Monday, August 24, 2009

Produced and Abandoned #3

A few more titles that deserve to see the light of day on region 1 DVD:

1. The Shout (1978)- Available on a region 2 Spanish edition, Jerry Skolimowski's late 70's film sounds eerily impressive: "A madman eccentric convinces a married couple that he can kill by shouting". Skolimowski has scored recently with his latest film, "Four Nights With Anna" on the festival circuit, so maybe some of his older releases will receive some love.
2. Chaotic Ana (2006)- I've heard pretty terrible things about this film, but I absolutely love the work of Spanish director Julio Medem and I'd love to evaluate this work for itself. A few festival screenings have popped up here and there, but other than that, "Chaotic Ana" is MIA.
3. JeTaime, JeTaime (1974)- For me Alain Resnais is hit or miss (deceptive and intriguing with his early stuff, insufferable and smothering with his later ones), yet this mid 70's time travel tale sounds very promising. I'd love to hear thoughts if anyone's seen it.
4. The Landlord (1970)- Hal Ashby has always been an intelligent, low-key director (much like Bob Rafelson) and "The Landlord" is his debut film starring Beau Bridges as a rich kid who buys a house and ends up squabbling with his urban neighbors. Everything I've read about it calls it a smart social comedy.
5. L.627 (1994)- Bertrand Tavernier's police procedural is an outright masterpiece... a film that alternates between the rush of adrenaline involved with police work and the banal idleness spent typing up reports and tracking down snitches. The final shot is an amazing one. With so much of Tavernier's work available on video, this one is a head-scratcher.
6. Sleeping Car Murders (1965)- I really should go back and give "Z" another viewing. This is director Costa-Gavras' debut film and it stars Simone Signoret and Yves Montand as a couple investigating the murder of a girl on an overnight passenger train.
7. Outcast (1962)- I've only seen two Kon Ichikawa films, but they were both searing and powerful works from a Japanese filmmaker who seems to often get overlooked.
8. The Emigrants (1971)- After recently seeing "Everlasting Moments", I'd be very happy if I could see more of Jan Troell's work. Both this film and the sequel, "The New Land" document the settlement of Swedish emigrants in Minnesota. Every description calls them sweeping and epic.
9. The Goalie's Anxiety At the Penalty Kick (1971)- Wim Wenders' debut film. I rented this on VHS years ago and started watching it, but ran out of time before it had to be returned (remember those days?!). When I finally went back for it months later, the tape had been eaten in the machine by another renter. It's one of the very few Wenders' films I've yet to see.
10. Day the Sun Turned Cold (1996)- One of my favorite films from 1996. Directed by little known filmmaker Ho Yim, it's an emotional ride of a young man who burrows into the secrets of his past. Great cinematography and low-key acting make this a must-see. Too bad it's been thirteen years since I've last seen it in an empty theater.

3 comments:

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Turnbull said...

Hmmm, I've seen "Chaotic Ana" at my local video store here in Toronto. And here is its amazon.ca listing, but it may indeed be out of print now. It's possible it was only Canadian distributed, but I didn't think so. It's no longer in Mongrel Media's catalog, so they may have dropped it. But it was released in Region 1.

Don't bother though. I love Medem's previous work as well (at least what I've seen: "Lovers Of The Arctic Circle" and "Sex & Lucia"), but "Chaotic Ana" was bad. Angry-making bad. Terrible in fact. And an ending I hated with a passion (juvenile political commentary). I wrote about it after seeing it at TIFF in 2007, but I'll spare you linking to my angry diatribe.

Joseph B. said...

Moviezzz, interesting. I haven't seen it listed before, but then again I don't subscribe to the HBO/Starz/Showtime channels if that's where it usually plays.

Bob, I do remember your review and the "i've heard some pretty terrible things" line in my description was aimed at you! But seriously, you should definitely try and track down Medem's other films, "The Red Squirrel" and "Tierra" especially. I think you'll be delighted.