Friday, February 13, 2015

Produced and Abandoned #18

Ten more titles deserving a Region 1 DVD release:

1. Chiefs (1983)- Word of mouth has generally been strong for this 4 hour TV miniseries starring Charlton Heston and dealing with the generations-long search for a serial killer. With TV shows plugging into the cultural zeitgeist like never before, I can't imagine this interesting series not warranting a DVD release. Apparently there's a German set that exists from the mid 2000's but it features sub par English translation.

2. Death Powder (1986)- Japanese craziness to the extreme. If that's even possible. Words like deranged, nightmarish and bizarre only scratch the surface. Its widely available on the gray market and if one can find it, I highly recommend it. Maybe, after all, its a bit too much to release on DVD.

3. Streetwise (1984)- Somewhat groundbreaking cinema verite doc about the derelict lives of homeless people, junkies and wayward kids on the streets of Seattle. Pouring over comments about this film on various web sites shows how paramount this film was for many people who viewed it originally and how deeply they yearn for answers about people in this film. 

4. Shanghai Blues (1984)- Basically a plea for more early Tsui Hark to be readily available. This film, starring Sylvia Chang and Kenny Bee, deals with a couple who meet awkwardly during World War 2 and promise to meet up again later in life. Described as a comedy, Hark boundlessly skirts all genres and this one sounds luminous.

5. Brink of Life (1958)- Oddly, one of the few Ingmar Bergman not on DVD. 

6. On War (2008)- Bertrand Bonello is an interesting filmmaker. Part shock sexualist and part pretentious storyteller, his films are never boring (see "Tiresia" or his masterpiece "House of Pleasures"). This unreleased film stars Mathieu Amalric and Asia Argento (!) that sounds, on par, with the rest of his provocative work about the fears and unknown feelings of a filmmaker after a scary experience. There's very little about this film out there, but with Bonello's recent critical success (most recently with "Saint Laurent") here's hoping this film sees the daylight.

7. Survive Style 5+ (2004)- More Japanese craziness apparently. I can't do it justice, so blogger pal Bob Turnbull should lay it on you.

8. It Happened In Broad Daylight (1958)- Another adaptation of the "M" murder films as sensationalized by Fritz Lang and Robert Hossein.

9. Perfect Friday (1970)- British crime film starring Stanley Baker, Ursula Andrews and David Warner and its not on DVD? Really? Really?

10. Shy People (1987)- In the 80's director Andrei Konchalovskiy was THE man. "Runaway Train" and "Tango and Cash" made this thirteen year old very happy. There were also the dramas, and "Shy People" was one of them. Starring Barbara Hershey and Jill Calyburgh, the film is about the clash of lifestyles when a NY journalist returns home to the bayous of Louisiana. Comments and even a prominent listing as one of the best films of the year by Siskel and Ebert have done little to resuscitate this lost film. 

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