CineSavant Column

Tuesday February 6, 2024



By the luck of the draw it’s an all-Kino review day, and coincidentally, most of Kino’s KL Studio Classics February titles arrived just before the rains came to Los Angeles on Sunday.

The selection is pretty self-explanatory, with remasters or reissues of some standard items, plus some new items like Blood on the Sun remastered in HD, plus 4K Ultra HD discs of Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street and the horror picture The Boogens. The French movie The Road to Shame (Des femmes disparaissent) is an oversexed crime thriller with Robert Hossein and Magali Noël.



We’ve been thinking about where CineSavant came from lately, and correspondent ‘Mark’ reminded me that the old DVD Journal page is still up, seventeen years after its erudite editor shut it down. The link takes one to the last ‘dimming the lights’ entry, an essay recapping disc concerns in 2007 — Blu-ray hadn’t yet taken hold — that included warring formats.

The DVD Journal is still an inspiration to read, as the articles and its main page are so intelligent. The proprietor believed that home video writing might amount to something, and he made what we do feel like journalism. It was a dispiriting day when a Warners attorney sent me an agreement she wanted me to sign, designating my role as an ‘influencer.’  Corporations insist on having control of every relationship.

Through the Journal I met the late writer Mark Bourne, who was likewise inspiring and encouraging of our efforts. These great early contacts sadly slipped away — Mark died in 2012. The publisher of the old DVD Resource page also did me a great service, by allowing me to reboot ‘MGM Video Savant’ into the first ‘DVD Savant’ page. He died even earlier, around 2005.

That’s a good reason to take a minute to boost some worthy pages, as I no longer maintain a links page. Few online praise their associates and plug pages they like. I don’t do it enough, but I spread the word when I can. You surely know some of these — a couple are much bigger than CineSavant.  In no particular order:


John McElwee’s Greenbriar Picture Shows is written in his inimitable style (adapted from trade paper-speak, I think). John’s focus is on distribution and exhibition, and he’s released two very good, very entertaining books on the subject.


Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings covers much the same genre and vintage titles we cover, often adding observations that would never occur to me. She  reported on American Cinematheque screenings of pictures not yet available on disc. She lately surprised us with an agreeably rational perspective on a movie I thought only I cared about.


I’ve been pals with Mark Throop for years — his page Movies ala Mark is fresh and funny, and I like his opinions so much, I swipe them whenever possible. He zeroes in on mainstream pictures and the marginal genre films that clog my synapses. His wit is never mean-spirited.


I’ve followed film critic & teacher David Cairns’ major blog Shadowplay since he generously contacted me who-knows how many years ago. David mixes academic analysis with a sharp sense of humor. I’m always curious to hear his take on things, his adventures at film festivals, etc..  He pulls off the magic trick of reporting on his commentary and essay work, without turning his page into an advertisement.


I can’t leave out Kyu Hyun Kim’s Q Branch Mirror Site, another blog with in-depth academic thought on film topics, but also articles that skew toward history projects. Kyu is a committed historian. He posts infrequently, and his writing helps me spread my thoughts beyond the subject of disc releases. For instance, way down on his first page is an extended interview with another academic, Kirsten Ziomek, on her book about Japanese colonial issues.


And, just to keep tabs on correspondent Kevin Pyrtle, I repeat his new page that so far toys with Kaiju concerns. The title is surely relevant to Kevin, even if I don’t get it:  Thrilling Tales of Weltraum★besty. I’m eager to see where Kevin takes this.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson