CineSavant Column

Saturday September 14, 2019


Let me drum for a fine film resource that I go to when I’ve had my fill of grim, realistic movies. It had to be back in 2003 or 2004 when Bill Shepard wrote me about the subject of Film Blanc, a term I picked up at UCLA ages before and had begun to use in various reviews. Bill started his own web page, Film Blanc – The Cinema of Feel-Good Fantasies and has been tending it ever since. He’s discovered more benign fantasies about weird afterlifes, etc., than I’ve ever heard of. He’s devised a way to isolate discussions that would be spoilers, making his page user-friendly for the curious who don’t want to have plotlines revealed… you know, my core modus operandi.

The image above is from Henry Hathaway’s surreal 1934 film blanc Peter Ibbetson, and Bill’s entry for that title is here.

Then we have some news from advisor / authority Gordon Thomas, whose fine academically-oriented articles I’ve linked to in the past. Gary Morris of Bright Lights has just published Gordon’s revised and expanded article on the Soviet epic War and Peace,  “Tolstoy and Only Tolstoy. Nothing Comes from Us”: Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace (1966-67) — Criterion Update.

Here’s my review from a few months back, but Gordon’s is the one to read.

And finally, I’m happy to report, even though the ‘report’ must be cryptic, that my blurb last week about a possible special extra for a Powerhouse Indicator release has yielded a good result. The gist is that my note sparked an inquiry that put said special extra back on track again. PI head of production Anthony Nield courteously wrote that they will indeed be able to include it, that it made the deadline.

Include what?  What’s the movie?  Who you kidding, Savant?  ‘Restraints of confidentiality’ are in place, at the moment. But I have located my old writings about the ‘extra’ and will surely find a way to crow more about it closer to street date. Waxing enthusiastic about arcane video news is what we do here…

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson