I can't be the only one who thinks of Zabriskie Point whenever this news story gets updated. Can I?
By the way, a domestic DVD of Antonioni's 1970 picture, which I think is really an underrated masterpiece and which I love more every time I see it, is coming out in June from Warner. I would love to see a Blu-ray of the thing, really. I mean, Criterion is Blu-raying Marienbad around the same time. What, exactly, is too much to ask for, I wonder.
I didn't want to post this yesterday, as I figured it might be taken for a sick April Fool's joke, but word's come down that the Criterion Collection's Blu-ray of Akira Kurosawa's late masterpiece Ran has been "withdrawn from Criterion's schedule due to a rights issue." This is a tremendous bummer. The splendiferous Ran has had a long and largely ill-fated career on home video, with Criterion's wonderful 2005 standard-definition release finally getting it right. I can say with some confidence that their Blu-ray would have been magnificent. The only Blu-ray of the picture extant is, according to the mavens at DVD Beaver, pretty bad news.
Back when the picture first came out in the States, me and my, um, homies, latched onto it in a way that we hadn't for any film since The Shining back in '80. I think I saw the Kubrick, in the company of various fellow travelers, nine times in one summer. Ran, something like six, eventually. My friend Joe Failla reminds me that at my third viewing, his first, I deliberately ducked out of the theater to make a call as the epic fire and battles scene was about to start, and came back after the end, and asked Joe, "Did I miss anything?" What an impish douche I was back in the day...
Anyway, there's no further information readily available about the situation at this time. When there is, I'll update. Feh. It's enough to make you wanna take up crack.
I'm proud, and honored, to be able to call Kent Jones a friend, and I was shaken and concerned to receive word from him Tuesday evening that he had resigned from his position at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he served as associate director of programming and Editor-at-Large for Film Comment. It's a profound loss for the Film Society, where he brought passion, innovation, a deep affinity for filmmakers, and so much more.
Ah, well. As our mutual friend Nathan Lee notes on a social networking site, Kent "will shine bright at whatever he does next." After tendering his resignation, Kent flew off to Vienna, to present his exemplary documentary Val Lewton: Man In The Shadows there. While there may be no more Kent Jones at FSLC, there will, I sincerely hope, be more films by Kent Jones, and soon.
As for where this leaves the Film Society, well, one is loath to get either too necessarily cryptic and/or too inside baseball. I think my headline pretty much sums it up, at least for now.
UPDATE: I just heard from Film Comment Editor Gavin Smith, who assures me—and would like to assure all of you—that Kent will continue to contribute to Film Comment, where Gavin says they intend to "continue publishing as much writing as Kent can produce." Kent's title of "Editor-at-Large" may have to change, but he'll continue to be on the publication's masthead. So there's some silver lining for us.
FURTHER UPDATE: As this is quite possibly one of the least enjoyable posts I've ever put up, I feel compelled to provide some entertainment/uplift value by, yes, inviting you to enjoy the Grand Funk Railroad tune that inspired the title of the post. It really is a cherry track, as are so many other Grand Funk tunes.... but we can discuss all this some other time.