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December 23, 2017


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david cairns

Maaaaarvelous! A few items I will be sorely tempted to shell out for. You're costing me money, sir!

That Fuzzy Bastard

Thanks for this, Glenn! And for clueing me into Second Run, who I see have a *bunch* of Vera Chytilova discs that I'd love to get if they can play in the US.


Chandu the Magician: A big influence on Doctor Strange, as Stan Lee has acknowledged.


The only blu-ray guide really worth reading and I shall be forwarding some cash, when my ruined bank account has recovered from purchasing so many obscure and wonderful cult movies. The sole titles on the list I had purchased, before I read this, were Letter From An Unknown Woman (a triple dip, if you please - after purchasing the Gaumont and BFI versions) and the Suspiria steelbook (currently in Russia, courtesy of USPS). I have fantasies about winning a million dollars in the lottery and then retaining you as a video consultant. You too, probably. You did say, back in August 2016, that you were going to go all Tarkovsky and I'm hoping that you have cozied up to Criterion's Stalker, some time during the last year. That did it for me. Happy holidays, Glenn.

Asher Steinberg

Why don't you like the Thriller video? I found it a pretty rich and telling piece of work the last time I seriously sat down with it.

I think Wyler made a great film or two (Dodsworth, of course) and a handful of very good ones, but I don't care much for the deep-focus stuff with Toland and think Bazin's praise was misguided. For example, there's a shot at the end of Best Years that annoys me a great deal; Russell and O'Donnell, who are the film's C storyline, are getting married, but the deep focus picks up the reactions of Andrews and Wright, the A storyline and stars of the film, and you realize they're in focus because for Wyler the shot and really the scene isn't about the marriage of the lesser (but just as interesting and sympathetic, if not more so) performers in the foreground, but only what that marriage suggests to the film's stars. Deep focus here isn't about realism, or a democracy as between major and minor characters, but just the opposite. As for The Little Foxes, my vague recollection is that, besides the script being thuddingly awful, and many of the performances rising to the script's cartoonish level (I guess Duryea in Lang is equally cartoonishly evil, but he's at least attractive), the deep focus is mostly character A in background (or foreground), character B insidiously plotting character A's fate in foreground (or background) variety. What that has to do with "realism" I don't know; it's more a very pat sort of storyboarded illustration. For some reason I do enjoy Hitchcock's experimentation with similar effects in Stage Fright, but this is perhaps because the shots don't pretend to realism/are obviously effects, which fits with the narrative and thematics.

I was hoping you might mention the new blu-rays of Spotlight on a Murderer or You Only Live Once. I haven't seen the former yet, and I've heard mixed things (about the film, not the disc), but I love any Franju and the booklet has a good essay by Fujiwara.

Glenn Kenny

“Spotlight” is on my to-view pile. I wrote a little about Classic Flix, which put out the new Blu of “You Only Live Once,” here: https://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/classic-flix-blu-ray-label-provides-cinephile-thrills

Noam Sane

Glenn, thank for this, I will be picking through it all winter, which, if current trends continue, will be a mofo. This and your lists in the previous post provide much chewy goodness.

I hadn't thought about Thriller (or Landis) much lately, but when Bill Wyman referred to the video as "technically crude and poorly put together" in his Vulture list a couple weeks back, it struck me as a fair cop. But - I remember Innocent Blood as having an People Under The Stairs-type of unhinged momentum going for it. And Rickles being a lot of fun. Need a rewatch.

Been kicking myself, kinda, for not staying for Suspiria on the IFC Film Center double-bill in with Nosferatu last Oct. I'll pick that up first and feel better.


I liked RED LINE 7000 a lot less than you did, though it's totally fascinating for a Hawks' fan. Mainly, the acting was just not...good, outside of Caan, who hints pretty strongly at the bigger things to come for him. (Okay, Norman Alden is pretty good, as is Marianna Hill.)
With a stronger cast, he may have had a HATARI! on wheels instead of an Elvis movie without Elvis.

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