I threatened in my last book haul post I might start posting my DVD and Blu-ray hauls. And, well, I got a bit bored on Saturday morning, and before I knew it I’d taken photos of the films I’d purchased over the past month or so and was banging out a post on them…
Three Blu-rays from Curzon Artificial Eye, one of the best sell-through publishers out there. They even have their own chain of cinemas now. But they still didn’t show Francofonia in the Sheffield Curzon Cinema. Grump. The Dance of Reality and Endless Poetry are Alejandro Jodorowsky’s return to film-making after many, many years and are apparently based on his childhood in Chile. The François Truffaut Collection – so, yes, more than three Blu-rays, more like ten – was one of those “accidental” purchases you have after a glass too many of wine. All three were bought from a large online retailer.
Two more Blu-rays. To Catch A Thief was only £5, so I thought it worth upgrading my old DVD copy. It’s a pretty good transfer, although the improved colours do mean Cary Grant looks like he’s been creosoted. Daughter of the Nile is a new release, the first time in the UK, I think, of a Hou Hsiao Hsien film from 1987. Both were purchased from a large online retailer.
The Bad and the Beautiful is on the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list, but having now seen it (see here), I’ve no idea why. It’s a typical Hollywood melodrama, although apparently not typical enough to be available on DVD in the UK or US – so I had to buy a Korean release on eBay. Goodbye Gemini is a 1970 British thriller, found for a third of the price on eBay. Mississippi Mermaid I actually watched on rental (see here), but I found this Blu-ray edition copy going for a great deal less than the Amazon price on eBay.
Three non-Anglophone/European films – well, four, actually, since the Great African Films Vol 2 package contains two films on two discs. They are Tasuma, the Fighter and Sia, the Dream of the Python. Both are from Burkina Faso. Cyclo, on the other the hand, is from Vietnam, and also on the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list. In the Room is from Singapore. I stumbled across it on eBay, and thought it looked intriguing. All three were bought on eBay, in fact. I wrote about In the Room here.
July 5, 2017 at 7:18 am
Curzon and Artificial Eye, both separately and after they merged, have played a huge part in the availability of new and classic world cinema in the UK. It’s Artificial Eye’s fortieth birthday this year.
Goodbye Gemini I saw on DVD a few years back. I have actually read the novel it’s based on (Ask Agamemnon by Jenni Hall), but so long ago I don’t remember much of it. I still have somewhere a pile of 60s issues of Books and Bookmen which my grandmother passed on to me, and Jenni Hall was on the cover of one of them. Hot new writer with her first novel, film rights being sold, and all that. Obviously didn’t last, but she seems to have had some other novels published, nothing in print now though.
July 5, 2017 at 8:16 am
I think I have more DVDs published by Artificial Eye than any other publisher, with Tartan possibly in second place.
Jenni Hall reminds me of the author of The Dolly Dolly Spy (recommended many years ago by Chris Priest), another writer whose debut novel was massively hyped but their career sank into obscurity afterwards. I think there was a film adaptation of that too. Goodbye Gemini is… very much of its time. Freddie Jones is marvellously louche in it, but the two leads aren’t that good.
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