Feb 26, 2013

DVD Releases We Dig This Week (02.26.13)

Wow, we have a boatload of releases to report this week; there should be something new on the shelf for any tastes. Debuting today from the Criterion Collection is the celebrated 1960 documentary, Chronicle of a Summer, by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin. In light of today's "reality TV" climate, this experimental documentary about real people's reactions to a camera should be even more timely.

And as always, there is a significant pile of DVDs from the ever-surprising Olive Films. We're especially excited because among the new titles is the long overdue DVD release of Robert Altman's moody 1969 film, That Cold Day in the Park. In addition, there is the underrated 1946 Jean Renoir adaptation of Diary of A Chambermaid, starring Paulette Goddard, written by and co-starring her then-husband Burgess Meredith. (The Octave Mirbeau novel was more famously adapted to the screen in 1964 by Luis Bunuel.)

Film noir fans should rejoice that they have also put out Anthony Mann's first noir, the 1944 Strangers in the Night, starring Virginia Grey. Their continued spelunking of the Republic catalogue has resulted in releases of the 1942 John Wayne curio, Lady for a Night, co-starring  Joan Blondell, and the 1949 propaganda picture The Red Menace, directed by R.G. Springsteen, who did many westerns.  For crime fans, there is also the 1963 French film, Monsieur Gangster, starring Lino Ventura.  And lastly, Olive has released the 1957 horror thriller She-Devil, with Mari Blanchard and Albert Dekker! Whew!

Midnight movie fans can also check out the Severin boxed set, The Euro-Sleaze Collection, which features grindhouse delights: The Sister of Ursula, The Sinful Dwarf and Hanna D: The Girl from Vondel Park.  It seems that Fred Olen Ray's Retro Media label is getting back into business. Hot off the recent release of Mark of the Gun is another long-unseen curio. 1967's I, Marquis de Sade is noteworthy for being directed by Richard Hilliard, perhaps best remembered today for his involvement with Del Tenney on The Horror of Party Beach and Curse of the Living Corpse.

This should keep us busy for a while; more next week!

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