Archive for category: Directors

Videophiled: John Ford’s ‘My Darling Clementine’ on Criterion

14 October, 2014 (18:06) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, John Ford, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

My Darling Clementine (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD), John Ford’s sublime reinterpretation of the Wyatt Earp story and the Gunfight at OK Corral, rewrites history to become a mythic frontier legend and one of the most classically perfect westerns ever made. Henry Fonda plays a hard, serious Wyatt Earp leading a cattle drive west with his brothers […]

Blu-ray: ‘The Big Red One’

24 September, 2014 (09:49) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Sam Fuller | By: Sean Axmaker

Director, writer, pulp fiction author, raconteur and all-around maverick character Samuel Fuller was as proud of his military service as any of his artistic accomplishments. Like hundreds of thousands of other Americans, he enlisted in the armed services after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. He joined the infantry and, as a rifleman in […]

Blu-ray: ‘Caught’

22 September, 2014 (10:06) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Max Ophuls | By: Sean Axmaker

The American films of German-born filmmaker Max Ophuls have never been as celebrated as his more overtly stylized and seductively romantic French films. That attitude is fed by a sense of ill-treatment by the studios. He dropped the “h” to become Max Opuls in the credits of his Hollywood movies, which can either be seen […]

Streamers: See Orson Welles’ ‘Too Much Johnson’ and Amazon’s Third Pilot Season for Free

27 August, 2014 (08:06) | by Sean Axmaker, news, Orson Welles, Silent Cinema, streaming, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Too Much Johnson, the Orson Welles film (or rather film project) that was long thought lost (the last print was reportedly destroyed in a fire in Welles’ Spanish home in 1970), was found a few years ago and restored. It’s not a feature or even a short, per se, more of an experiment shot to […]

Rediscovery: Orson Welles’ ‘Too Much Johnson’

21 August, 2014 (08:19) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Orson Welles, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the slapstick stylings of Orson Welles, the boy wonder of Broadway! Not exactly how we think of Welles, is it? We know he had a rich career both on radio and on the New York stage before he made Citizen Kane, but the few comedies he made were far outnumbered by […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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, […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]