XIXAX Film Forum

Random DVD and Blu-ray announcements

wilder · 919 · 254672

0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic.


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #795 on: January 29, 2018, 03:50:45 AM
February 20, 2018

Larry Peerce’s The Incident (1967) on blu-ray from Twilight Time, from a new 4K transfer

Late one night, two young toughs hold hostage the passengers in one car of a New York subway train.

February 20, 2018

Paul Newman’s The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) on blu-ray from Twilight Time, from a new 4K transfer

From the Pullizer Prize winning play by Paul Zindel, this is the story of Beatrice Hunsdorfer and her daughters, Ruth and Matilda. A middle-aged widowed eccentric, Beatrice is looking for her life in the classified ads while all about her is the rubble of an unkempt house. All she needs is the right opportunity, she says puffing on a cigarette. Poorly equipped to survive the vagaries of modern life, she has nonetheless always managed to muddle through. Ruth, epileptic and making her way through the rebellious phase of adolescence, seems doomed to make the same mistakes as her mother. Quiet Matilda, on the other hand, seeks refuge in her animals and her schoolwork. "Jesus, don't you hate the world, Matilda?" Beatrice asks her youngest daughter. The title of the film is also the subject of Matilda's science project at school and serves as a metaphor for the way life affects each of us differently -- how some are able to find opportunity in adversity and thrive and how some succumb when the burden becomes too heavy. This is the story of slowly drowning and grasping desperately for a lifeline only to find that there's none there and you must save yourself. "No, Mama," Matilda says, "I don't hate the world.”


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #796 on: January 30, 2018, 09:19:21 PM
May 22, 2018

David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (1990) on blu-ray from Shout Factory

Adapted from the novel by Barry Gifford, Wild At Heart stars Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation) and Laura Dern (Inland Empire, Jurassic Park) as Sailor and Lula, a pair of young lovers on the run from Lula's mother Marietta (Dern's real-life mother Diane Ladd, in an Academy Award®-nominated role). Sailor and Lula's journey takes them into the dark heart of America, where dangers and temptations lurk ... and where only their love can truly protect them. But even their all-consuming passion may not withstand the sinister presence of Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe in an unforgettable performance).

2018 TBD

Giulio Questi's Death Laid an Egg aka La morte ha fatto l'uovo (1968) on blu-ray from Nucleus Films (UK). This release dramatically improves on the lackluster transfer on the American blu-ray from Cult Epics

A woman (Ewa Aulin) plans to kill both her lover (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and his wife (Gina Lollobrigida) but conspires with each one to get the job done.


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #797 on: February 02, 2018, 07:20:30 PM
Summer 2018 TBD

Paul Verhoeven’s Spetters (1980) on blu-ray from Kino, sourced from a brand new remaster

Rien, Eef and Hans are three young working-class guys stuck in an industrial town on the outskirts of Rotterdam. They couldn't be more different except for one thing: their shared passion for motorcycle racing, which each sees as his ticket to a better life. But a deeper passion will soon rule each of their lives, when a sexy, ambitious blonde comes between them and provokes unforeseen events that will rock their worlds.

May 14, 2018

Harry Hurwitz’s Fairy Tales (1978) on blu-ray from 88 Films (UK), from a new restoration of the original camera negative

Little Bo Peep, Old King Cole, Little Tommy Tucker, Snow White, and many others, have all grown up and are ready for action! These enchanting characters from beloved nursery rhymes sing, dance, lust, and romance their way through this hilarious, naughty, and twisted tale where music, mirth, and merriment are the rule of the day. In a clothing optional land of make believe where everything is possible. See "Scream Queen" Linnea Quigley star in her first feature role in this erotic musical funfest!!

Fairy Tales (1978) - Amazon UK



  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #798 on: February 05, 2018, 05:52:09 PM
Available Now (released in October '17 )

“The Prisoner” (1967-1968) TV Series on blu-ray from Network (UK). All other releases are currently out of print.

After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.

The Prisoner - Series Only - Amazon UK

In My Mind - Amazon UK

The Prisoner - Limited Deluxe Edition - Network (includes illustrated book + OST CD set, and “In My Mind”, a new feature-length documentary)

The Prisoner - Illustrated book only - Network

The Prisoner - OST CD Set only - Network

In My Mind - Network


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #799 on: February 08, 2018, 09:03:30 PM
April 23, 2018

Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch (1971) on blu-ray from BFI (UK)

Unavailable for decades, the BFI are proud to present Ingmar Bergman's The Touch for the first time on Blu-ray worldwide.

Karin (Bibi Andersson), a happily married mother of two, surprises herself by responding in-kind to an unforeseen profession of love from David (Elliott Gould), an archaeologist visiting Sweden, whom her doctor husband (Max von Sydow) has befriended. But love, however toxically exhilarating, is seldom simple, and deceit and David's volatile temperament take their toll. The Touch marked the first time Bergman worked with an established Hollywood star (Gould).

Originally released in a fully English language version, this presentation of The Touch is a new 2K restoration by the Swedish Film Institute from the original negatives of Bergman's preferred Swedish/English cut.

The Touch (1971) - Amazon UK

April 23, 2018

Ingmar Bergman’s The Magic Flute (1975) on blu-ray from BFI (UK)

Ingmar Bergman puts his indelible stamp on Mozart's exquisite opera in this sublime rendering of one of the composer's best-loved works: a celebration of love, forgiveness, and the brotherhood of man. The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten) stars Josef Köstlinger as Tamino, the young man determined to rescue a beautiful princess from the clutches of parental evil. Available for the first time on Blu-ray the BFI are proud to present this film from one of the world's most acclaimed directors.

The Magic Flute (1975) - Amazon UK

June 18, 2018

Derek Jarman’s Jubilee (1978) on blu-ray from BFI (UK), from a new 2K remaster of the original camea negative

The mythological past and bleak future converge on the sparse, grey streets of London in this cult classic of the punk era.Queen Elizabeth 1 and her occult aide Dr John Dee (brilliantly played by Jenny Runacre and Richard O'Brien, respectively) travel into the future, encountering the megalomania of big business as well as gangs of violent, marauding killers.

Jubilee (1978) - Amazon UK

March 26, 2018

Derek Jarman Volume One: 1972 -1986 (5-disc Limited Edition Blu-ray box set) on blu-ray from BFI (UK)

24 years have gone by since his death at just 52, but the legacy of the iconoclastic filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994) lives on, and his ground-breaking and highly influential work has lost none of its relevance or impact.

The first of two deluxe Limited Edition box sets brings together a selection of his feature films on Blu-ray for the first time. Jarman Volume One: 1972-1986 contains In the Shadow of the Sun, Sebastiane, Jubilee, The Tempest, The Angelic Conversation and Caravaggio and is packed with an incredible 30 extras and accompanied by an 80-page book.

Jarman's multi-faceted work is inspirational in its fearlessness, yet remains touchingly personal. The dynamism of these features evokes comparison with the bold romanticism of directors like Ken Russell (an early champion) and Michael Powell, as well as artists Paul Nash and John Piper. But Jarman was also a subversive force in film. Beginning with his psychedelic debut feature, In the Shadow of the Sun (1972-1974), then came the provocative Jubilee (1978), the evocative Shakespeare adaptation The Tempest (1979) and The Angelic Conversation (1985), in which he invoked Elizabethan occultist Dr John Dee and explored alchemical imagery, a subject in which he was well versed. In Sebastiane (1976) and Caravaggio (1986) he revived key gay and homo-erotic figures from the past – with edgy and unmistakable style.

Derek Jarman's first six feature films have all been newly scanned at 2K from original film elements and are presented in this lavish box set alongside an exciting array of new and archival extras drawn from Jarman's archive of workbooks and papers held in BFI Special Collections. Newly interviewed exclusively for this box set are some of the people who worked on these films; punk legend Jordan, producer and filmmaker Don Boyd, production designer Christopher Hobbs and artist filmmaker John Scarlett-Davis.

Derek Jarman Vol. 1 - Amazon UK

April 23. 2018

Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema 1959-1965 on blu-ray from BFI (UK)

-Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959)
-The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960)
-Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960)
-A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961)
-The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962)
-Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) (New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1989 director's cut)
-Girl with Green Eyes (Desmond Davis, 1964)
-The Knack...and how to get it (Richard Lester, 1965)

A new 8-disc set celebrating the 60th anniversary of Woodfall Films. Includes eight iconic films (many newly restored and available on Blu-ray for the first time) that revolutionised British cinema and launched the careers of the likes of Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Rita Tushingham.

Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema 1959-1965 - Amazon UK

April 23, 2018

Paul Newman's The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) from Indicator (UK), from a new 4K restoration of the original camera negative. Also coming from Twilight Time in the US.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Paul Zindel, Paul Newman’s second film as director stars his wife Joanne Woodward (Three Faces of Eve, Sybil) as an abusive, over-bearing mother raising her two daughters (Nell Potts and Roberta Wallach) in an atmosphere of bitterness and hatred. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds is a powerful, searingly unsentimental and ultimately transformative drama, with a trio of towering performances from the three female leads at its core.

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) - Powerhouse Films

April 23, 2018

Joseph L Mankiewicz's Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) on blu-ray from Indicator (UK), from a 4K restoration of the original camera negative. Also available from Twilight Time in the US.

Directed by Joseph L Mankiewicz (Dragonwyck, All About Eve, Cleopatra) from the play by Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and brilliantly adapted for the screen by Gore Vidal (Ben-Hur, Myra Breckinridge), Suddenly, Last Summer casts three of Hollywood’s most iconic talents (Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift) in a daring and often delirious mix of lurid drama and Gothic horror. Sensational and wildly controversial at the time of its release, Suddenly, Last Summer now stands as a classic – and stills packs a provocative punch.

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) - Powerhouse Films

April 23, 2018

Alan Arkin's Little Murders (1971) on blu-ray from Indicator (UK)

Adapted from the controversial stage play by Jules Feiffer (Carnal Knowledge), this savage, nihilistic black comedy was the startling directorial debut of actor Alan Arkin. When a severely depressed fashion photographer (Elliott Gould – M*A*S*H, The Long Goodbye, California Split) meets an optimistic young woman (Marcia Rodd – Citizens Band, Last Embrace), she is determined to save him amidst the series of random muggings, sniper shootings, garbage strikes and total blackouts that are ravaging the city of New York.

Little Murders (1971) - Powerhouse Films

Spring 2018 TBD

Alfred Hitchcock's Under Capricorn (1949) on blu-ray from Kino, from a new 4K restoration

Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten star is this lush melodrama directed by Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Cotten plays Sam Flusky, a native Briton banished to Australia for murder. Bergman is his wife, Henrietta, the disturbed sister of the man Flusky was convicted of killing. When a new governor arrives, he brings with him his cousin, Adare, an old friend of Henrietta's, who sets out to help her conquer her demons and return her life to normal. But there are complications: Is Henrietta going insane, or is someone trying to poison her?


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #800 on: February 14, 2018, 03:58:41 AM
UK label Indicator is making the jump to US releases, with the first batch coming March 30th, 2018

-Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975) - Amazon
-Paul Schrader’s Hardcore (1979) - Amazon
-Richard Fleischer’s The New Centurions (1972) - Amazon
-Stephen Frears’ Gumshoe (1971) - Amazon
-Dick Clement’s Otley (1969) Amazon
-John Guillermin’s Town on Trial (1957) Amazon


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #801 on: February 15, 2018, 07:03:03 AM
Just released

Bryan Forbes’ Deadfall (1968) on blu-ray from Signal One Entertainment (UK). Blu-ray screencaps here.

From blu-ray.com:

"Elegant, a bit subversive, and unceremoniously refusing to play by the rules that other similarly themed films from the '60s followed. Years ago a lot of critics argued that it was a dud, but I think that it is amongst the best of its kind.

Professional burglar Henry Clarke (Michael Caine) is in an upscale sanatorium where he is trying to repair the damage that years of alcohol abuse has caused to his body. Here he is approached by the elegant Fe (Giovanna Ralli) who invites him to meet her husband, Moreau (Eric Portman), because he has a business proposition that may be of interest to him. Henry is immediately intrigued because he has been getting treatment in the sanatorium under a false name. Soon after, Henry meets Moreau in his chic home and he reveals to him that he is planning to steal a very expensive jewelry collection that belongs to a prominent statesman named Salinas (David Buck) and that he wants him to break into his lavish mansion so that he can crack his safe. The loot, Moreau explains, will allow them to leave the business for good and start enjoying their lives."

Deadfall (1968) - Amazon UK

Most reviews I’ve read are downright negative, but I’m seeing great things in this trailer. It looks gorgeous & strange

This one other review is on board:

Quote from: HEFILM
Bryan Forbes is an underrated director, almost forgotten today for a string of well reviewed films that ended with this one. The good reviews did that is. Perhaps at the time the direction seemed "overboard" but by today's standards of course it is merely stylish. It features lots of interesting camera angles, almost like a Joseph Losey film at times visually, and a lot of well written dialog.

Caine is very good. He played a series of almost expressionless villains and near-villains in the late 1960's. This role is one of those, crook who falls for the wrong woman, deals but he totally sells it. Even the tone of his voice is different than you'd expect. He also gets to display both surprise and rage towards the end which gives the character more of a place to go than in the more highly regarded say Harry Palmer films and the soon to be made and good but over rated GET CARTER. He really makes the film work.

The odd character relationships also help a great deal as does John Barry's music. Fans of his probably know the main robbery scene is inter cut with a specially composed piece of pseudo classical music he wrote and which the scene was edited to later. It's a fascinating sequence and not like anything else Barry ever composed and worth watching for any fan of film music, meaning music in a film connected and interacting with it, not just as a CD to buy and enjoy. The whole score has a touch of the Spanish setting the film lushly invokes. You do have to ignore the lyrics and slightly heard it before nature of the Title song.

This is not an action crime film, more of a corrupted souls and the crimes they commit type of approach with an interesting Spanish setting. It's disguised film noir with realistic occasionally funny dialog and cool oddball sinister angles and editing choices that maybe play better today than at the time. Well worth watching, but good luck finding it.

As obscure as it seems to be (nary 600 votes on IMDB) I’m betting my luck it hasn’t found the right audience. Ordered it blind.


  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
    • Posts: 4165
Reply #802 on: February 15, 2018, 11:15:48 AM
well yeah cool report back please


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #803 on: February 15, 2018, 07:51:21 PM
May 2018 TBD

Robert Downey Sr.’s Greaser’s Palace (1972) on blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing, from a new remaster struck from the original camera negative

In a film that must be seen to be believed, the story of Christ's sufferings is set in the Old West. A zoot-suited drifter performs miracles and attracts a large following. But what he really wants to do is sing and dance! He finally gets to play The Palace, a saloon run by the ruthless Seaweedhead Greaser, and he's a big hit. But he's got more miracles to do...like restoring life to Greaser's son, killed by his father, and contending with Greaser's envious daughter Cholera.

PT & Jonathan Demme discuss the movie extensively here

Summer 2018 TBD

Ida Lupino's The Bigamist (1953) on blu-ray from Kino, from a new 4K remaster

San Francisco businessman Harry Graham (Edmond O'Brien) and his wife and business partner, Eve (Joan Fontaine), are in the process of adopting a child. When private investigator Jordan (Edmund Gwenn) uncovers the fact that Graham has another wife, Phyllis (Ida Lupino), and a small child in Los Angeles, he confesses everything. In flashback, Graham tells of the strains in his marriage with Eve and how he found himself falling for the kind-hearted waitress Phyllis while on a business trip.   

« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 08:29:36 PM by wilder »


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #804 on: February 18, 2018, 08:59:33 PM
May 29, 2018

Roger Donaldson’s Smash Palace (1981) on blu-ray from Arrow

Premiering at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival, Smash Palace was the second feature of Roger Donaldson following the success of Sleeping Dogs, a film which had heralded the arrival of the New Zealand New Wave.

Smash Palace concerns itself with the marriage of former racing driver Al (Bruno Lawrence, The Quiet Earth) and French-born Jacqui (Anna Jemison, Nomads). The pair had met when she nursed him back to health following a career-ending injury. They married, returned to Al’s native New Zealand to take over his late father’s wrecking yard business – the Smash Palace of the title – and had a child. But over time stagnation has set in, Jacqui’s resentment of Al has grown, and things are threatening to spill over…

Playing out as a darker, more haunting New Zealand variation on such US separation movies as Kramer vs. Kramer or Shoot the Moon, Smash Palace offers a brilliant, vivid messy portrait of masculinity in crisis, driven by Lawrence’s immense central performance – once again confirming his status as one of New Zealand’s finest actors.

Smash Palace (1981) - Amazon


  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 4917
Reply #805 on: February 19, 2018, 08:29:06 PM

May 9, 2017

Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology

More women worked in film during its first two decades than at any time since. Unfortunately, many early women filmmakers have been largely written out of film history, their contributions undervalued. This necessary and timely collection highlights the work of 14 of early cinema’s most innovative and influential women directors, re-writing and celebrating their rightful place in film history.

International in scope, this groundbreaking collection features over 10 hours of material, comprised of 25 films spanning 1902-1943, including many rare titles not widely available until now, from shorts to feature films, live-action to animation, commercial narratives to experimental works. Directors include Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Mabel Normand, Madeline Brandeis, Germaine Dulac, Olga Preobrazhenskaia, Marie-Louise Iribe, Lotte Reiniger, Claire Parker, Mrs. Wallace Reid (Dorothy Davenport), Leni Riefenstahl, Mary Ellen Bute, Dorothy Arzner, and Maya Deren.

These women were technically and stylistically innovative, pushing the boundaries of narrative, aesthetics, and genre. Going back to the beginning of cinema, this collection makes visible the tremendous directorial contributions women made all around the world. Beautifully restored in high definition, Early Women Filmmakers features new scores by Sergei Dreznin, Frederick Hodges, Tamar Muskal, Judith Rosenberg, and Rodney Sauer and the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

This anthology is dedicated to the memory of David Shepard (1940-2017), without whom these films – along with countless others – would simply not have been made available in such beautifully-restored editions. The collection represents one of David’s final produced works, completed in collaboration with several film archives, including the French National Center for Cinematography and the Moving Image (CNC), the Film Studies Center at the University of Chicago, and the Library of Congress.

Bonus Materials Include:

Booklet Essay: By film scholar and Women Film Pioneers Project Manager Kate Saccone.
Audio Commentary: For Lois Weber’s The Blot by author, professor, and expert on women and early film culture Shelley Stamp, courtesy of Milestone Film and Video.

Complete list of films


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #806 on: February 20, 2018, 02:31:46 AM
March 10, 2018

Alfred Sole's Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) on blu-ray from 88 Films (UK), from a 2K restoration from positive elements. Region free.

When ten-year-old Karen (Brooke Shields – in her first screen appearance) is killed in church on the occasion of her first communion, her seemingly innocent older sister Alice (Paula Sheppard) becomes the prime suspect. Matters become complicated as more of Alice's family members are attacked, along with residents of her apartment building. Can a twelve-year-old girl be capable of such mayhem, or is someone else with a vicious plan destroying her family?


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #807 on: February 23, 2018, 01:23:04 PM
March 5, 2018

Anthony Minghella’s Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990) on blu-ray from BBC/2 Entertain Video (UK)

Juliet Stevenson stars in a role especially written for her. Nina (Stevenson) misses her dead lover so much that he returns to her from the Other Side. But when a new relationship starts to blossom, will she betray the ghost she is still Truly, Madly and Deeply in love with? Oscar winning Anthony Minghella's debut film has become a classic love story of British cinema.

Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990) - Amazon UK

March 13, 2018

Fritz Lang’s While the City Sleeps (1956) on blu-ray from Warner Archive

”Ask mother," says the message scrawled in lipstick at a murder scene, written by an unidentified serial killer who preys on women. It's a sensational story — if it bleeds, it leads — and a news conglomerate offers a big promotion to any high-level company exec who solves the case. So begins the wheeling, dealing and backstabbing of the competing media hotshots as they vie to unmask the so-called Lipstick Killer. Fritz Lang (The Big Heat), whose early career expressionist works would strongly influence the film-noir genre, directs this stylistically understated noir that features an abundance of starpower rare for the genre: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Ida Lupino and other notables.

While the City Sleeps (1956) - Amazon

March 13, 2018

Fritz Lang’s Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) on blu-ray from Warner Archive

After director Fritz Lang vaulted to prominence with such masterpieces of German cinema as Metropolis and M, he brought his art to Hollywood films, including Fury, Ministry of Fear, The Woman in the Window and more trenchant tales of innocents caught in a web of seeming guilt. His last U.S. movie is this intriguing film noir about a novelist (Dana Andrews) out to expose the injustices of capital punishment. Working with his fiancée's (Joan Fontaine) father, a newspaper publisher (Sidney Blackmer), he frames himself for murder, intending to produce exonerating evidence at the last moment.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) - Amazon

March 20, 2018

Roy Ward Bakers’ Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) on blu-ray from Twilight Time

After being dumped by his girlfriend, an airline pilot pursues a babysitter in his hotel and gradually realizes she's dangerous.


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #808 on: February 25, 2018, 06:58:23 AM
Available Now (but not for long!)

Joseph V. Mascelli’s The Atomic Brain (1963) on limited edition blu-ray from Moth Inc, which was recently Kickstarted into existence. This film has a fascinating backstory (see Kickstarter campaign video).

A rich but unscrupulous old woman plots with a scientist to have her brain implanted in the skull of a sexy young woman.

The Atomic Brain aka Monstrosity (1963) - Amazon (less than 150 copies available)

Quote from: Kickstarter
My name is Benjamin Solovey, and thanks to the support of Kickstarter backers like yourself, I had the pleasure of restoring Manos: The Hands of Fate from the surviving 16mm elements. It's now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

With your help, I'll next be overseeing a full 4K restoration of the classic B-Movie ”The Atomic Brain“, also known as "Monstrosity”, from the original 35mm camera negative.

In the process, we'll compile supplemental material about the circumstances of the film's creation, and create a documentary about its director, Joseph V. Mascelli, ASC, one of the most influential yet unknown cinematographers in film history.

About The Director:

A highly active member of the American Society of Cinematographers in his day, Mascelli learned his craft at a time when camera crew from the silent era were not only still alive, but still working: his collaborator on the second edition ASC Manual had shot 1914's The Perils of Pauline.

Mascelli himself began as a cinematographer in the Armed Forces, and would shoot countless miles of newsreel and training footage before moving into TV and Film. Due to the ephemeral and anonymous nature of much of his work, a true survey of his credits has never been made.

He would become best known for condensing the collective knowledge of his field into one concise, informative book, 1965's The 5 C's of Cinematography, that is still used to teach students the visual vocabulary of film. Mascelli's book makes the case for the democratization of film teaching, urges readers to push the boundaries of the rules (the sixth "C", he writes, is "Cheating") and fosters the easy discussion of what was once very specialized, even unspoken knowledge. It's still in print today, and could be considered his most enduring contribution to filmmaking.

Our documentary will help paint a picture of Mascelli and the era in which he was working, an uneasy time when Corman and Cleopatra coexisted, a transitional decade that would give way to the "New Hollywood" of the 1970's. As one of the old guard looking to teach the new, how did Mascelli's educational work persist through the decades? In looking to the past, we might even find some good advice for the future.

ASC Manual: Second Edition, 1966

About "The Atomic Brain”:

A year and change before The 5 C's of Cinematography was completed, Mascelli's name was conspicuously absent from the poster of Monstrosity. This B-Movie tells the story of Hetty March, a rich, somewhat vampiric old woman who conspires with a scientist to transfer her brain into a younger body through atomic fission. March employs three women in her mansion while she decides which one to kill and replace. Soon, a rejected candidate's brain is swapped with a cat's, causing her to eat a mouse and climb onto the roof.

Throughout, two other failed experiments, a zombie woman and a Moreau-esque dog man, loom nearby as if refugees from another movie. The situation deteriorates until the mansion, as well as March's plans, are obliterated in a bright atomic blast.

Monstrosity, in fact, had been directed by Mascelli in 1958 until funding abruptly fell through. Hastily finished by its producers in 1963, sleazily advertised (see above), re-titled The Atomic Brain on dreary-looking 16mm prints, rarely presented in its intended widescreen aspect ratio, destined to land on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the film was never given much attention. Yet, despite all obstacles, Mascelli's original footage is directed and shot with a professionalism and a keen visual sense that stands out from the reshoots. Even in his one foiled attempt at directing a feature film, he proved that the principles he'd write about in "The 5 C's" did not discriminate based on budget.

Monstrosity, AKA The Atomic Brain would be Mascelli's only directorial credit, and an incomplete one at that. But now, the original 35mm camera negative has been recovered, and with it comes a razor-sharp black and white image for both cult movie fans and students of cinematography to enjoy for the first time.

Public Domain Version

4K Sample Scan, Full Aperature

The film's public domain status has long made it a staple of bargain bin DVDs, sourced from muddy VHS transfers that drop many low-key scenes into total darkness. It also has discouraged major distributors, who would never be able to fully own the results, from investing in a proper video transfer for the film. We, the public that own it, now have an opportunity to restore The Atomic Brain in full 4K resolution, and make this once-obscure "Monstrosity" available in a condition far better than it's ever been seen.


  • Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 4316
Reply #809 on: February 26, 2018, 07:42:28 PM
May 15, 2018

Andrei Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice (1986) on blu-ray from Kino, from a new 4K restoration

As a wealthy Swedish family celebrates the birthday of their patriarch Alexander (Erland Josephson, Cries and Whispers), news of the outbreak of World War III reaches their remote Baltic island — and the happy mood turns to horror. The family descends into a state of psychological devastation, brilliantly evoked by Tarkovsky's arresting palette of luminous greys washing over the bleak landscape around their home. (The film's masterful cinematography is by Sven Nykvist, Ingmar Bergman's longtime collaborator).

For Alexander, a philosopher troubled about man's lack of spirituality, the prospect of certain extinction compels the ultimate sacrifice, and he enters into a Faustian bargain with God to save his loved ones from the fear which grips them. The director's last film, made as he was dying of cancer, The Sacrifice is Tarkovsky's personal statement, a profoundly moving, redemptive tragedy steeped in unforgettable imagery and heart-wrenching emotion.