Savant Column

Saturday September 2, 2017

Hello! We’re melting in Los Angeles on a Labor Day weekend.

The newest radio show from the DVD Classics Corner On The Air is Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Reach Their Breaking Point. If that isn’t self-explanatory, host Dinman and TCM’s ‘Noir Alley’ cable host to sing the praises of Michael Curtiz’ John Garfield masterpiece, which reached Blu-ray a couple of months back via The Criterion Collection’s excellent Blu-ray. Eddie Muller considers it Curtiz’ best directed feature; I wonder if Alan K. Rode’s new book will concur.

Is this for real? Joe Dante has been circulating this link to a Sun article, with a video, of what is supposed to be a real water creature. You have to look hard to get the name of the thing, and the locale is hard to pick out as well … the article and video are titled Terrifying blob creature that looks like a BRAIN discovered in a spooky lake called ‘The Lost Lagoon’. I don’t know . . . the hazy description makes the thing sound like a ‘composite organism’ of the kind seen in the old sci-fi thriller Quatermass 2.

What with the interest in Arrow Video’s new Blu-ray of Erik the Conqueror, correspondent Edward Sullivan has sent in a new link to performances by The Kessler Sisters, Alice and Ellen, who are still kicking over a half century later. I’ve had this blurry music video-like Scopitone Kessler Sisters do ‘Quando Quando Quando’ song & dance number on my desktop for ten years now — the multiple languages and peppy orchestration appeals. The flashy 2016 Kessler Sisters TV performance found by Ed isn’t as exciting, but it sure is a testament to the powers of longevity. Good for them — !

And judging by the reviews just in, Guillermo del Toro’s new fantasy picture The Shape of Water may be the del Toro smash hit we’ve wanted to see for years. It stars Sally Hawkins in what reads like perfect casting, a role suited to a master ‘silent’ actress like Judith Evelyn. (Extra points if you know who she is.) I stopped after two paragraphs into the Daily Variety rave review and am going to keep my head down in an effort to see the movie with a clean slate. It’s nice to be excited about something new again, and I hope all the positive thinking pays off.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson