Strange bedfellows in this week’s New York Times column, thanks to the vagaries of the DVD release schedule. On the one hand, here’s a stunning new Blu-ray edition of John Frankenheimer’s dramatically inert Cinerama spectacular “Grand Prix” (with extended passages directed by Saul Bass, who also designed the little-seen poster above); and on the other, “Laila,” a 1929 Norwegian film from Flicker Alley that imagines a Romeo-and-Juliet romance between a pious young merchant and the wild-child daughter of a nomadic reindeer herder. Directed by George Schnéevoigt, who was Carl Dreyer’s cameraman during his great burst of creativity in the early 20s (from “The Parson’s Widow” to “Master of the House”), it’s a magnificent landscape film that at times seems to anticipate the Murnau of “City Girl” and “Tabu.”
It’s with great sadness that I note the passing of Don Krim, who touched the lives of countless cinephiles through his stewardship of Kino International. Don was one of the rare distributors who cared as passionately about silent film as the latest indie productions and foreign imports, and he never for a minute seemed to be in it for the money. I’m sure the company he built will carry on his spirit, but I will miss him tremendously.