The Big List o’ Lists

To begin with some actual news, James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, announced this morning the latest 25 films to be added to the National Film Registry, bringing the total number of titles on the list to the nice round figure of 500. The NFR isn’t meant to be a “best” list, but [...]

Ann Savage 1921-2008

The Associated Press is reporting that Ann Savage, an indelible presence in several low budget classics of the 1940s and 50s, died on Christmas Day from complications following a series of strokes. The complete obituary is here.

Savage will always be known for the attic intensity of her performance in Edgar G. Ulmer’s [...]

New DVDs: Death Proof

New releases are thin on the ground for this pre-holiday Tuesday, so I’ve taken the opportunity to return to “Death Proof,” one of Quentin Tarantino’s most accomplished movies, which is being re-issued on Blu-ray today. And what better imagery than highly sexualized car crashes to summon up the proper holiday spirit? My review is [...]

Robert Mulligan 1925-2008

The director of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and many other excellent films, whose mise-en-scene was based in a deep understanding of the rarely used subjective viewpoint in cinema, died yesterday in his Connecticut home. He was 83. The Los Angeles Times obituary is here.

And the New York Times obituary is here.

[...]

New DVDs: Criterion Goes Blu-ray

It’s the moment persnickety cinephiles have been waiting for: the first batch of Criterion Blu-ray releases come out today, and the quality of the transfers doesn’t disappoint. More details, with an emphasis on Wes Anderson’s “Bottle Rocket,” making its Criterion debut in both standard and high definition versions, can be found here.

UPDATE: [...]

New DVDs: Murnau, Borzage and Fox

Here it is: Fox Home Video’s follow-up to last year’s stunning “Ford at Fox” collection is perhaps even more impressive, offering major upgrades of such classics as “Sunrise” and “Seventh Heaven” while getting a number of titles back into circulation that haven’t been visible in years, if at all: “They Had to See Paris,” [...]

New DVDs: Douglas Fairbanks

The independent DVD publisher Flicker Alley has been the source of some of the most interesting and carefully produced editions of silent movies in the marketplace today, and the company’s new box set, Douglas Fairbanks: A Modern Musketeer, is perhaps the company’s finest so far. The five disc collection includes ten features and one [...]