Jonathan Rosenbaum

Global Discoveries on DVD: Heroines, Heroes, Dogs, Filmmakers

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 9, 2021

The way the Internet Movie Database tells it, two pairs of writerly brothers worked with Josef von Sternberg on his first talkie, Thunderbolt (1929), recently released on a Kino Lorber Blu-ray (with a knowledgeable audio commentary by Nick Pinkerton that I’ve so far only sampled). Charles and Jules Furthman are both credited for “story,” though Jules, the younger of the two, gets a screen credit for the actual script; Herman J. Mankiewicz is credited for “dialogue,” while his younger brother, Joseph L., is credited for “titles.”

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Global Discoveries on DVD: The Importance of Not Being an Auteur

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 22, 2020

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Teaching an online course on Agnès Varda at the School of the Art Institute this fall for 39 students has put me in regular touch with Criterion’s superb 15-disc Blu-ray box set The Complete Films of Agnès Varda, every week. The packaging reminds me in some ways of the handsome 78 rpm…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Presumptions & Biases

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 22, 2020

We already know from his imaginary conversations with his very own “Orson” in The Eyes of Orson Welles (2019) that the presumptions of Mark Cousins respect no natural boundaries apart from those of his own hubris.

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Diverse Kinds of Do-it-Yourself Subterfuge, Mainly American

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 23, 2020

Well before the coronavirus pandemic kicked in, I’d already started nurturing a hobby of creating my own viewing packages on my laptop. This mainly consists of finding unsubtitled movies I want to see, on YouTube or elsewhere, downloading them, tracking down English subtitles however and whenever I can find them, placing the films and subtitles into new folders, and then watching the results on my VLC player. The advantages of this process are obvious: not only free viewing, but another way of escaping the limitations of our cultural gatekeepers and commissars—e.g., critics and institutions associated with the New York Film Festival, the New York Times, and diverse film magazines (including this one), not to mention the distributors and programmers who pretend to know exactly what we want to see by dictating all our choices in advance.

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Second Thoughts & Double Takes

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 20, 2020

I find it astonishing, really jaw-dropping, that Midge Costin’s mainly enjoyable Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019),available on aUK DVD on the Dogwoof label, can seemingly base much of its film history around a ridiculous falsehood: the notion that stereophonic, multi-track cinema wasinvented in the ’70s by the Movie Brats—basically Walter Murch, in concert with his chums George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola—finally allowing the film industry to raise itself technically and aesthetically to the level already attained by The Beatles in music recording.

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Women, Men, Progressive and “Progressive” Thinking

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 29, 2019

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Some of Roman Polanski’s early features—Repulsion (1965), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and Tess (1979)—are centred on vulnerable women, but as Bitter Moon (1992) makes abundantly clear, these are all films predicated on the male gaze, as are the more recent and more impersonal films of his that come closest to qualifying as Oscar…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Compulsively Yours (including a few real-life confessions/admissions)

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 23, 2019

Due to my recorded enthusiasm for Maurizio Nichetti’s first slapstick feature, Ratataplan (1979), and his no less loony and hilarious fifth, The Icicle Thief (1989), I was handed a restoration of his equally loony but less hilarious third, Domani si balla! (Tomorrow We Dance, 1983), co-starring Nichetti and Mariangela Melato, on a PAL DVD with optional English subtitles (not always idiomatic or grammatical) released by Collana Forum Italia.

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Extras and Streaming, Now, Then, and There

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 27, 2019

Readers of Movie Mutations, the 2003 collection I co-edited with Adrian Martin, will know that the Jungian notion of global synchronicity has long been a preoccupation of mine.

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Flukes & Flakes

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 26, 2019

By Jonathan Rosenbaum In retrospect, I’m sure that an important part of what excited me about John Updike’s second novel, Rabbit, Run, when I read it in high school circa 1960, was the fact that it was recounted in the present tense, thus giving it some of the immediacy of a movie—rather like the thrill…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Some Blessings and Curses of Cinephilia

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / January 2, 2019

By Jonathan Rosenbaum  Since I don’t have much investment in parsing Arnaud Desplechin’s arsenal of “personal” references, I had to look elsewhere for the intermittent pleasures of Ismaël’s Ghosts (2017), available on a two-disc Blu-ray from Arrow Films. I often find myself so hard put to navigate Desplechin’s multiple allusions to and borrowings from Philip…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Auteurist Updates

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 28, 2018

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Paul Verhoeven gives exceptionally good audio commentary, especially on the Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Spetters (1980), a powerful feature about teenage motocross racers in a small Dutch town that I’ve just seen for the first time. Speaking in English, Verhoeven tells us a good deal about Dutch culture and life at the…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: First Looks, Second Thoughts

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / July 2, 2018

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. Second Thoughts First In the introduction to my forthcoming collection Cinematic Encounters: Interviews and Dialogues, I make the argument that although Truffaut’s book-length interview with Hitchcock doesn’t qualify precisely as film criticism, it nonetheless had a decisive critical effect on film taste. By the same token, on Criterion’s very welcome Blu-ray…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: A Few Peripheral Matters

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 16, 2018

By Jonathan Rosenbaum. Let me start by paraphrasing and slightly expanding a comment of mine appended to my 2017 ten-best list for DVD Beaver. A major reason for listing Criterion’s Othello first is that it includes the digital premieres of not one, not two, but three Orson Welles features: both of his edits of Othello…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Fantasies and Favourites

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 19, 2017

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Circa 1978, while I was living in a San Diego suburb and teaching a film course, I wrote a letter to Dr. Seuss (Ted Geisel), who lived in another San Diego suburb, inviting him to come to my class and talk about The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953), which he co-wrote…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Bologna Awards and Mixed & Unmixed Blessings

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 28, 2017

By Jonathan Rosenbaum.    I Il Cinema Ritrovato DVD Awards Jurors: Lorenzo Codelli, Alexander Horwath, Lucien Logette, Mark McElhatten, Paolo Mereghetti, and Jonathan Rosenbaum. Chaired by Paolo Mereghetti. PERSONAL CHOICES Lorenzo Codelli: Norman Foster’s Woman on the Run (1950, Flicker Alley, Blu-ray). A lost gem rescued by detective Eddie Muller’s indefatigable Film Noir Foundation. Alexander…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: A (Mainly) Alphabetical Listing of 24 Items

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 22, 2017

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Blow-Up (Criterion Blu-ray). I’ve always had somewhat mixed feelings about Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1967 Swinging London hit: awe and admiration for his uncanny handling of space, colour, mood, and non-narrative stasis in juxtaposition with his metaphysical detective story, and irritation about the show-offy, fashion-plate ambience that seemed far more responsible for the movie’s…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Clarifications and Spring Cleaning

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 24, 2017

  By Jonathan Rosenbaum  Probably the most important DVD release of last year, inexplicably overlooked by me when I made out my lists for Sight and Sound and DVD Beaver, is Josef von Sternberg’s The Salvation Hunters (1925) and The Case of Lena Smith (fragment, 1929) on a single all-region disc from www.edition-filmmuseum.com for 19.95…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Mostly Items from Overseas

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 19, 2016

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. A package of wonderful releases arrived from Eureka’s Masters of Cinema series in the UK, all of them with exceptional extras. Here are the most exciting of these packages, in alphabetical order: Andre De Toth’s Day of the Outlaw (1959), in dual formats—a masterpiece of disequilibrium and the starkest of black-and-white…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Awards and Extras

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 25, 2016

By Jonathan Rosenbaum. DVD Awards 2016, Il Cinema Ritrovato Jurors: Lorenzo Codelli, Alexander Horwath, Lucien Logette, Mark McElhatten, Paolo Mereghetti, and Jonathan Rosenbaum. (Although Mark McElhatten wasn’t able to attend the festival this year, he has continued to function as a very active member of the jury.) BEST SPECIAL FEATURES Coffret Nico Papatakis (France, 1963-92)…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Ways of Seeing

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 27, 2016

By Jonathan Rosenbaum. J.P. Sniadecki’s feature-length The Iron Ministry (2014), available on DVD from Icarus Films, is by far the best non-Chinese documentary I’ve seen about contemporary mainland China. (Just for the record, the best Chinese documentary on the same general subject that I’ve seen is Yu-Shen Su’s far more unorthodox—and woefully still unavailable—Man Made…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Niche Market Refugees

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 21, 2016

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Let me start with a correction and adjustment to the final entry in my last column, furnished by Chris Fujiwara and relating to the appearance of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 131-minute The Honey Pot (1967) on a Kino Lorber Blu-ray: “When I did my stint at the Frieda Grafe favorite films series at…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Hosannas and Quibbles

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 21, 2015

By Jonathan Rosenbaum I can easily understand why some of Abel Ferrara’s biggest fans have certain reservations about his Pasolini (2014), available now on a splendid Region 2 Blu-ray from the BFI.  Even if it’s a solid step forward from the stultifying silliness of Welcome to New York (2014), it lacks the crazed, demonic poetry…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Mostly About Extras

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 25, 2015

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Practically speaking, we should invent our own extras, not necessarily or invariably depend on those that are made on our behalf. To cite four examples of what I mean: a) According to normal usage, Icarus Film’s DVD of Frédéric Choffat and Vincent Lowy’s 44-minute Marcel Ophüls and Jean-Luc Godard: The Meeting in…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Then and Now, Hither and Yon

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 23, 2015

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Saddled with its stupidly inappropriate and misleading reissue title Betrayed, William Castle’s justly celebrated Z-budget 1944 thriller When Strangers Marry—shot in seven days for $50,000, and released by Monogram Pictures—has finally become available on DVD in the Warner Archive Collection. And part of its special power is both its similarity to and…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Missing Directors, Extras, First Looks

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 26, 2015

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Missing Directors 1. I’m one of those people who habitually confuses Daniel Mann (1912-1991) with Delbert Mann (1920-2007) and vice versa, and I suspect that part of my confusion is both historical and generational: neither director receives an entry in Andrew Sarris’ The American Cinema, and considerations of both tend to get…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Conspicuously Absent or Apt to be Overlooked 

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 18, 2014

By Jonathan Rosenbaum For now the truly shocking thing was the world itself. It was a new world, and he’d just discovered it, just noticed it for the first time.—Orhan Pamuk, The Black Book I: Some Conspicuous Absences As a rule, this column has been preoccupied with what’s available in digital formats, but I’d like…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Prizewinners, Also-Rans, and Others

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 16, 2014

  By Jonathan Rosenbaum DVD AWARDS 2014 XI edition (Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna) Jurors: Lorenzo Codelli, Alexander Horwath, Mark McElhatten, Paolo Mereghetti and Jonathan Rosenbaum, chaired by Peter von Bagh BEST SPECIAL FEATURES ON BLU-RAY Late Mizoguchi—Eight Films, 1951-1956 (Eureka Entertainment). The publication of eight indisputable masterpieces in stellar transfers on Blu-ray is a cause…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Extras, Promos, Prices

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 25, 2014

By Jonathan Rosenbaum I shelled out $56.19 US (including postage) to acquire the definitive and restored, director-approved DVD of Providence (1977) from French Amazon, and I hasten to add that this was money well spent. Notwithstanding the passion and brilliance of Alain Resnais’ first two features, Providence is in many ways my favourite of his…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Mitigating Circumstances

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 20, 2014

By Jonathan Rosenbaum There’s no question that DVDs and Blu-rays are fostering new viewing habits and also new critical protocols and processes in sizing up what we’re watching. A perfect example of what I mean is Criterion’s brilliant idea to release Kurosawa Akira’s Throne of Blood (1957) with two alternative sets of subtitles by Linda…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Yes and/or No

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 12, 2013

By Jonathan Rosenbaum It’s customary for this column to focus on items that I know are currently available. But sometimes there are important potential or upcoming releases whose release dates remain uncertain when my column is written, and there are two of them I want to signal for this quarter, both of which I already…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Monuments, Documents, and Diversions

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 15, 2013

By Jonathan Rosenbaum A note to readers of jonathanrosenbaum.com: from now on please go to jonathanrosenbaum.net. 1. IL CINEMA RITROVATO (Bologna) DVD AWARDS 2013 X edition Jurors: Lorenzo Codelli, Alexander Horwath, Mark McElhatten, Paolo Mereghetti, and Jonathan Rosenbaum, chaired by Peter von Bagh Because we were faced this year with an embarrassment of riches, we adopted a…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Buñuel, Chabrol, Flaherty, Fuller, Lang, Lewin, Malick, Mosjoukine, Ozu, Resnais, Rouch/Morin, Portabella, and others

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 26, 2013

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. At last, Pere Portabella’s long-awaited and much-delayed Complete Works, beautifully and simply produced. It comes in a compact box from Intermedio: seven DVDs containing 22 films (six features and 16 shorts, at least if one film as long as 50 minutes counts as a short), from Don’t Count on Your Fingers…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Freebies, Purchases, Extras

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 21, 2013

By Jonathan Rosenbaum One limitation of this column when it comes to overseas releases is that many (if not all) of my selections are determined by which companies send me review copies and which ones don’t. When it comes to the UK, I eventually gave up on Artificial Eye responding to my requests several years…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Assorted Heavy Meals, Tidbits, & Half-Loaves

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 16, 2012

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. À bout de souffle (1960) and Le mépris (1963).Catching up belatedly on these StudioCanal Blu-rays that are available only in Europe (or from European outlets), I should call attention to some of their extras that aren’t available in these films’ US editions. On the À bout de souffle Blu-ray is Luc…

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DVD: Some More Auteurist & Non-Auteurist Shopping Tips

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 11, 2012

1. IL CINEMA RITROVATO DVD AWARDS 2012 IX edition Jurors: Lorenzo Codelli, Alexander Horwath, Mark McElhatten, Paolo Mereghetti, Jonathan Rosenbaum BEST DVD 2011/2012 The Complete Humphrey Jennings (BFI). An ongoing series that has recently released the second of its three prefigured volumes. Jennings was the documentarian who witnessed British history with a deep and poetic…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Sometimes (Matters Arising)

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 24, 2012

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. Two special four-disc sets have become available this quarter to fill in sizable gaps in our grasp of Eastern European cinema during the mid-20th century. First, Polish Cinema Classics from Second Run in the UK, gathering together Andrzej Munk’s Eroica (1957), Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s Night Train (1959), Andrzej Wajda’s Innocent Sorcerors (1960),…

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Deaths of Cinema: Andrew Sarris, 1928-2012

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 22, 2012

The American Cinema Revisited: Rosenbaum on Sarris (From Cinema Scope #6, January 2001) By Jonathan Rosenbaum Citizen Sarris, American Film Critic: Essays in Honor of Andrew Sarris Edited by Emanuel Levy The Scarecrow Press, 2001 Ironically, my enemies were the first to alert me to the fact that I had followers. — Andrew Sarris, Confessions…

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Azazel Jacobs

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / April 4, 2012

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Many reviewers of Azazel Jacobs’ four features understandably place them in a direct lineage from his father Ken’s work. Both filmmakers are clearly preoccupied with interactions and crossovers between fiction and nonfiction—although the same could be said of everyone from Lumière, Méliès, and Porter to Costa, Hou, and Kiarostami. And both are…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | A Few Items You May Not Know About

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / April 4, 2012

By Jonathan Rosenbaum The arrival on DVD of Jean-Pierre Gorin’s three solo features—Poto and Cabengo (1980), Routine Pleasures (1986), and My Crasy Life (1992)—has been long overdue, and it’s possible that part of the delay can be attributed to how unclassifiable and original these nonfiction films really are. The first of these has something to…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: About 40 More Items (or Thereabouts)

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 20, 2011

By Jonathan Rosenbaum For its 68th DVD release, the Austrian Film Museum, which published the first substantial book about James Benning in 2007, has begun the long-overdue project of restoring and releasing Benning’s work by starting at the approximate halfway point of his filmography—namely American Dreams (lost and found) (1984, 53 min.) and Landscape Suicide…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Subjects for Further Research

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 28, 2011

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. IL CINEMA RITROVATO DVD AWARDS 2011 Jurors: Lorenzo Codelli, Alexander Horwath, Mark McElhatten, Paolo Mereghetti, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Peter von Bagh. BEST DVD 2010 / 2011 Segundo de Chomón 1903-1912: El Cine de La Fantasia. (Filmoteca de Catalunya [ICIC]/Cameo Media s.l.) A production by Cameo and Filmoteca Catalunya. The first edition of…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Auteurist and Non-Auteurist Shopping Tips

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 29, 2011

By Jonathan Rosenbaum If there’s any overarching lesson I learned from teaching film history to undergraduates over the past year in Richmond, Virginia (which, logistically speaking, is what obliged me to suspend this column for half a year), it’s that they know both less and more about history and film history than I did as…

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Jonathan Rosenbaum looks at The Hunter by Rafi Pitts

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 16, 2011

We’ve just added Jonathan’s piece to the web archive for issue 46. “Underneath the Persian credits, over heavy metal music, the camera roams around inside a colour photograph, grazing over pointillist surfaces and male faces—finally pulling back to reveal the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps in 1983, getting ready to drive their motorcycles over a huge…

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The Hunter (Rafi Pitts, Iran)

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 16, 2011

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Underneath the Persian credits, over heavy metal music, the camera roams around inside a colour photograph, grazing over pointillist surfaces and male faces—finally pulling back to reveal the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps in 1983, getting ready to drive their motorcycles over a huge replica of the American flag on the pavement in…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Assorted Lessons from the Past and Present

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 21, 2010

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. A Confession Since retiring from my job as a weekly reviewer in early 2008, I’ve been discovering that I usually prefer watching mediocre films of the past (chiefly from the ‘30s through the ‘70s) to watching mediocre films of the present—unlike some of my former readers, who assume that I’ve stopped…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Two Updates, 20 Additions, Several Extras

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 18, 2010

By Jonathan Rosenbaum First, a couple of updates to my last column in Cinema Scope 42: Until or unless the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture finds a way of making its awesome ten-disc Alexander Dovzheno box set available to more than a handful of Ukrainian diplomats, the Mr. Bongo edition of Earth (1930) on PAL (go…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Here and Not Here

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 17, 2010

By Jonathan Rosenbaum So far, this column has mainly devoted itself to available as opposed to unavailable items, following the popular notion that serving the consumer rather than exacerbating the consumer is the major aim. But sometimes I wonder if the only way that certain items might ever become available is if consumers become sufficiently…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Another Checklist

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 16, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Before getting around to my 32 picks, pans, and/or simple finds for this quarter, here’s some food for thought that I recently came across in an Austrian Filmmuseum publication: “I recently met Jonathan Rosenbaum in Zagreb…For Jonathan, the age of the DVD and the download also means a huge expansion of film-historical…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Shopping List

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 12, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1871. A lavish 1990 period-piece about the rise and fall of the Paris Commune by Ken McMullen that I blush to admit I’d never heard of. This is included as a free supplement to the Summer 2009 issue of the English magazine Vertigo, and it comes with many intriguing extras, including the…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: In Case You Didn’t Know (19 Stray Bits of Information)

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 12, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum American Film Treasures IV: Avant-Garde 1947-1986 (National Film Preservation Foundation, distributed by Image Entertainment). This two-disc package with a 74-page book, the latest in the superb “Treasures of the American Film Archives” series, is every bit as thoughtful and invaluable as its predecessors, though it does seem strange that the booklet’s excellent…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Perversities

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 4, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum The elegantly designed, beautifully produced multizone box set “6 Films by Luc Moullet” that’s available from blaq out (www.blaqout.com) actually consists of seven long films by Moullet—Brigitte et Brigitte (1966), Les contrebandières (The Smugglers, 1967), Une aventure de Billy le Kid (A Girl Is a Gun, 1970), Anatomie d’un rapport (Anatomy of…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Prices

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 3, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum A certain confession-cum-apology regarding this column is in order. Because I have a legitimate reason for deducting the costs of the DVDs I buy from my taxes, and a no less legitimate way of requesting and receiving review copies from many DVD labels, I haven’t always been as attentive as I could…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Among the Missing

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 3, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Last June, Dave Kehr alerted me to a rather daunting fact that he discovered on the home page of the new movie database launched by Turner Classic Movies, tcmb.com. Out of the 144,581 film titles on their database, made since 1890 (which includes 21,993 TV specials and 2,544 shorts), only 5,257 are…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Second-Guessing

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 1, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum I have two vivid memories illustrating the potential obtuseness of some Manhattan film reviewers. One of these might have been the first press screening I ever attended: Jean Renoir’s sublime 1932 comedy Boudu sauvé des eaux—released in a fine edition by Criterion a couple of years ago—which was about to receive its…

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Columns | Gloval Discoveries on DVD: Critical Editions

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 1, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Writing during the end-of-the-year holidays, I’ve been enjoying quite a few recent arrivals: the two-disc edition of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub’s 1984 Klassenverhältnisse—their version of Franz Kafka’s Amerika, known in English as Class Relations (filmmuseum, all regions, PAL, English subtitles for everything except the DVD-ROM), justly celebrated by Mark Peranson in…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Summer Inventory (with some updates)

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 1, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Borderline (BFI). There’s much to recommend about both this silent, experimental 1930 feature by Kenneth Macpherson, editor of the radical film magazine Close Up of the late ‘20s and early ‘30s, and the neo-Mingus score of Courtney Pine, the contemporary English jazz musician and composer the BFI hired to accompany the film.…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: 20 Labels and Four Outlets

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / August 31, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Anna Biller. If you’re looking for something different and agreeably deranged, go directly to www.lifeofastar.com/purchase.html, where for $19.95 you can purchase Anna Biller: The Short Film Collection, made between 1994 and 2001—four of the strangest films you’ll ever see. I suppose this writer-director-star-set-and-costume-designer could be called a slick Jack Smith, but that’s…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: 14 Events and Loose Change

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / August 29, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum 1. The new Zeitgeist edition of Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep (1996) is far more than an upgrade of the unsatisfactory Fox Lorber DVD of a dozen years ago. Apart from a 16:9 anamorphic transfer, it includes Assayas’ silent, experimental short Man Yuk: A Portrait of Maggie Cheung (1997), and two essays by…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / August 28, 2009

By Jonathan Rosenbaum As usual, there are far too many releases for me to note this quarter than I could possibly have time to see. So what follows is a series of annotated notices interspersed with critical comments about the ones I’ve actually managed to watch, in whole or in part. Careful (1991), from Zeitgeist…

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