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The Piano Teacher

10 hours ago

The Piano Teacher 

Blu-ray

Criterion

2001 / 1:85 / Street Date September 26, 2017

Starring Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Magimel, Annie Girardot

Cinematography: Christian Berger

Film Editor: Monika Willi, Nadine Muse

Produced by Veit Heiduschka

Music: Martin Achenbach

Directed by Michael Haneke

Her serene face a fragile mask just waiting to crack along with her sanity, the tortured spinster at the center of The Piano Teacher is a Blanche Dubois for the S&M set.

Her name is Erika Kohut, a brilliant but merciless tutor entrenched in a swank Viennese conservatory where she brings a surgical precision to her teaching (while leaving the anesthesia at home). She’s a harsh mistress, no doubt, but she’s merely assumed the mantle of her mother, a clinging horrorshow who monitors her middle-aged daughter’s every move while provoking nightly brawls that begin in the living room and end in the bedroom; a sick parody of a bad marriage. »

- Charlie Largent

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The Champion: A Story of America’s First Film Town

10 hours ago

Proving again that there’s always more to learn about film history, Marc J. Perez’s documentary tells the story of a major American film capital before Hollywood. Milestone surrounds it with a couple of hours of early silent films made in the cinema Mecca of . . . Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The Champion: A Story of America’s First Film Town

DVD

The Milestone Cinematheque

2015 / Color + B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 35 min. main documentary; many more short subjects / Street Date October 17, 2017 / available through The Milestone Cinematheque / 34.99

Film Editor: B.B. Enriquez

Original Music: Ryan Shore

Based on a book by Richard Koszarski

Produced by Tom Myers, John L. Sikes

Directed by Marc J. Perez

Milestone’s new crash course in film history is a two-disc set centered around a 2015 documentary, The Champion: A Story of America’s First Film Town. ‘The Champion’ was the name of a short-lived but significant film company, »

- Glenn Erickson

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Brigadoon

10 hours ago

Balletic, stylized and rather aloof, MGM’s biggest musical for 1954 still has what musical lovers crave — good dancing, beautiful melodies and unabashed romantic sentiments. Savant has a bad tendency to fixate on the inconsistencies of its fantasy concept — in which God places an ideal Scottish village outside the limits of Time itself.

Brigadoon

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1954 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 108 min. / Street Date September 26, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse, Elaine Stewart, Barry Jones, Albert Sharpe, Virginia Bosler, Jimmy Thompson.

Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg

Art Direction: Preston Ames, Cedric Gibbons

Film Editor: Albert Akst

Original Music: Frederick Loewe

Screenplay, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Produced by Arthur Freed

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

MGM underwent some severe cutbacks in 1953; most of its contract players were dropped including the majority of its proud roster of stars. The studio would have to survive in a new kind of Hollywood, »

- Glenn Erickson

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The Flight of the Phoenix (Region B)

22 September 2017 1:59 PM, PDT

Forgotten amid Robert Aldrich’s more critic-friendly movies is this superb suspense picture, an against-all-odds thriller that pits an old-school pilot against a push-button young engineer with his own kind of male arrogance. Can a dozen oil workers and random passengers ‘invent’ their way out of an almost certain death trap? It’s a late-career triumph for James Stewart, at the head of a sterling ensemble cast. I review a UK disc in the hope of encouraging a new restoration.

The Flight of the Phoenix

Region B Blu-ray

(will not play in domestic U.S. players)

Masters of Cinema / Eureka Entertainment

1965 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 142 min. / Street Date September 12, 2016 / £12.95

Starring: James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy Krüger, Ernest Borgnine, Ian Bannen, Ronald Fraser, Christian Marquand, Dan Duryea, George Kennedy, Gabriele Tinti, Alex Montoya, Peter Bravos, William Aldrich, Barrie Chase.

Cinematography: Joseph Biroc

Stunt Pilot: Paul Mantz

Art Direction: William Glasgow »

- Glenn Erickson

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The Fearless Vampire Killers

21 September 2017 9:30 PM, PDT

Photographed by Douglas Slocombe, Roman Polanski’s serio-comic tribute to Hammer Studios is probably his most ravishing film. It stars himself and, at her most exquisite, Sharon Tate, along with Jack MacGowran as the addle-pated Professor Abronsius (a vampire hunter more batty than the vampires themselves) and Ferdy Mayne as the aristocratic blood drinker, Count von Krolock. Krzysztof Komeda (Rosemary’s Baby) contributed the eerie score. »

- Charlie Largent

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Blacula

19 September 2017 9:30 PM, PDT

Aip’s vampiric contribution to the prevailing blaxploitation avalanche of the 1970s benefits from the casting of stentorian Shakespearian actor William Marshall, who manages to retain his dignity in some very tacky situations. Successful enough to spawn a sequel, Scream Blacula Scream. »

- TFH Team

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Erik the Conqueror

19 September 2017 2:00 PM, PDT

“And On The Eighth Day Bava Created Color.” That’s my sentiment with every new quality restoration of a Mario Bava picture. This amazing new disc of Il Maestro’s teeth-clenched Viking epic delivers stunning action scenes and eye-bending widescreen fantasy visuals. Arrow’s Blu-ray is spiked with a new Tim Lucas commentary.

Erik the Conqueror

Blu-ray + DVD

Arrow Video USA

1961 / Color / 2:35 widescreen (Dyaliscope) / 90 min. / Street Date August 29, 2017 / Available from Arrow Video / 39.95

Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Alice & Ellen Kessler, George Ardisson, Andrea Checchi, Françoise Christophe, Raf Baldassarre, Joe Robinson, Folco Lulli.

Cinematography: Mario Bava, Ubaldo Terzano

Film Editor: Mario Serandrei

Original Music: Roberto Nicolosi

Written by Oreste Biancoli, Mario Bava

Produced by Ferruccio De Martino

Directed by Mario Bava

Far too good to be slammed as a mere imitation of Richard Fleischer’s The Vikings, Mario Bava’s exciting Erik the Conqueror is one of the best of the Italian-made »

- Glenn Erickson

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Hour of the Gun

19 September 2017 1:54 PM, PDT

It’s the one saga of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral that puts Western legend into proper perspective as to the nature of money, power and the law: Edward Anhalt’s vision is of a gangland turf war with sagebrush and whiskey bottles. James Garner is a humorless Wyatt Earp, matched by Jason Robards’ excellent Doc Holliday. It’s one of John Sturges’ best movies.

Hour of the Gun

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1967 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 101 min. / Street Date September 19, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: James Garner, Jason Robards, Robert Ryan, Albert Salmi, Charles Aidman, Steve Ihnat, Michael Tolan, William Windom, Lonny Chapman, Larry Gates, William Schallert, Jon Voight.

Cinematography: Lucien Ballard

Art Direction: Alfred C. Ybarra

Film Editor: Ferris Webster

Original Music: Jerry Goldsmith

Written by Edward Anhalt

Produced and Directed by John Sturges

Producer-director John SturgesHour of the Gun was a dismal non-performer in »

- Glenn Erickson

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Vampyr (1932)

19 September 2017 1:51 PM, PDT

Of all the legendary early horror films Carl Theodor Dreyer’s vampire nightmare was once the most difficult to appreciate — until Criterion’s restoration of a mostly intact, un-mutilated full cut. Dreyer creates his fantasy according to his own rules — this pallid, claustrophobic horror is closer to Ordet than it is Dracula or Nosferatu.

Vampyr

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 437

1932 / Color / 1:19 Movietone Ap. / 73 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 3, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Julian West (Baron Nicolas De Gunzberg), Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz, Jan Hieronimko, Henriette Gérard.

Cinematography: Rudolph Maté

Art Direction: Hermann Warm

Film Editor: Tonka Taldy

Original Music: Wolfgang Zeller

Written by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Christen Jul from In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu

Produced by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Julian West

Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr is a tough row to hoe for horror fans, many of whom just »

- Glenn Erickson

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Innocent Blood

17 September 2017 9:30 PM, PDT

John Landis’ 1992 film is a noiresque hybrid of vampires and mobsters with Anne Parillaud as the conflicted bloodsucker with a heart of gold and Robert Loggia as the ethically challenged mob boss who winds up sprouting fangs. The late, great Don Rickles brings some Casino-esque humor to his role as a crooked lawyer. »

- Charlie Largent

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