This is a dismal week for new movie releases; I haven't seen a single one and don't intend to. Luckily for those of us living in Portland, we have a lot of great revival houses and alternatives to the multiplexes. Starting tomorrow, Sunday the 22nd, and ending Thursday the 26th, Cinema 21 will be showing a 35mm print of Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. Here is the blurb I wrote for the Portland Mercury:
Sergei Eisenstein pretty much invented cinematic language in his 1925 silent film about rebellion on a Russian cruiser, but don’t mistake watching Potemkin as akin to reading a textbook--it’s as stirring today as it was nearly a century ago. The dizzying battle sequences and iconic riot on the Odessa stairs (you’ve seen it ripped off hundreds of times) turned what would’ve otherwise been a standard propaganda film into tension-filled art. Fully restored with its original score, this 35mm print is a rare chance to see a masterpiece in public with all the P-town Bolsheviks.
In lieu of that, here are three new DVDs worth seeking out, and one you're better to ignore...
UPDATED TO CRITERION CONFESSIONS...
* Diabolique, Henri-Georges Clouzot's white-knuckled thriller. After half a century, it will still keep you guessing.
* Pale Flower, a chilly tale of Japanese gangsters, gamblers, and nihilistic romance. Directed by Masahiro Shinoda, released 1964, now on Blu-Ray. (Also at DVD Talk.)
THIS WEEK IN DVD/BD REVIEWS...
* Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words, an interesting story given a dull presentation.
* Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno, a stupendous documentary sifting through the remains of the Diabolique-director's unfinished would-be masterpiece.
Current Soundtrack: Jesus & Mary Chain, 21 Singles
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All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich