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New DVDs: Two by Oshima

From the Criterion Collection comes a shiny new Blu-ray version of Nagisa Oshima’s 1976 “In the Realm of the Senses,” as well as his lesser known, more pessimistic follow-up, the 1978 “Empire of Passion” — a fable of sexual repression in the guise of a ghost story. Meanwhile, his screwball comedy variant on the […]

New DVDs: Bogdanovich, Painleve, Sailors

As a professional journalist, I pride myself on my ability to fabricate a thesis out of any three random pieces of data, but this week, I admit defeat: the release schedule offers Peter Bogdanovich’s preferred black-and-white version of his 1976 “Nickelodeon” (created through the miracle of reverse colorization); Criterion’s survey of Jean Painleve’s wide […]

New DVDs: Minnelli and Logan

Joshua Logan’s 1958 film of “South Pacific” still stinks, but now it stinks on a much higher level, thanks to a spectacular new Blu-ray release transferred from restored 65-millimeter Todd AO material. And HD also greatly benefits Vincente Minnelli’s “An American in Paris” (1952) and “Gigi” (1958), if only because Minnelli’s trademark red — […]

New DVDs: Pre-Code Paramount

It’s immensely gratifying to see Universal Studios Home Entertainment stepping up to the plate with their new “Pre-Code Hollywood Collection.” Finally, the studio seems to be digging below the surface of one of the richest libraries in the industry, going beyond star-driven (or even director-driven) anthologies to gather some lesser-known work that has not […]