Letters from Fontainhas

Pedro Costa’s hauntingly beautiful trilogy about the residents of an endangered neighborhood in Lisbon — “Ossos” (1997), “In Vanda’s Room” (2000) and “Colossal Youth” (2006) — has been released in a box set from Criterion replete with enlightening extras. It’s hard to believe that this will be the first time the work of this [...]

John Huston, Nicholas Ray

Two Blu-ray debuts this week: John Huston’s long out-of-circulation 1951 “The African Queen,” now with Technicolor worthy of its great cinematographer, Jack Cardiff (unfortunately, there are no digital techniques available to tone down those two cornball performances), and Nicholas Ray’s pioneering 1956 study in male hysteria, “Bigger Than Life” — now in a gorgeous [...]

Norma Talmadge

She was arguably the leading female star of the 1920s, but Norma Talmadge is barely remembered today — partly because her films were kept out of circulation by the inscrutable Raymond Rohauer (who apparently acquired them along with the work of her brother-in-law, Buster Keaton), and partly because her genre, the unbridled melodrama of [...]

Tora-San, Films 1-4

A slow week for library releases (Is there some kind of Oscar moratorium?) allows me to roll the clock back to late November, when AnimEigo released the first four of Yoji Yamada’s “Tora-San” films in a handsome, well-produced box set. Only 44 left to go!

Like all of that excellent company’s releases, the [...]