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24 January 2023

Second Run celebrates THE WAR TRILOGY: THREE FILMS BY ANDRZEJ WAJDA (review)

Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda made his feature debut with a trilogy of films about the Nazi and Soviet occupation of Poland during World War II that not only wowed the international audience but also formed a new school of Polish filmmaking.  In A GENERATION, young carpenter Stach becomes entangled in first love and revolutionary fervor.  In KANAL, a resistance lieutenant leads his unit through a sewer crowded with the dead, the dying, and victims of nerve gas poisoning while the Nazis loom above.  In ASHES AND DIAMONDS, a hitman stalks his political prey but the revelry surrounding the surrender of the Germans opens up new possibilities for life and love.

REVIEW LINK: Second Run (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE WAR TRILOGY - THREE FILMS BY ANDRZEJ WAJDA Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One - A Generation (Pokolenie):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • Polish LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Michael Brooke
    • "Andrzej Wajda on A GENERATION" archival interview
    • Introduction by curator and scholar Michał Oleszczyk 
    • "The Bad Boy [Zły chłopiec]" 1951 short film by Andrzej Wajda 
    • 16-page booklet with new writing by Ewa Mazierska
  • Disc Two - Kanal:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
    • Polish LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Michael Brooke 
    • "Andrzej Wajda on KANAL" archival interview Introduction by curator and scholar Michał Oleszczyk 
    • "Ceramics from Iłża [Ceramika Iłżecka]" 1951 short film by Andrzej Wajda 
    • 12-page booklet with a new essay by Tony Rayns
  • Disc Three - Ashes and Diamonds (Popioi i diament):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Pillarboxed Widescreen 
    • Polish LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Michael Brooke 
    • "Andrzej Wajda on ASHES AND DIAMONDS" archival interview 
    • Introduction by curator and scholar Michał Oleszczyk 
    • "While You’re Sleeping [Kiedy ty śpisz]" 1953 short film by Andrzej Wajda 
    • 20-page booklet with new writing by Peter Hames
  • Comes in a limited edition slipcase.

17 January 2023

Second Sight takes a slice out of TANGERINE (review)

Transgender sex worker Alexandra is hoping to entertain her friends on Christmas Eve with her singing debut only to get caught up in the "drama" of pal Sin-Dee who is just out of jail and has discovered that her boyfriend has been cheating on her in Sean Baker's funny and moving slice-of-life indie hit TANGERINE.

REVIEW LINK: Second Sight (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

TANGERINE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Melbourne Cinémathèque co-curator Cerise Howard and filmmaker Rohan Spong
  • "Merry F*cking Christmas: The Making of Tangerine" documentary (72 mins)
  • "Staying Authentic" interview with director Sean Baker 
  • "Honest and Hilarious" interview with actor Mya Taylor 
  • "The Magic Happens" interview with actor Karren Karagulian 
  • "Legit Bruises" interview with actor Mickey O'Hagan 
  • "Just Hold It In!" interview with actor Josh Sussman 
  • "We Make It Work" interview with cinematographer Radium Cheung 
  • "It Was Electric!" interview with writer Chris Bergoch 
  • "Many Hats" interview with producer Shih-Ching Tsou 
  • "Inside a Tangerine" interview with producer Darren Dean 
  • "To Be Real: Kat Ellinger on the Cinema of Sean Baker" visual essay 
  • "Tangerine Visual Style Test" 
  • Comes in a rigid slipcase with new artwork by Caelin White with a 60-page book with new essays by Caden Mark Gardner, Michelle Kisner, Shaadi Devereaux and Jerome Reuter, as well as six collectors' art cards.

06 January 2023

Radiance Films bets on BIG TIME GAMBLING BOSS (review)

When the boss of the Tenryu clan suffers a stroke, the honorable Shanjiro and the treacherous Senba vie to install a successor, leading to a gang war in the yakuza film Paul Schrader praised the "richest and most complex film of its type."

REVIEW LINK: Radiance Films/MVD Visual (US) Region A/B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

BIG TIME GAMBLING BOSS Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Serial Gambling" visual essay by author Chris D.
  • "Yakuza 101" visual essay by author Mark Schilling
  • Comes with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm. 
  • The first pressing of 2,000 copies includes a limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Stuart Galbraith IV, and critic Hayley Scanlon. 
  • The limited edition comes packaged in a full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving case free of certificates and markings.

04 January 2023

Radiance Films questions whether THE WORKING CLASS GOES TO HEAVEN (review)

When a factory's proud, standout worker loses his thumb in a machinery accident, his entire psyche erodes even as he becomes the tool of protesting students, striking workers, a divided union, and self-interested management.  Gian Maria Volante stars and Elio Petri directs.

REVIEW LINK: Radiance Films (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE WORKING CLASS GOES TO HEAVEN Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Italian LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • 1972 TV interview with director Elio Petri from the Cannes Film Festival 
  • 1984 interview with actor Gian Maria Volonté from French TV 
  • 2015 interview with actor Corrado Solari 
  • Appreciation of Gian Maria Volonté and the film by filmmaker Alex Cox 
  • "Petri's Praxis: Ideology and Cinema in Post-war Italy" visual essay by scholar Matthew Kowalski 
  • "The Working Class Goes to Heaven: Background to a Film Shot in Novara" 2006 documentary by Serena Checcucci and Enrico Omodeo Salé 
  • Theatrical Trailer 
  • Comes with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Time Tomorrow. 
  • The first pressing of 2,000 copies includes a limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Eugenio Renzi, "Elio Petri: Investigation of a Filmmaker" author Roberto Curti on Petri and Volonté's collaborations and relationship, archival writing and reviews. 
  • The limited edition is packaged in a full-height Scanavo case with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings.

Radiance Films takes on BIG TIME GAMBLING BOSS (review)

When the boss of the Tenryu clan suffers a stroke, the honorable Shanjiro and the treacherous Senba vie to install a successor, leading to a gang war in the yakuza film Paul Schrader praised the "richest and most complex film of its type."

REVIEW LINK: Radiance Films (UK) Region A/B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

BIG TIME GAMBLING BOSS Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Serial Gambling" visual essay by author Chris D.
  • "Yakuza 101" visual essay by author Mark Schilling
  • Comes with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm. 
  • The first pressing of 2,000 copies includes a limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Stuart Galbraith IV, and critic Hayley Scanlon. 
  • The limited edition comes packaged in a full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving case free of certificates and markings.
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