Samuel Fuller Criterion: Pickup on South Street on Blu-ray

Here's one of the best noirs from the dark, grimy, golden age of the genre. Written and directed by the great Samuel Fuller, it doesn't pull its punches, either metaphorically or literally. Richard Widmark (whose cold face cries out for noir) stars as a pickpocket who lifts the wrong wallet on a crowded New York … Continue reading Samuel Fuller Criterion: Pickup on South Street on Blu-ray

The Jewish Soul: Yiddish Cinema on Blu-ray

In the 1930s, small studios in Warsaw and New York made low-budget movies for an international market of not-quite-assimilated Jews. These films were mostly in Yiddish. Production costs were low, and the movies tried to have everything. Most of these pictures contain comedy, drama, and people breaking out in song. They were often about young … Continue reading The Jewish Soul: Yiddish Cinema on Blu-ray

Commentary tracks: Another way to enjoy your favorite movies

I haven't gone out much lately. One activity I can do at home is to watch a favorite movie with a commentary track. There's something special about watching a beloved film once again while someone tells you interesting facts about it. I recommend the experience. (I suppose I shouldn't even have to say this, but … Continue reading Commentary tracks: Another way to enjoy your favorite movies

The Fantastic Journeys of Karel Zeman

While Ray Harryhausen was making effects-laden fantasies in the mid-20th century, the Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman was doing much the same thing behind the Iron Curtain…but with a better sense of humor. Using stop-motion animation, puppets, live action, beautiful illustrations, and a sense of comedy, he made visually striking, entertaining films that have been forgotten … Continue reading The Fantastic Journeys of Karel Zeman