Must own Blu-rays in the age of Streaming!
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–See my previous post where I sing the praises of this film.
Film Noir fan, so this collection of little seen noirs was a must buy. Currently re-watching 1957’s riveting SHADOW ON THE WINDOW by director William Asher (who before he became known for his tv work and teen beach movies, made three notable films, JOHNNY COOL, THE 27TH DAY, and this one). SHADOW ON THE MOON is a thriller, with very ahead of its time sensibilities. One of the earliest films to deal with child trauma, broken homes, latchkey syndrome, and teen violence. It is a surprisingly good film. Unfortunately it is a pretty bare-bones Bluray collection; no commentaries, special features etc. Usually that is reason enough for me not to purchase physical media, however in this case you do get nine well mastered films per collection, for roughly the cost of one film. And the films look great. Purchase Here!
Bought this one, because it was described as a type of ode to THE WILD BUNCH, and it starred Woody Strode. I went for the DVD over the Blu-ray, because the Bluray offered nothing additional, arguably not even a better picture, and the DVD was half the price. Purchase Here.
THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI – An Orson Welles masterpiece, starring Orson Welles and his stunning wife Rita Hayworth, and made when their marriage was falling apart. And it is a testament to Welles as filmmaker, and both of them as actors, that none of that is in the film. Finally remasterd on Bluray and with special features and commentary, and it is dirt cheap. A no-brainer of a buy! One of Welles top 5 films, and from a filmmaker who made arguably nothing but great films, that is saying a lot. Purchase here.
I had never even heard of this movie before, but all the reviews were very strong for this 1945 film Noir imbued thriller. And being directed by the great Joseph H. Lewis (of THE BIG COMBO fame), with a feature reach, remastered Arrow Video release made this the last of this installment’s must buy Dvds and Blurays. Purchase Here!
The best available films of and about the great Suspense Director Henri-Georges Clouzot
In a squalid South American oil town, four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. As they ferry their expensive cargo to a faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship, and their nerves. The Wages of Fear (Le salaire de la peur) is one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid, a white-knuckle ride from France s legendary master of suspense Henri Georges-Clouzot.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
Restored high-definition digital transfer with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Video interviews with assistant director Michel Romanoff and Henri-Georges Clouzot biographer Marc Godin
Interview with Yves Montand from 1988
Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Enlightened Tyrant, a 2004 documentary on the director s career
Censored, an analysis of cuts made to the film for its 1955 U.S. release
PLUS: An booklet featuring an essay by novelist Dennis Lehane
A big, masterly movie…it joyfully scares the living hell out of you as it reveals something about the human condition. –Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique. This thriller from Henri‑Georges Clouzot (Le corbeau, The Wages of Fear), which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women—the fragile wife and the willful mistress of a sadistic school headmaster—who hatch a daring revenge plot. With its unprecedented narrative twists and unforgettably scary images, Diabolique is a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret (Casque d’or, Army of Shadows), Vera Clouzot (The Wages of Fear), and Paul Meurisse (Le deuxième souffle, Army of Shadows).
New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray editionSelected-scene commentary by French-film scholar Kelley Conway
New video interview with Serge Bromberg, codirector of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s, Inferno
New video interview with horror film expert Kim Newman
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty
This masterful adaptation of Prévost s 1731 novel Manon Lescaut marks quite a departure for Henri-Georges Clouzot, the French director lauded for his acclaimed thrillers The Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques.
A classical tragic romance transposed to a World War II setting, Clouzot s film follows the travails of Manon (Cécile Aubry), a village girl accused of collaborating with the Nazis who is rescued from imminent execution by a former French Resistance fighter (Michel Auclair). The couple move to Paris, but their relationship turns stormy as they struggle to survive, resorting to profiteering, prostitution and even murder. Eventually escaping to Palestine, the pair attempt a treacherous desert crossing in search of the happiness which seems to forever elude them…
Clouzot s astute portrayal of doomed young lovers caught in the disarray of post-war France wowed the jury of the 1949 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion award. Unjustly overshadowed ever since by the director s suspense films, Manon now returns to screens in glorious High Definition with a selection of elucidating extras.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
In 1964, Henri-Georges Clouzot, the acclaimed director of thriller masterpieces Les Diaboliques and Wages of Fear, began work on his most ambitious film yet.
Set in a beautiful lake side resort in the Auvergne region of France, L’Enfer (Inferno) was to be a sun scorched elucidation on the dark depths of jealousy starring Romy Schneider as the harassed wife of a controlling hotel manager (Serge Reggiani). However, despite huge expectations, major studio backing and an unlimited budget, after three weeks the production collapsed under the weight of arguments, technical complications and illness.
In this compelling, award-winning documentary Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea present Inferno’s incredible expressionistic original rushes, screen tests, and on-location footage, whilst also reconstructing Clouzot’s original vision, and shedding light on the ill-fated endeavor through interviews, dramatizations of unfilmed scenes, and Clouzot’s own notes.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
The final film of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s (Diabolique, The Wages of Fear) brilliant career, La Prisonnière (1968) is a sensuously colorful film of voyeuristic sexual obsession. It maps a love triangle between abstract sculptor Gilbert (Bernard Fresson), his TV editor girlfriend Josée (Elisabeth Wiener), and art gallery owner Stanislas (Laurent Terzieff). At an art opening, Gilbert ditches Josée, so she ends up going home with Stanislas, who shows her a photograph of a woman in bondage. The image is shocking and alluring, and Josée asks to attend his next erotic photo shoot, her first step in unlocking the depths of her desires. Making full use of the psychedelic optical effects that Clouzot developed for the unfinished L’Enfer, La Prisonnière is a visionary swansong for this legendary cinema artist.
Special Features: Audio commentary by film historian Kat Ellinger • Booklet essay by film critic Elena Lazic The Rebellious Elisabeth Wiener (25 minutes) • Trailer
Since there is little talk about “La Prisonnière” when ever there is some kind of documentary or article about Henri-Georges Clouzot , It hasn’t been shown on TV for a very long time and so I thought it must be a weak film, probably done with a small budget and only half-heartedly because of bad health. Boy, was I wrong! After Clouzot’s collapse at the filming of “L’Enfer” he had to refrain from filming for some time. He already had a breakdown earlier in his career and his reputation for being excessively obsessed with perfection was very likely the reason for it. He filmed only every few years because he planned his films methodically. After the disaster of “L’Enfer” it looked as if he had to retire because of his health problems. But he recovered and was able to finish one more film.
When you have seen the documentary “L’Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot” then you know that all the tests he had made for it have not been in vain. “La Prisonnière” looks very much like another try on “L’Enfer” from a different point of view. The strange lightning tests he made with Romy Schneider, Dany Carrel and Serge Reggiani and the experiments with shapes and optical illusions, that all and much more went into “Le Prisonnière”. And here it makes more sense than in “L’Enfer” since the male character is an art collector and gallery owner who exhibits modern designs. From all we can see of the fragments of “L’Enfer” through “L’Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot” it would have been a great film. And since so many good ideas could not be used there, he gave them all to “La Prisonnière” – and it is a great film! There are pure cinematic moments in this film too, and I had a feeling that Clouzot realized this would be his last film and he wanted to use everything that he had not tried yet and to finish with a bang.
So that’s it in a nutshell guys all the must watch Youtube shows for today, the 10th Day of December, in the Two Thousandth and Nineteenth year of a Crucified Lord, if you go by the Gregorian calendar, or the One thousandth Four Hundred and thirty ninth year of the Hijri calendar, or the year Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifteen on the Traditional Chinese calendar. Man I love how wacky our world is. 🙂
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Till next installment… Be Well!!!
KERSHAW: There are a lot of new fancy companies on the knife stage today. But long before these ‘late-comers’ and the fad of gentleman folders, and ‘drop closed’ blades, and ‘tip-up’ carry snobs, you had Kershaw, making dependable working knives, for hard working people.
I’ve had a Kershaw Clash for years, half-serrated, assisted open, tip-down carry. It was then and remains now, the gold standard for working knives at the $30 price point. Everyone should have a couple KERSHAW Clash beater knives hanging around for that package to be opened, or seat-belt or tie-wrap to cut through. Hell I’ve used mine to strip cables in a pinch. It is a workhorse, a must have when dependability is all.
Okay, next up is…
At the $20 mark this particular KUBEY knife is a no-brainer of a purchase. Almost sold out, get yours now! Honorable mention to the KUBEY KU046TI Titanium Flipper! Currently on sale for $40. I’m a pocket clip guy. I love a well designed pocket clip, and this TITANIUM FLIPPER, hits all the right marks.
And get the honorable mention… HERE!
I could never pay over $200 for a pocket knife,when for a FRACTION of that there are companies like Harnds producing pocket knives like the TALISMAN. Just as a collectible, as a work of art, it is worth the incredibly low $36 price tag. Add to that it is a high quality functional, capable, brilliantly milled tool and it is simply a must own.
Stepping up quite a bit, close to my 2 bills limit, is this STUNNER of a knife, the Titanium KIZER T1. WoW!. At a $150 it is really a big step up, and is it really a $100 better than the above Harnds and Kubey? To be honest no, I would be MUCH happier with this knife around the $100 mark. But man, you talk about a well reviewed, drool inducing knife, this is it. If you have the funds to kick out for this knife, the person who gets it, whether yourself or a gift… WILL LOVE IT! It is definitely one that is calling to me, and I’m going to have to add to my collection sooner rather than later.
It is absolutely a work of art. Look how brilliantly milled that pocket clip is! Odd the things that does it for us collectors. But yep, if you likewise find it a must own, get yours here!
Here then are great book deals recommended for you to pick up this Prime Day… and beyond. (While supplies last!).
Everyone is aware of Kareem Abdul Jabbar as one of the great basketball players of all time. Fewer are aware of him as an acclaimed writer. From non-fiction books on all Black tank units in World War II, to his recent Graphic novel work, Kareem Abdul Jabbar proves himself as compelling a writer as he is a personality. I recommend this Prime Day, picking up his books and audio books.
The last link above is for the audio cd. There is only ONE left. So hopefully I beat you guys to it. 🙂
The hardcover is almost sold out.
And below is his new Mycroft book, the third in the series, coming out this September.
And I would definitely also recommend the graphic novel, available here:
Use the links, get a great item for yourself, and earn a couple pennies for this humble blog. A win-win! 🙂
15 MUST OWN ISSUES OF OUR ARMY AT WAR!
You do not expect sophisticated storytelling from a nearly 70 year old comic book, but this debut issue of OUR ARMY AT WAR offers up just such a compelling and surprising reading experience. Particularly in the story ‘DIG YOUR FOXHOLE DEEP’. OUR ARMY AT WAR #1 is a pricy acquisition, but one worth acquiring if you have the disposable income.
Next of the must have issues would be #15:
Just based on that striking cover with its beautiful use of yellows and purples.
For similar reasons, the following issue, #46, makes the must own list:
Next up, #50:
This issue is notable in that, from here forward, the cover art gets far more sophisticated. It is also the first taste of the letterbox covers that would come much later,
The next 50 issues, from 50 to 100, with one or two exceptions, are all worth owning.Standouts being:
53,54,56,57(1st Grey Wash Cover), 61(Wonderfully desperate and emotive faces by Frank Robbins I believe), 71(Great, you-are-there pov camera angle), 74,75,80,81,82,83,87,89,90,92,94,95,96!
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