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Gaumont Treasures 1897-1913

From Kino comes an abridged and subtitled edition of Gaumont’s superb “Le Premier Cinema” box set from 2008, featuring a generous selection of work by Alice Guy, Louis Feuillade and Leonce Perret. Represented here by the early feature “L’Enfant de Paris” (1913), Perret is likely to be the least known of these pioneer filmmakers […]

Chantal Akerman, John Cassavetes

The gods of coincidence have seen fit to bring forth two 70s classics about sex roles almost simultaneously — John Cassavetes’ “Husbands” and Chantal Akerman’s “Jeanne Dielman.” It’s an opportunity that no self-respecting Sunday journalist would allow to pass unexploited, and indeed, this guy in the New York Times does not. Let’s see how […]

Three by Ishiro Honda

Sony’s reinvigorated classics division has been on quite a run lately, coming up with some beautifully engineered and smartly curated box sets. The newest, reviewed here in the New York Times, the newest of which is the three-disc “Icons of Sci-Fi: Toho Collection” featuring both the original Japanese and American cut-and-dubbed versions of Ishiro […]

“Combat Shock,” Buddy Giovinazzo (1984)

One of the bleakest, most despairing films I’ve ever seen, Buddy Giovanazzo’s “Combat Shock” has been re-released by Troma in a generous two-disc set that includes both the edited 1986 release version and Giovanazzo’s original 1984 cut — which was not titled “American Nightmares” for nothing. Probably the best film ever made on Staten […]

Columbia Comedies, Brit Noir

The films are uneven, but the transfers are gorgeous in Sony’s two volume “Icons of Screwball Comedy,” which includes two films each from Columbia contract players Jean Arthur, Rosalind Russell, Irene Dunne and Loretta Young. For me, the highlight of the set is William A. Seiter’s lovely “If You Could Only Cook” (1935), which […]