This time around, a look at BD releases from overseas that have inexplicably not made it out here in the U.S.. but are available as cross-region imports.
Tetsuo / Tetsuo II. The first film is pretty much indispensable to any understanding of modern Japanese / horror / SF filmmaking (any one of those three, or in any combination). The second, less so — and the third, even less so. But a properly-restored version of the first movie alone makes this vital.
Gate of Hell. Not all of my other J-cinema fan friends are fond of this movie, but it had a pretty major impact on me when I was first getting into that field, and its gorgeous cinematography is a major plus (the opening scene, shot in three-quarters perspective like a ukiyo-e scroll, is amazing).
The Nest. I had great things to say about this nifty action-thriller when it first debuted here, not least of all because it manages to convery an amazing amount of its storytelling with nothing but imagery (the entire first reel is without dialogue). The lack of a domestic Blu-ray hurts.
The Lost Weekend. It's only dated in a few superficial aspects, and the scenes with Milland fighting off DTs aren't the most frightening ones: it's when he's trying to pawn his typewriter on Sunday for more booze. Why no U.S. edition?
Profound Desires of the Gods. Another curious omission, a Shohei Imamura production from the '60s that by all word is one of his best works. I liked that we were able to get Vengeance Is Mine, but it would be nice to have this round out the bill too.
Fantastic Planet. I never forgot this amazing little film, a precursor it seems to so many of the stranger corners that anime would wander into in later decades. A BD edition seemed as proper for this as it did for Yellow Submaries, but again, why no domestic pressing?
Ran. Do not, under any circumstances, buy the terrible Studio Canal versions of this magnificent film. Criterion was all set to produce their own BD edition before they lost the rights to the film, and now all the current transfers are wretched upscale jobs. I hear the Korean edition, with English subs, is worth the effort, but the question of whether or not one of cinema's greatest achievements is ever going to be free of this kind of gratuitous humiliation remains unanswered.
Repo Man. Yep. The ultimate '80s cult film, more or less, did get a nice Anchor Bay DVD edition a while back, and I know an HD transfer has been struck, but we're still waiting on actually getting a release for it on this side of the pond for some weird reason.
Depending on my time management strategies, I plan on getting the movie-reviews section geared back up again, with a new focus on films and critiques that reflect the ways my interests in genres, etc. have been shaped by recent discussions.
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