New DVDs: Delmer Daves and Troy Donahue

More midcentury melodrama this week. It was Douglas Sirk who first paired Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue in “Imitation of Life,” but it was Delmer Daves who made them America’s favorite teenagers with “A Summer Place” in 1959. Daves made three more films with Donahue — “Parish” (1961), “Susan Slade” (1961) and “Rome Adventure” [...]

New DVDs: Magnificent Obsession(s)

From the Criterion Collection, a new two-disc sets allows for a side-by-side comparison of John M. Stahl’s classic melodrama of 1935, “Magnificent Obsession,” with Douglas Sirk’s Technicolor remake of 1954. My New York Times review is here, and for those who may be curious about the original 1929 novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, it [...]

New DVDs: Rossellini’s Historical Films

In 1963, Robert Rossellini announced that he was quitting the cinema, and promptly went on to make some of the most interesting films in his multiform career. The Criterion Collection has now released four of Rossellini’s “educational films,” made for French and Italian television. “The Taking of Power by Louis XIV” – Criterion [...]

New DVDs: Two by Michael Powell

Two more important films by Michael Powell have made their way to DVD, thanks to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and the Film Foundation: “A Matter of Life and Death,” from the height of Powell’s British prestige period (1946) and the late-career “Age of Consent,” which dates (1969) from Powell’s wandering-in-the-wilderness days, after the scandal [...]

National Society of Film Critics Awards 2008

Here are the results of today’s vote by the ancient and venerable critics group, of which yours truly is an ancient if not strictly venerable member, along with some 60 awesomely powerful critics from various national and local, largely mainstream publications. The * designates the winning entity, with the number of votes and the distributor [...]