Archive for category: Directors

Videophiled Classic: ‘Herzog: The Collection’

31 July, 2014 (19:02) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Werner Herzog | By: Sean Axmaker

Herzog: The Collection (Shout Factory, Blu-ray) is the biggest Blu-ray box set to get released this year. The collection presents 16 films on 13 discs spanning three decades, from his second feature Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) to his documentary tribute / remembrance My Best Fiend (1999), which profiles his long, turbulent personal and professional […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Sleep My Love’

14 July, 2014 (22:46) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Douglas Sirk, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A romantic thriller in the Gaslight vein, Sleep, My Love (1948) is a shadowy melodrama with an atmosphere of Gothic thriller by way of high society film noir, and it grabs your attention immediately with a kicker of an opening: a train speeding through the night, Claudette Colbert waking up in a sleeping car with […]

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Videophiled at War: ‘The Big Red One’ and World War II on Blu

1 June, 2014 (10:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Sam Fuller | By: Sean Axmaker

Invasion Europe (World War II Collections) (Warner, Blu-ray) True Stories of WWII (World War II Collections) (Warner, Blu-ray) The Big Red One (Warner, Blu-ray) Memphis Belle (1990) (Warner, Blu-ray) Memorial Day is traditionally the occasion for studios to roll out their war movies again. This year, Warner upgraded a couple of titles to Blu-ray and […]

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‘Lessons of Darkness’: Burning Questions

24 May, 2014 (07:02) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Werner Herzog | By: Sean Axmaker

I “A planet in our solar system. Wide mountains ranges, clouds, a land shrouded in mist.” The landscape of Lessons of Darkness at first glance looks like the desert counterpart to the Carpathian Mountains of Werner Herzog‘s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, a land shrouded in myth as much as in mist. But those initial ethereal […]

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Orson Welles’s ‘Othello’

30 April, 2014 (07:30) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Richard T. Jameson

Northwest Film Forum is about to showcase a new 4K restoration of Orson Welles’s Othello, one of the director’s greatest—and rarest—films. In anticipation of that, Parallax View presents a detailed program note written when Othello appeared in an autumn 1971 film series devoted to Welles on the University of Washington campus. The original text remains essentially unaltered, […]

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‘Nosferatu’: A Tale of Two Versions

29 April, 2014 (09:23) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Horror, Werner Herzog | By: Sean Axmaker

As a German filmmaker, we had no real fathers to learn from, no points of reference. Our father’s generation sided with the Nazis or was forced into immigration so we were a generation of orphans. And you can’t work without having some sort of reference as to your own culture and the connection and continuity, so […]

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Videophiled Essential: ‘Touch of Evil’ on Blu-ray

27 April, 2014 (12:42) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Noir, Film Reviews, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

Touch of Evil (Universal, Blu-ray) – Orson Welles’ baroque border town murder mystery is a wild masterpiece, a sleazy, grimy, jittery, and ultimately dazzling work of cinematic magic. It’s considered the last great film noir and the bookend to the true noir era. It was also Welles’s last attempt at a career in Hollywood before […]

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Videodrone Classic: ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia’

3 April, 2014 (08:38) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Sam Peckinpah | By: Sean Axmaker

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Twilight Time, Blu-Ray), one of Sam Peckinpah’s personal favorites of his films (and the rare Peckinpah film not to get reworked by the studio), opens on an idyllic river scene with a pregnant girl soaking her feet in the lazy current with a beatific smile on her face. […]

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The New Wave Wonders of Tinto Brass

22 February, 2014 (07:09) | by Sean Axmaker, Directors, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

Bring up the name Tinto Brass and, if you recognize it at all, the first thing that comes to mind  is Caligula, the notorious and grotesque X-rated Roman epic produced by Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione (who also added explicit footage into the already sleazy spectacle).  There’s also the Nazisploitation Salon Kitty (the film that […]

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Why John Carpenter Is the Most Underrated Filmmaker Of Our Time

23 October, 2013 (05:45) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Essays, Film Reviews, Horror, John Carpenter | By: Sean Axmaker

About a decade ago while I was attending the Vancouver International Film Festival, I ended the screening day over beers with a small group of critics. By the end of the evening, we came around to proclaiming John Carpenter the most underrated American filmmaker of our time. Here’s a filmmaker who has made only one […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Earrings of Madame de…’

10 October, 2013 (12:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Max Ophuls | By: Sean Axmaker

The European films of Max Ophuls are elaborate dances of romance and seduction in a world of social constraints and fickle lovers, and his 1953 The Earrings of Madame de…, considered by some critics one of the perfect pictures of cinema, is the most elegant of these melancholy waltzes. And it is amazing, a piece […]

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Blu-ray: John Carpenter’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ and ‘Halloween’

30 September, 2013 (18:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror, John Carpenter | By: Sean Axmaker

Two from John Carpenter arrive this week in newly remastered editions. Prince of Darkness: Collector’s Edition (Shout Factory) gives the Blu-ray debut and deluxe treatment to what is perhaps the most underrated film in John Carpenter’s filmography. “While order does exist in the universe, it is not what we had in mind,” explains a professor […]

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Blu-ray / DVD: ‘The Fog’

30 July, 2013 (16:12) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, John Carpenter | By: Sean Axmaker

The Fog (Shout Factory), John Carpenter’s follow-up to his breakthrough hit Halloween, isn’t among the director’s best films, but it is one of his most gorgeous. Carpenter and his producer / co-writer Debra Hill wanted to make an old-fashioned ghost story, something spooky and eerie, rather than another slasher movie (not that “Halloween” is just […]

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SIFF: ‘Finding Hillywood’

16 May, 2013 (09:36) | by Sean Axmaker, Directors, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

Leah Warshawski didn’t set out for a movie career. “I got into it because I worked on a boat in college,” recalls the co-director of Finding Hillywood, speaking by phone from a shoot in Idaho. She was studying Japanese at the University of Hawaii when the marine coordinator of the 2003 TV movie Baywatch: Hawaiian […]

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The Beautiful and the Damned: Major Dundee

23 April, 2013 (06:00) | by Richard T. Jameson, Film Reviews, Sam Peckinpah | By: Richard T. Jameson

Sam Peckinpah’s much-messed-with 1965 film Major Dundee has just come out on Blu-ray from the boutique label Twilight Time. The two-disc set features both the 2005 reissue based on a preview version of the movie and the version released theatrically 48 years ago. Both are worth having, as the following Queen Anne & Magnolia News […]

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