CineSavant Column

Saturday June 17, 2023



Here’s a really nice link circulated by Joe Dante, about a piece of Hollywood history about to disappear. The nature of moviemaking in Los Angeles has changed 100% since I had anything to do with it — most of the places I worked no longer exist (along with places where I lived and restaurants where I ate). We expect that, but some changes are bigger than others.

The Daily Woo’s YouTube tour Last Look Inside Warner Bros Ranch Before Demolition Begins is a narrated tour of the many facade houses on the old WB Ranch lot. It’s a leisurely walkabout through standing sets, movie real estate that will bring back 101 memories from films and TV shows.





I don’t mind helping out Ignite Films by passing on the news that their superlative disc from last year, the restoration of the 1953 Invaders from Mars, is no longer an Ignite exclusive, and can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble (do they still have periodic sales?) and other mass outlets.

It’s still available in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD, and includes all of Ignite’s special extras. I’ve studied the feature  several times in the last few months, and I’m still in awe of its very busy, very expressive music score . . . the orchestral collage really holds the picture together, helping the weird images add up to more than the sum of their parts. The music track is as ‘experimental’ as William Cameron Menzies’ strange production design.





I haven’t seen it personally, but I don’t mind publicizing CineSavant correspondent Peter A. Yacavone’s new book on a Japanese director of celebrated yakuza gangster pictures:
Negative, Nonsensical, and Non-Conformist: The Films of Suzuki Seijun

It’s from the University of Michigan Press and came out in April. One reason I don’t mind plugging it sight unseen is its odd distribution scheme — the kindle version is free.  It’s over 400 pages in length and analyzes all of Suzuki’s 49 feature films. At CineSavant we’ve reviewed Branded to Kill (a Criterion 4K came out a month ago),  Kanto Wanderer,  Gate of Flesh and Take Aim at the Police Van.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson