Global Discoveries on DVD and Blu-ray

Im letzten Heft der kanadischen Filmzeitschrift Cinema Scope hat Jonathan Rosenbaum wieder seine Kolumne über Entdeckungen auf dem internationalen DVD-Markt geschrieben, wie immer mit lesenswerten Kommentaren aus seinem großen Erfahrungsschatz. Global Discoveries on DVD – Hosannas and Quibbles stellt folgende Editionen vor:

„I can easily understand why some of Abel Ferrara’s biggest fans have certain reservations about his Pasolini (2014), available now on a splendid Region 2 Blu-ray from the BFI…

… most disconcertingly, it’s a responsible, apparently well-researched treatment of one of the most irresponsible of film artists, made by another film artist generally cherished for his own irresponsibility…“

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„… in the BFI’s Otto Preminger Film Noir Collection, a “limited edition” Blu-ray box set that includes Fallen Angel (1945), Whirlpool (1950), and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), although I’m happy to report that the cinephiliac strain predominates, especially in the inclusion of expert audio commentaries by Adrian Martin provided on all three features (the first two recorded for Australian Madman DVD releases in 2009, and the latter recently produced by and for the BFI). There’s also a lively 80-minute audio interview with Preminger conducted by Joan Bakewell in 1972 on the Fallen Angel disc, accompanied by stills…“

Anmerkung: Hier eine ausführliche Diskussion der verschiedenen US- und UK-Fassungen und -Ausgaben aus dem Criterion-Forum.

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„… the BFI’s dual-format edition of Ousmane Sembène’s first two films, Borom Sarret (1963) and La noire de…/Black Girl (1966), both restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, is nearly irreproachable…  I’m immensely grateful that this edition includes the alternate version of Black Girl, with a brief sequence in colour depicting the heroine’s first glimpses of the Côte d’Azur (which is lamentably ignored and left out of the New Yorker DVD), as well as two separate documentaries about Sembène (Manthia Diawara and Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s 1964  Sembène: The Making of African Cinema and D. Sentilhes and B. Josse’s 2003 Sembène: A Portrait) and a 14-minute 2005 interview with Black Girl’s lead actress M’Bissine Thérèse Diop.“

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„I’ve already written at some length (www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2011/04/the-displacements-of-the-fortgotten-space-tk/) about Allan Sekula (1951–2013) and Noël Burch’s The Forgotten Space (2010), released on DVD by Icarus Films, so I hope I can be allowed to quote my opening paragraph:

“I’m sure that I learned a lot more from The Forgotten Space—an essay film by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch about sea cargo in the contemporary global economy—than I did from any other feature that I saw last year, fiction or non-fiction…“

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„…the beautifully produced DVD edition of Kon Ichikawa’s 37-minute Kyoto (1968), available from www.martygrossfilms.com—which comes with a lovely 14-page foldout booklet, a choice between narrations in English, Italian, and Japanese (the English one is delivered by Michael Redgrave), and a 17-minute documentary about the opening-night screenings in Tokyo and Kyoto… Kyoto has a floating and shifting focus that proceeds from rock gardens to Zen Buddhism and beyond, but it has a documentary and cultural value as an educational, touristic art film on every topic it addresses.“

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„I have a lot of catching up to do with the films of Benoît Jacquot, but the two-disc Blu-ray set from the Cohen Film Collection, comprising The Disenchanted (1990), A Single Girl (1995), and Keep it Quiet (1999)—only the second of which I’d previously seen—seems to give me a healthy start. All three are accompanied by amiable discussions between Jacquot and Kent Jones, mainly in subtitled French (with an irrelevant and distracting giant Oscar lurking behind them), and by able audio commentaries by critics Wade Major and Tim Cogshell (which appear to have benefitted from the Jacquot-Jones dialogues, making for some repetitions of information, though many of the more relevant facts are worth stressing)…“

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„At the age of 16 in 1959, I was dumb enough—or at least sufficiently “of the period”—to take Stanley Kramer’s On the Beach seriously, and I was far from alone in this attitude.  So it was largely an impulse to reassess both myself and 1959 (not Kramer) that led me to shell out $13.64 for a Korean import DVD from Amazon. Why is it that the extinction of humanity from a nuclear holocaust was a live and vital subject back then and not just a post-apocalyptic trope, as it’s more apt to be today?…“

Anmerkung: Über den  Film und die Romanvorlage von Neville Shute gibt es einen Dokumentarfilm von 2013: Fallout von Lawrence Johnston (siehe Senses of Cinema).

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„It’s virtually impossible to think of a major contemporary French filmmaker who has been more independent, hence more consistently marginalized, than Marcel Hanoun (1929–2012)… This situation makes last year’s release of Hanoun’s 1966 L’authentique procès de Carl-Emmanuel Jung on a PAL DVD with English subtitles from the invaluable Re:Voir label a major event, especially for those like me who have never been able to follow such a text-heavy film without some textual support. Inspired and prompted by the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem in 1961 (as well as a subsequent Nazi war-crime trial carried out in Frankfurt), Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, and the documentation techniques of Peter Weiss (among others), Hanoun’s imaginary “authentic trial” of a cultivated Nazi war criminal who plays Bach and Gluck on the piano (Maurice Poullenot) unfolds in a dark and deliberately artificial studio space where the sound is both asynchronous and characterized by other discontinuities, all of which reflect the difficulties of ordinary viewers in assimilating the Eichmann trial as it was being broadcast.“

________________________________________________________________“… Stillman’s first and third features are both available on well-appointed Criterion Blu-rays, while Barcelona (1994), the second, and Damsels in Distress (2011), the fourth (and the one Stillman told me he was most satisfied with), can be had from Warners and Sony, respectively—the former only on DVD, the latter on Blu-ray with many extras for only $8.26 from Amazon,… It was encouraging to discover during our interview that Stillman is both a passionate Frank Tashlin fan and a victim, as Tashlin himself was, of the sort of critical typecasting that limits the potential scope of his own projects.“

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„My only quibbles about the Blu-ray of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s The Honey Pot (1967) from Kino Lorber and the DVD of Samuel Fuller’s Run of the Arrow (1957) in the Warner Archive Collection are their absence of extras, but this is small potatoes …

Although I’m not quite ready to call the Mankiewicz masterpiece the writer-director’s most essential work, it may have Mankiewicz’s cleverest script (in spite of all the changes he had to make in its original conception), and I’m delighted that the late, great German critic Frieda Grafe included it among her own favourites.

As for Run of the Arrow, it arguably features the most cantankerous hero of any Fuller feature…

And I have no quibbles at all about the Twentieth-Century Fox DVD of John Berry’s exquisite 1974 comedy about ghetto life and welfare, Claudine, audio commentaries and all, which has been available for the past dozen years and was purchased by me nine years ago, but which I only got around to watching recently…“

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