Well hey, things are bit disorganized around here — I took my 2nd Covid booster (4th shot) Wednesday and had the biggest reaction yet — was just wiped out for 24 hours. I still need to go over my two reviews and my head is just beginning to clear. With that in mind the CineSavant Column is even less organized than usual.
But while laid up I did take in Deaf Crocodile’s new Blu-ray of Alexander Ptushko’s Ilya Muromets, which turned out to be a real eye-opener. It’s a rich fairy-tale epic on a beautiful canvas; much of the movie looks like a painting. A thousand years ago, mighty peasant warrior Ilya defends the Russian (Rus) homeland against an evil pagan from the East, turncoats on his own side and a slacker Prince who has him locked up for ten years for being disrespectful (just honest, actually). The fairy tale aspect is truly charming — the leading lady sings with birds and little animals like a Disney princess, and various forms of magic show up in every scene.
In Ilya Muromets a city is attacked by an Asian horde as well as a flying, fire breathing three headed dragon. It seemed especially emotional that the city under siege is Kiev, presently in our thoughts every day. I’ll be reviewing the movie very shortly.
I’ve rounded up a list of titles I’ll be reviewing soon — it’s an embarrassment of riches, that’s for sure.
In hand and ready to go. Some are a little older but I still want to find space for them:
Dancing Pirate (Film Detective) — interesting early 3-color Technicolor release; The Final Option (Kino Lorber) — anti terrorist movie I’ve balked at because it’s so bloodthirsty-reactionary; good cast with Judy Davis; Eastern Promises 4K (Kino Lorber) — Cronenberg action thriller, less gross than his new picture; The Indian Tomb (Kino) Original silent movie recommended long ago by James Ursini; The Round Up / The Red and the White (Kino Lorber) — saw these and was knocked out: just describing them is difficult; In the Heat of the Night 4K (Kino) — Charlie Largent did the Criterion of this last year; I can mainly check out the quality. ; Film Noir The Dark Side of Cinema VI – Singapore, Johnny Stool Pigeon, The Raging Tide (Kino) — I suspect these aren’t particularly noir but the casts are good. It’s fun to see Tony Curtis learning to play movie star; The Counterfeit Traitor [Imprint] ; Across 110th Street [Imprint] ; The Wicker Man [Imprint] — Charlie Largent will be reviewing this; The Brotherhood [Imprint] ; The Don is Dead [Imprint] — this carries a commentary by Marc Edward Heuck and myself, recorded about a year ago; Twisting the Knife, Four Films by Claude Chabrol (Arrow) ; The Carey Treatment (Warner Archive) ; Sacco and Vanzetti (Kino) ; Son of Samson (Kino) ; The Funeral (Criterion) ; Violent City (Kino) ; A Fistful of Dollars 4K (Kino) ; For a Few Dollars More 4K (Kino) ; Double Indemnity 4K (Criterion)
Expected Soon, or not so soon:
The Untouchables 4K (Paramount) ; Tales of Hoffman (Criterion) ; Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema VII – The Boss – Chicago Confidential – The Fearmakers (Kino) ; Raiders of the Lost Ark 4K (Paramount) ; Love Slaves of the Amazon (Kino) ; The Horse Soldiers (Kino) ; The Brain from Planet Arous (The Film Detective) ; Killers Kiss 4K (Kino) ; Out of Sight 4K (Kino) ; Bullfighter and the Lady (Powerhouse Indicator) ; Putney Swope (Powerhouse Indicator) ; Creatures the World Forgot (Powerhouse Indicator) ; Planet of the Vampires (Kino) ;
Invaders from Mars (Ignite) — (September)
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson