CineSavant Column

Saturday July 29, 2023



A special night is coming up on August 3at the Academy Museum’s Ted Mann Theater, a special screening of Ken Russell and Paddy Chayefsky’s Altered States starring Blair Brown, Bob Balaban and the late William Hurt. That show plays very strongly in a theater, I’m told. The program is called Dick Smith: The Godfather of Makeup.

But the big draw will be the introduction by the well-known makeup artist Craig Reardon, who on Altered States assisted the makeup legend Dick Smith. Craig will illustrate his introduction with images from his personal archive, covering the creation of the movie’s fairly amazing special makeup effects. They made full latex body suits for William Hurt, as well as the terrific primitive ape-man …

Mark the night if you’re to be in Los Angeles: Altered States: Craig Reardon.



Arrow Video has been busy with special editions of late. Last month streeted the massive (and now elusive) Empire Films box Enter the Video Store: Empire of Dreams. On June 27 they put out a deluxe 4K Ultra HD of the Kevin Reynolds / Kevin Costner Waterworld with additional versions on Blu-ray.

And just last week, on July 18, Arrow streeted a 4K Ultra HD of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, the young adult fantasy about kids in a massive Paris train station, with a fanciful sidebar on the legacy of French film pioneer George Méliès. The special treat with this Hugo disc set, is that an additional 3-D Blu-ray encoding is included. It’s kind of a stealth 3-D release — I only discovered it by looking at the small print on Arrow’s Package.

Hugo is now our default Blu-ray 3-D disc — Scorsese frames every shot for depth and keeps the camera moving at all times. The movie is not a favorite but everyone loves the sequences depicting Méliès’ movie studio at work. The chapters for those scenes are 9,  10, and 12.



And with all the Oppenheimer buzz out there, Kino Lorber is reminding people of its remastered Blu-ray of Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty’s satirical docu The Atomic Cafe, the 1982 film described as a ‘juxtaposition of Cold War history, propaganda and music, seamlessly crafted from government-produced educational and training films, newsreels and advertisements.’

This allows CineSavant to crow about our essay-review for the same show, from 2018. We’re, uh, rather proud of our discussion of what’s fair and what’s not in ‘creatively’ repurposing found film in search of satiric truth:

The CineSavant Atomic Cafe Review.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson