The Song of Rollin

Louis Feuillade meets Bob Guccione in the work of Jean Roland, a Eurotrash master who took advantage of the waning days of the softcore sex film in the 1970s to create a series of almost impenetrably personal horror films with titles like “The Nude Vampire” and “Lips of Blood.” The frequent nudity and intimations [...]

Winging It

Paramount Pictures is marking its 100th anniversary with a magnificent presentation of William Wellman’s 1927 “Wings” on Blu-ray, featuring a digitally restored image and a thundering DTS soundtrack that includes a re-recording of the original score by J.S. Zamecnik and sound effects supervised by Ben Burtt, of “Star Wars” and “WALL-E” fame. The new [...]

Button Up

Raro Video USA, the recently formed American arm of Italy’s most prestigious video publishing house, continues to demonstrate how little we know on this side of the pond about the classical Italian cinema, most recently with a pair of releases directed by Alberto Lattuada, “The Overcoat” (1952) and “Come Have Coffee with Us” (1970), [...]

Friends of Dorothy

The unremitting sleaziness of William Wellman’s 1931 “Safe in Hell” has earned the film a place in the pre-code pantheon, as well as a recent release as part of the Warner Archive Collection.

Playing a New Orleans prostitute who takes it on the lam after braining her ex-lover with a bottle of bootleg [...]

One More Time

A striking image from Lupu Pick’s cautionary New Year’s Eve tale of 1924, “Sylvester: Tragödie einer Nacht,” reminds us that the hour is upon us to compile our ten best lists for 2011. My ten best is more like a two best — I don’t think I saw anything better than Lars von Trier’s [...]