It’s only a few years old, but Flicker Alley has already become one of the outstanding labels in the DVD business. Founded by Jeffery Masino in 2002, the company brings together the resources of David Shepard’s Blackhawk Films and Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange’s Lobster Films of Paris, and has come to specialize in ravishing editions of silent films. The inventory ventures far beyond the established classics, with discoveries such as Reginald Barker’s 1915 “The Italian” and King Vidor’s recently rediscovered 1926 “Bardelys the Magnificent.” The company’s latest release is “Miss Mend,” a two-disc edition (taken from the original camera negative) of Boris Barnet and Fedor Ozep’s rousing 1926 attempt to adapt the pace and pleasures of an American action serial to the ideological imperatives and formal inventiveness of the nascent Soviet cinema. Both Barnet and Ozep, who went their separate ways after this early collaboration, are major filmmakers whose talents have been consistently and unfairly overshadowed by the montage theorists. Perhaps this release will prompt an adventurous distributor to bring out Ozep’s 1931 “Der Morder Dimitri Karamasoff,” a brilliant reconfiguration of “The Brothers Karamazov” made in Germany, as well as Barnet’s indescribably beautiful “By the Bluest of Seas,” a lyrical masterpiece of 1936 that has so far surfaced only in a budget edition with French subtitles.
Here’s my review of “Miss Mend” from the New York Times.