CineSavant Column

Saturday July 17, 2021



First up — Region A sci-fi fans are expressing happiness over Criterion’s announcement of an October release for Richard Matheson’s 1957 The Incredible Shrinking Man. The extras appear to include some items seen on Region B releases — like director Jack Arnold’s somewhat flaky 1983 video interview. In the past Criterion has sometimes been a bit condescending with sci-fi and horror, but their new extras sound good: Joe Dante just recorded a conversation about the show, and Tom Weaver will be contributing a full commentary.

Tom has been writing that he thinks a missing shot or two (?) will be recovered; perhaps the audio jump-cut we’ve heard in Robert Scott Carey’s spider battle will finally be cured. And we’re promised that we’ll have both Orson Welles- narrated advertising pieces, the teaser we’ve seen many times, and a full trailer as well.

Among other titles, Criterion in October is also releasing Blu-rays of Warner’s High Sierra and the Japanese horror classic Onibaba.



And Gary Teetzel forwards a prompt found on Facebook to a short preview reel of excerpted shots from the 1935 Japanese silent fantasy Princess Kaguya. The previously lost film was early work in the career of special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya: “Film by ‘God of Special-Time Photography’ found … directed by Eiji Kutani”. I know it’s a Google Translate construction, but to me ‘God of Special-Time Photography’ is as good as any descriptor for Eiji Tsuburaya.

We’re told that the old tale, alternately known as Princess from the Moon and Princess Moonlight, was filmed at least seven times. The original monogatari story, from the 9th century, is called The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson