DAY FIVE : DECEMBER 23rd 2010
This time of the year for me means constant consuming of movie content all day every day. Now those of you who know me might wonder how this differs from my daily life in any way. Regardless I use the holiday lull to catch up on what I may have missed or re watching my favorite classics, mostly on Blu-Ray this year which is a great joy for me. It’s like re living the first viewing of all my favorites and classics alike. I hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season and able to get into some good movies on your break.
- The Criterion Collection THE RED SHOES Blu-Ray (1948) directors Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger – One of the greatest films ever made. The achievement in Technicolor picture quality and beauty alone deserve several viewing from anyone who considers themselves a true film connoisseur. Technicolor founders Herbert T. Kalmus and Natalie Kalmus considered this film the best example of Three-Strip Technicolor process. During the filming, however, Natalie often complained that Jack Cardiff (the director of photography) wasn’t following the rules laid down for Technicolor films and demanded that they re-shoot various scenes. But Michael Powell always backed up Cardiff and they got the film they wanted. Other amazing technical achievements for this film from 1948 are pretty obvious once you make it to the title ballet sequence; Which took six weeks to shoot and employed over 120 paintings by Hein Heckroth. The dancing newspaper was achieved through careful cutting and use of wires. Being Martin Scorsese’s favorite movie his Film Foundation and the UCLA Film & Television Archive took on the task of restoring an HD print of the masterpiece. Involving many years of work they went right back to the original negatives, digitally repairing any scratches and misalignment. The restored print was shown at Cannes 2009 to great acclaim and was used for this Criterion Blu-Ray release. if you’ve never seen this one now is your chance to see one of histories great films in mind popping HD. Unforgettable.
- MIRACLE OF 34TH STREET Blu-Ray (1947) director George Seaton – When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. With only day away from the big event the X-Mas movies start to make their way off the shelf and into the daily rotation. And really if your going to do it you might as well do it right with the classics. Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his performance as Kris Kringle, and when you watch this it’s easy to see why. the whole is film is a great joy even if you hate and loath X-Mas shit. It makes you smile with a tear in your eye, you can’t help but feel good after each viewing of this holiday classic.
- The Criterion Collection NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955) directors Charles Laughton & Robert Mitchum (uncredited) – Another film that is considered one of the top 5 American movies ever made. It plays more like a early 70’s character piece, much like Welle’s Touch Of Evil far far ahead of it’s time, Robert Mitchum’s seminal role as Harry Powell, Murdering preacher on the hunt. You will love this movie if you’ve never seen it, Mitchum is beyond creepy and the direction of the kids is a must see for any aspiring directors out there. Flat out brilliance from start to finish. A True American classic, a must must see.
- THE BIG SLEEP (1946) director Howard Hawks – Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. This is the epitome of film noir and Marlow is my favorite Bogart character. I must have watch this one a dozen times by now and I still am charmed by it every dam time. This is everything I love about a great detective films all rolled into one. SUPERB.
End of another day and we are getting really close now. I hope everyone is having a great holiday.
TILL TOMORROW. STAY TUNED.