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Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

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Hullabaloo


Saturday, March 31, 2007

 
Saturday Night At The Movies


Release Me


By Dennis Hartley

Although the DVD format has been with us now for a good ten years, there is still a surprising amount of “back catalogue” that remains unreleased, for one reason or another.

In many cases, I’m sure lawyers are involved; estate wrangling, music soundtrack publishing issues, etc., but I suspect the biggest problem is the disconnect between the powers that be at the major releasing studios and the true movie buff zeitgeist .

There are some companies that “get it” (Criterion, Anchor Bay, Blue Underground, HVE, Kino, Rhino and New Yorker Video come to mind) but they seem few and far between.

I could easily list 100 titles, but here are my top ten desires on the “wish list”-

"Mickey One" - 1965 film from director Arthur Penn stars Warren Beatty as a stand up comic on the run from the mob. A Kafkaesque, noirish vision filmed in exquisite B&W.

"The Friends of Eddie Coyle" - I’ve discussed this lost 70’s noir gem before; Robert Mitchum at his world-weary best as an aging hood. Great support from Peter Boyle.

"O Lucky Man!" - The late Lindsay Anderson’s masterpiece remains MIA, despite a huge cult fan base. Thankfully, Alan Price’s magnificent soundtrack is available on CD.

"The New Age" - Overlooked yet brilliant mid-90’s social satire from writer-director Michael Tolkin (“The Rapture”). Great performances from Judy Davis and Peter Weller.

"Serial" - Another social satire, targeting a group of self-absorbed California trendies living in Marin county in the late 70’s. Hilarious stuff. With Martin Mull and Tuesday Weld.

"Dreamchild" - Unique 1985 entry blends Jim Henson’s muppetry with the poignant real-life story of the relationship between Lewis Carroll (Ian Holm) and young Alice Liddell.

"Stardust" - 1974 film starring British rocker David Essex in a stunning “rise and fall” portrait of a decadent, self indulgent rock star. (BTW its “prequel”, “That’ll Be The Day”, is in print.)

"Liquid Sky" - Sci-fi/androgynous alien love story/punk rock/ heroin chic/downtown NYC art scene satire has to be seen to be believed! (Was briefly available but went quickly out of print.)

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains" - Another cult favorite, starring a very young Diane Lane as the nihilistic leader of a feminist punk rock band. (Beware of the DVD-R bootlegs!)

"The Decline of Western Civilization" - Penelope Spheeris’ vital document of the early 80’s LA punk rock scene remains curiously unavailable. Darby Crash lives!

And now for some Good News: A few gems scheduled to see the light of day in 2007 -

April 3: Bedazzled and Royal Flash.

April 10: Brute Force (Film noir classic)

April 17: Thieves Like Us (Overlooked Altman) and Bye Bye Brazil

May 15: Vengeance Is Mine (Classic Japanese crime thriller)

May 22: Prince of the City , Straight Timeand Steelyard Blues

Sometime in June: According to their website, Criterion is releasing Lindsay Anderson’s If..., which I hope indicates that “O Lucky Man” (see above) could be in the works!

So what titles are you lusting after? Do tell!



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