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Fabulous Fantasia

I’ve always had a special affection for Walt Disney’s 1940 folie de grandeur, perhaps because it was the first film I was fully conscious of seeing as a film — to the point where, as a terrified three-year-old during the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence, I clearly remember looking away from the screen to […]

From Metropolis to Moonfleet

I’ve seen it three times now and I still can’t quite believe that we’ve got the all-but-complete “Metropolis” in our hands after all these decades of trying to decode the hopelessly screwed-up Paramount edit. In the new Blu-ray from Kino that comes out this week, Marti Koerber’s restoration from the original camera negative looks […]

Chaplin at Keystone

Charles Spencer Chaplin managed to appear in some 35 short films and one feature during the twelve months he spent at Mack Sennett’s Keystone studios between 1913 and 1914. It’s a sign of how immensely popular these films were that all but one survive (the missing title is “Her Friend the Bandit,” which Chaplin […]

The Elia Kazan Collection

The latest holiday gift set from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment doesn’t have the wingspan of their previous blockbusters, “Ford at Fox” or “Murnau, Borzage and Fox” — but then, we’re unlikely to see anything on that scale again, as DVD sales continue to dwindle. But it does contain fifteen films, including five appearing […]

Holiday Movies and Other Illusions

The New York Times has its special “Holiday Movies” section this week, which means no DVD column but those so inclined can read my one-sentence plot summaries — carefully distilled from official studio press releases! — on the films we have to look forward to this November and December. I’ve also got an interview […]