Curated by David Kalat (of last year’s impressive Harry Langdon collection), “Becoming Charley Chase” draws primarily on the community of private collectors for an illuminating array of rare one and two reel comedies starring or directed by Charley Chase. Chase remains an underrated talent — a key figure in the transition from Sennett grotesque to Roach naturalism — and this box has the added fascination of a dozen or so one-reelers directed by Leo McCarey at the very beginning of his career (his first film, a feature made at Universal, is apparently lost). The Chase-McCarey films are little marvels — ten minute movies that achieve a richness of character and comic invention that few contemporary features can equal. All this, plus an appraisal of Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion,” newly reissued in Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection, in this week’s New York Times column.
And on a completely different page, I’ve got an interview with the great Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson, on the occasion of the New York release of his brilliant black comedy “You, the Living.”