tue 20/08/2019

BFI

DVD/Blu-ray: It Happened Here

Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo’s It Happened Here surely deserves the acclaim often accorded it as “the most ambitious amateur film ever made”, and the rich supporting extras on this BFI dual-format release make clear why. Best of all is a 65-...

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DVD: Arcadia

Arcadia is the latest and the best of a series of films which draw on the archives of the BFI and the BBC, collages of often forgotten footage, designed to make the riches held by those venerable institutions come alive.Folllowing in the footsteps...

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Blu-ray: La Belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête had been planned as a slice of wartime escapism, a distraction from the privations of war. The film was also a chance for Cocteau to give his male lead Jean Marais a less overtly sexy role than his fans were used...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Woodfall - A Revolution in British Cinema

Woodfall was the independent film production company responsible more than any other for launching and realising the British New Wave of the early 1960s. The outfit was formed in 1958 by theatre and film director Tony Richardson, playwright...

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DVD/Blu-ray: They Came to a City

Ealing Studios veteran Basil Dearden may have directed it, but 1944’s They Came to a City is mostly a JB Priestley film, an engaging blend of the mundane and the metaphysical. The work’s stage origins are clear; apart from the newly-written prologue...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Touch

The touch is not always light here. Swathes of clunking, cliché-ridden English dialogue threaten to make the star-crossed lovers look ridiculous, and one of them (Elliott Gould) can be a wooden actor at times. But Ingmar Bergman's first major film...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Bergman's The Magic Flute

Opera on film's most magical offering, better by some way than Joseph Losey's cinematically tricksy Don Giovanni, at last makes it to Region 2 in this BFI dual-format release. I've watched Ingmar Bergman's sublime response to Mozart many times, and...

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DVD/Blu-ray: An Actor's Revenge

Japanese director Kon Ichikawa’s An Actor’s Revenge is something of a one-off. Even in the context of the prolific director’s career variety, it’s an unusually stylised and visually captivating story of high artifice – there’s rich melodrama in its...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Shiraz

The subtitle of Franz Osten’s 1928 film, A Romance of India, says it all: this Indian silent film is a tremendous watch, a revelation of screen energy and visual delight. An epic love story-cum-weepie with lashings of action and intrigue thrown in,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: When the Wind Blows

Adapted by Raymond Briggs from his best-selling graphic novel, When the Wind Blows was released in 1986 and stands up so well that you’re inclined to forgive its flaws: namely David Bowie’s leaden theme song and an abundance of fairly flat black...

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DVD: A Journey Through French Cinema

Bertrand Tavernier’s trip through French cinema is shot through with the love of someone who has grown up with cinema and knows how to communicate his passion in a way that is totally engaging. The three hours-plus that he delivers make you want to...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Wages of Fear

The opening shot sets the tone for what follows: a pair of duelling cockroaches attached to a string, tormented by a bored child. In 1953’s The Wages of Fear, we quickly sense that Henri-Georges Clouzot’s characters are similarly powerless. His...

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