal (the employment of black labour on the authority’s river project).

With its mix of the personal and the political, Wild River, in the words of critic and scholar Adrian Martin, shows us that "there is only, in each case and circumstance, the particular problem, the isolated breakthrough, and the irretrievable loss.” The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Wild River in a special Dual Format edition that presents the film on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.

Wild River will come in 1080p HD presentation with its original aspect ratio and will come with a 40 page booklet with a new essay by Adrian Martin, a score of rare archival imagery, and more!

Wild River will be released in a dual format on 23rd February and we will be reviewing the film nearer the release date and you can pre-order your copy now  Wild River (1960) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD)

9 January 2015

Yee-Haa! Eureka! Entertainment Giving Gary Cooper's Classic Western Man Of The West Masters Of Cinema Treatment

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of MAN OF THE WEST, starring studio superstar Gary Cooper in one of his most uncompromising performances. The capstone to director Anthony Mann’s extraordinary run of westerns in the 1950s (including Winchester ’73, The Furies, Bend of the River, The Naked Spur, and more), Man of the West is regarded alongside The Searchers, Rio Bravo, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, as one of the greatest of all westerns. Man of the West will be released on Blu-ray in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of Eureka’s award-winning The Masters of Cinema Series on 23 February 2015.

Check out the original theatrical trailer sent to us courtesy of Eureka! Entertainment...

The pinnacle in the brilliant career of director Anthony Mann, Man of the West has earned a reputation as one of the finest westerns — and one of the finest films, full stop — produced in the late studio era.

Ex-outlaw Link Jones (Gary Cooper) boards a train to Fort Worth to hire a schoolteacher for his town when he’s knocked unconscious and robbed — by a gang of outlaws associated with his own uncle (Lee J. Cobb) whom he abandoned years earlier in his bid to go straight. Soon after, and in order to protect the life of the woman he’d earmarked for schoolteacher, saloon singer Billie Ellis (Julie London), Link rejoins the gang for one last hold-up…

Jean-Luc Godard wrote of Man of the West: "I have seen nothing so completely new since — why not? — Griffith… With Anthony Mann, one rediscovers the western , as one discovers arithmetic in an elementary maths class. Which is to say that Man of the West is the most intelligent of films, and at the same time the most simple." The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Man of the West in a special Dual Format edition that presents the film on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.

Man Of The West will come on dual format in a New HD 1080p HD presentation of the film in its original aspect ratio, plus a 44-PAGE BOOKLET with writing by Jean-Luc Godard, a score of rare archival imagery, and more!

We will be reviewing the film so stayed tuned, Man of The West will be released on 23rd February on Dual Format , pre-order your copy here

29 November 2014

Eureka! Entertainment Reveal Masters Of Cinema First Quarter 2015 Line Up

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Eureka Entertainment have announced via their twitter feeds (@eurekavideo and @mastersofcinema) their forthcoming releases in The Masters of Cinema series and Eureka Classics collection for the first quarter of 2015.

The latest slate of films from Eureka!'s The Masters of Cinema Series & Eureka! Classics collection bring together some of the most heralded masterpieces of the 20th century. Releases in the Masters of Cinema Series include Two for the Road, one of the great films by Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain, Charade), starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney; Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] in brand new SteelBook packaging and including a second Blu-ray with more special features; Claude Lanzmann’s landmark documentary meditation on the Holocaust, Shoah and 4 Films After Shoah, a series of films made by Claude Lanzmann as follow-ups to Shoah (including The Last of The Unjust); Elia Kazan at his best with Wild River, a masterful recreation of a difficult, complex period in American history; Sidney Lumet’s The Offence, a harrowing and compellingly constructed chamber drama of police brutality and mental anguish starring Sean Connery; Raymond Bernard’s depiction of the travails of one French regiment during World War I, Wooden Crosses; Man of the West, Anthony Mann’s extraordinary western starring Gary Cooper; and finally Federico Fellini's adaptation of Petronious' myth of Satyricon. The Eureka Classics Collection sees the arrival of Bill Gunn’s revolutionary independent film Ganja &Hess and The Other, the psychological horror film helmed by the legendary director Robert Mulligan. And in cinemas The Last of the Unjust, will be joined by Life of Riley, the final film by the French master Alain Resnais.

Released on 19 January 2015, Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn 'make something wonderful out of being alive' in Stanley Donen’s Two for the Road. Featuring a score by Henry Mancini, the film will be released for the first time on Blu-ray in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD edition).

Also available from 19 January 2015, Fritz Lang’s, Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored], the mother of all sci-fi films and a major influence on Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), George Lucas (Star Wars), and pop culture in general (referenced by Madonna, Beyonce and countless others) will be re-released in a 2-disc Blu-ray set in brand new SteelBook packaging, now featuring Giorgio Moroder presents: Metropolis and a 45-min documentary exploring the film’s rediscovery.

Shoah is a work of genius from Claude Lanzmann, an heroic endeavour to humanise the inhuman, to tell the untellable, and to explore in unprecedented detail the horrors of the past. It is one of the most powerful and important, and greatest, films of all time. Premiering on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, alongside the four films Lanzmann made as follow-ups to Shoah, each of which explore in further depth specific aspects and events of the Nazis' extermination programme. These four films (including The Last of the Unjust, released theatrically on 9 January) will also be released as a standalone DVD set, entitled 4 Films After Shoah. Both Lanzmann box sets will be released on 26 January 2015 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The final Monday of the month will also see the release in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD) edition of Ganja &Hess. Flirting with the conventions of blaxploitation and the horror cinema, Bill Gunn’s Ganja & Hess is a highly stylized and utterly original treatise on sex, religion, and African American identity. The edition will represent the original release, restored by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The Film Foundation, and mastered in HD from a 35mm negative.

Expected later in the first quarter of the year, Sean Connery stars as a burned out British Police Detective Sergeant in Sidney Lumet's The Offence, who finally snaps while interrogating a suspected child molester, played by Ian Bannen . Also starring Trevor Howard (Gandhi, The Third Man) and Vivien Merchant (Frenzy, Alfie), The Offence will be released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as part of the Masters of Cinema Series.

Like the classic horror films The Exorcist, The Omen, and The Shining, Robert Mulligan's psychological horror film The Other eschews gore in favour of richly detailed psychological horror in its depiction of deeply disturbed children and has gained a huge reputation for its haunting atmosphere and moody cinematography, which critic Roger Ebert has described as "perverse and menacing”. The Other will be released for the first time in the UK on Blu-ray in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD) edition as a Eureka Classic.

Elia Kazan’s Wild River was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Starring Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick (Anatomy of a Murder, The Omen). Wild River will be released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as part of the Masters of Cinema Series.

Raymond Bernard used a masterful arsenal of film techniques, from haunting matte paintings to jarring documentary-like camerawork in battle sequences, to create Wooden Crosses, a pacifist work of enormous empathy and chilling despair. Wooden Crosses will be released for the first time in the UK on Blu-ray in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD) edition as part of the Masters of Cinema Series.

The controversial and extremely loose adaptation of Petronius’s classical Roman satire, Satyricon, written and directed by Federico Fellini, follows the exploits of two pansexual young men as they move through a landscape of free-form pagan excess. A new 4K digital restoration of Satyricon will be released for the first time in the UK on Blu-ray as part of the Masters of Cinema Series.

And finally, regarded by Jean-Luc Godard as Mann’s greatest film, Anthony Mann's final foray into the western genre is a disturbing examination of man's baser instincts, rising in intensity to the level of Shakespearean tragedy. Starring the legendary actor Gary Cooper Man of the West is the story of Link (Cooper) who tried to forget his killer past until an old evil man and a ruthless gang made him remember. Man of the West will be released for the first time anywhere in the world on Blu-ray as part of The Masters of Cinema Series.

In the last film directed by the prolific French director before his death in March, Alain Resnais turns for the third time to the work of Alan Ayckbourn for inspiration in a sparkling comedy about middle-class infidelity, Life of Riley (Aimer, boire et chanter) will be released in UK & Eire cinemas on 6 March 2015.

Managing Director of Eureka Entertainment, Ron Benson stated “New restorations and home viewing and Blu-ray premières abound - we continue our quest to release the very finest in world cinema, using the very best available materials, all with a meticulous attention to detail."

Further details for all releases will be announced in due course.

30 September 2014

The acclaimed silent era masterpiece Intolerance To Join Masters Of Cinema Family This December

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of INTOLERANCE (Love’s struggle throughout the ages), starring Lillian Gish, the icon of silent Hollywood and a cast of thousands. Counted amongst the most influential films of all time by The Library of Congress – National Film Registry, the American Film Institute and Sight & Sound Magazine, the film has been digitally restored and features a lush orchestral score by the acclaimed composer Carl Davis conducting the Luxembourg Symphony Orchestra. D.W. Griffith’s cinematic milestone will be released on Blu-ray on 8 December 2014 as part of the Masters of Cinema Series.

Perhaps the greatest movie ever made” – The New Yorker

After shaking the world with his hugely controversial epic The Birth of a Nation, pioneer filmmaker D. W. Griffith spared no expense in putting together his next project, Intolerance (Love’s struggle throughout the ages): a powerful examination of intolerance as it has persisted throughout civilisation, set across four parallel storylines that span 2500 years.

There is the Babylonian story, depicting nothing less than the fall of Babylon; the Judean story, which revolves around the crucifixion of Christ; the French story, which presents the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in all its horror; and a modern American story of class struggle, crime, and the plight of life in the early 20th century set within urban slums and the prison system.

Starring such luminaries as Lillian Gish, Constance Talmadge, and Miriam Cooper, who share screentime with an enormous main cast and some 3,000 extras, Griffith's film — the most expensive motion picture ever produced at the time — went on to become a critical success whose influence has only grown in the decades since. The Masters of Cinema Series are proud to present the 2013 restoration of Kevin Brownlow's and David Gill's preserved Intolerance, featuring Carl Davis's orchestral score, for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK.


• New high-definition 1080p presentation of the acclaimed Brownlow and Gill "Thames Silents" restoration of the film
• Orchestral score by the esteemed composer Carl Davis
• Two feature-length films by Griffith that act as companion pieces to Intolerance and take their material from the main film: The Fall of Babylon and The Mother and the Law, accompanied by new scores by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
• Three Hours That Shook the World: Observations on 'Intolerance', a 2013 documentary featuring preservationist Kevin Brownlow discussing the film
• 56-PAGE BOOKLET filled with vintage and modern reports, reflections, and essays on the film.

Intolerance arrives on Dual Format from 8th December in UK from all usual stockists

29 September 2014

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

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Comedy, Musical
Eureka! Entertainment
BD Release Date:
29th September 2014 (UK)
Busby Berkeley
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

22 August 2014

Send In The Clowns As Fellini's I Clowns The Masters of Cinema Series Release

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of I CLOWNS [The Clowns], the first ever UK Blu-ray release of Fellini's masterpiece which has been out of circulation for years. The film has long been regarded by Fellini enthusiasts and cinephiles as one of the director's greatest films. The release includes a lengthy essay-film by the greatest Italian critic, Adriano Aprà, and will be released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of Eureka’s award-winning The Masters of Cinema Series on 20 October 2014.

One of the Fellini films which has been out of circulation for many years, I clowns [The Clowns] has long been revered by Fellini enthusiasts for the several decades since its release as among the Maestro's finest works — a thrilling spectacle, once seen for the first time, — and a picture which after multiple viewings easily takes its place alongside such classics as La strada, Le notti di Cabiria, La dolce vita, Satyricon, Amarcord... but in a register all its own.

I clowns plays out in dazzling colour and in episodic cascade, just as in all of Fellini's late-60s-and-beyond films. As the circus rolls into town, and the big-tent gets erected, the clowns execute their acts with feverish can-you-believe-it bravado. It's all true — and yet not a "documentary" per se; rather, something in-between a dramatic-comedic portrayal of gags-at-play and the memoria of all that makes the spark for childhood inspiration to ignite into creative virtuosity... and/or into something like Federico Fellini.

A great and under acknowledged treasure of the cinema, I clowns takes its place alongside such films as Bergman's Carnies' Twilight, Ophuls's Lola Montès, Étaix's Yoyo, Jerry Lewis's The Day the Clown Cried, and Tati's Parade as one of the grand portraits of the clowning circus, of a bygone era of the wandering entertainer. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Federico Fellini's I clowns in a special Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition for the first time in the UK.

Watch this rare clip of I Clowns


• New high-definition 1080p presentation of feature on the Blu-ray, and in a progressive encode on the DVD
• New and improved English subtitles
• Fellini's Circus — an essay-film about the picture by the great Italian critic and scholar Adriano Aprà
• A 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring new writing about the film, rare archival imagery, and more!

Hopefully nearer the release we will hope to review I Clowns and the date of Fellini's masterpiece will be 20th October 2014 released on Dual format. You can pre-order/Order your copy of I Clowns (The Clowns) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) (1970)

22 July 2014

Blu-Ray Review - Too Late Blues (1961)

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Genre: Drama
Distributor: Eureka
BD Release Date: 21st July 2014 (UK)
Rating: 15
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Director: John Cassavetes
Cast: Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens, Seymour Cassel
BuyToo Late Blues (1961) Blu-Ray

Too Late Blues is a fascinating film from the filmography of John Cassavetes. It was his second directorial effort after his pioneering independent Shadows; Paramount hired him with the idea of making him the American art house answer to the numerous European auteurs of the early 60s. In many ways he was, and it showed incredible foresight by Paramount, but things weren’t quite as hunky dory for Cassavetes.

Too Late Blues is about a leader of a jazz band played by Bobby Darin. He meets a young singer (Stella Stevens) who he becomes infatuated with, she joins his band but his ego is too strong and everything falls apart for both of them. The film’s main theme is the idea of selling out, which for a film in the early 1960s is quite startling; Bobby Darin’s bandleader is forever being asking to compromise his music for commercial success. It’s not hard to see the parallel between this and Cassavetes himself.

Casssavetes dismissed the film as a commercial experiment but his singular personality certainly shines though the film. It has enough interesting aesthetic choices akin to that of his later more independently minded films. The drain shot near the end, for example, doesn’t quite work but it is beautiful in its faults. It also contains a subject matter close to his heart: commerciality vs. art and the world of jazz. 

The performances are the film’s biggest strong points; both Bobby Darin and Stella Stevens are electrifying. It’s a shame Darin died so young because he could have easily had the film career Sinatra had, if not more so. The rest of the cast is mostly Cassavetes’ stock cast- most notably Seymour Cassel as one of the band members who is still working in films today.  

Overall it’s a fascinating attempt by Cassavetes at more commercial filmmaking so early in his career, but it doesn’t quite work. The first half is far superior to the second, although the performances and interesting stylistic approaches Cassavetes takes makes it’s far from being a failure.


Ian Schultz