The Dwan Patrol

I’ll be attending Il Cinema Ritrovato, the wonderful archival festival sponsored by the Cineteca di Bologna, from Friday, June 28 to Sunday, July 7, where I’m helping out with the programming and presentation of a tidy little Allan Dwan series (if I do say so myself). We’ll be showing films from all of Dwan’s [...]

Young and Innocent

The BFI’s package of nine newly restored silent films by Alfred Hitchcock began its US tour at the recent San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and will shown at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinematek from July 29 through July 3, before moving on to other venues and, eventually, home video. For the most part, [...]

High and Dizzy

The Criterion Collection has taken over the Harold Lloyd library from New Line (and what was it ever doing with them in the first place?), which means these magnificent films will be back in circulation in state-of-the-art digital editions. First up, of course, is Lloyd’s most famous film, “Safety Last,” a movie that vastly [...]

Strange Bedfellows

The wonderful complexity of midcentury American culture is highlighted in this week’s New York Times column, with reviews of two star vehicles. Edward Ludwig’s 1948 “Wake of the Red Witch” often gets overlooked in the amazing run of movies — “Fort Apache,” “Red River,” “Sands of Iwo Jima” — that transformed John Wayne from [...]

Just the Fox, Ma’am

Fox Cinema Archives, the MOD program launched by Fox last year, continues to confound, frustrate and, every once in a while, come up with some surprisingly first rate work. My New York Times column this week takes a look at some recent releases from Fox’s very mixed bag; once again, the quality of the [...]

Sam’s Club

He’s not one of my guys, but those who love Sam Peckinpah love him very very much, and for those folks there is good news this week in the form of editions of two of his early films. VCI Entertainment has released Cary Roan’s restoration of Peckinpah’s first feature, the 1961 “Deadly Companions,” in [...]

Etaix Redux

In the US, the most familiar work of Pierre Etaix is probably the poster he designed (boy, dog, umbrella) for Jacques Tati’s 1958 “Mon Oncle,” a film for which Etaix also served as sketch artist and assistant director. His own films — five theatrical features and a handful of shorts — languished in legal [...]

Way Down South

From Olive Films this week, two extraordinary movies about race and politics in the 1950s, as filtered through the American south of the early twentieth century by John Ford in “The Sun Shines Bright” (1953) and Samuel Fuller through the lens of what was then the French Indochinese war and would soon become our [...]

Tristana’s Return

Missing in action since, if I recall correctly, a Criterion Laserdisc back in the paleolithic era, Luis Bunuel’s 1970 masterpiece “Tristana” has reappeared on Blu-ray, in a solid new transfer from the Cohen Film Collection. Apart from a brief dream sequence, it’s a film devoid of any overtly “surrealist” touches, yet every frame achieves [...]

Ziegfeld Boys

It’s hard to believe that a comedy team with 21 features to their credit could be so completely forgotten, but such is the cast with Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. In the early 30s, they were probably RKO’s biggest stars after King Kong — a couple of song and dance men whose partnership was [...]