A couple of months ago we took a look at British boutique Home Video label Masters Of Cinema’s Post-Summer 2011 schedule. Having seemingly gotten a taste for event announcements, the Eureka strand today announced their first quarter 2012 release schedule. Again, it’s an eclectic group of films, taking in Asia, Europe, the United States and Australia, with filmmakers as notable as Pasolini, Godard and McCarey all represented. So, without further or do, here they are. -
Ruggles Of Red Gap
Following in the wake of this year’s wonderful release of Leo McCarey’s Make Way For Tomorrow, Masters Of Cinema here issue an earlier work starring Charles Laughton. Laughton is an English butler, the wonderfully named Marmaduke Ruggles, who finds himself in the wild, wild west thanks to a series of circumstance. Following the revelation that was Make Way For Tomorrow we couldn’t be more excited to see more McCarey given the deluxe treatment.
The debut film of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Accattone is one of a number of works from the famed Italian director that Masters Of Cinema are releasing next Spring. Accattone is a notoriously grim film, with its story of prostitutes and criminals a layered autobiography of sorts.
The Gospel According to Matthew
Another early film from Pasolini, and a personal favourite of ours. Pasolini melds mind-bending imagery with a controversial subject matter that would hint at the directors later, far more extreme work. There wasn’t any extras of note on the initial, now OOP Tartan DVD of The Gospel According To Matthew, so it will be interesting to see what the Masters Of Cinema pull out of the bag for this release.
A surprise release (only revealed in the Masters Of Cinema catalogue, as an aside to the main “event”). Ro.Go.Pa.G is an anthology film, comprised of a number sections, with one directed by Pasolini, one from Jean-Luc Godard, another from Ugo Gregoretti and one final piece from Roberto Rossellini. The Pasolini segment of the film, La Ricotta, featured as part of the supplements on the Criterion Collection release of Mamma Roma, with the short film being this writers very favourite thing that the director has ever done. Starring Orson Welles, La Ricotta charts the plight of a filmmaker attempting to film the story of The Passion. It’s magnificent. Artwork unavailable at the moment.
Alex Cox’s seminal work, the Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton starring Punk-Sci-fi-Comedy makes its way to Blu-ray as part of Masters Of Cinema’s agreement with Universal Pictures (outlined here in our previous MoC article). A stack of extras, including Cox’s infamous television cut of the movie (“melon farmers”) feature on the disc, which is accompanied by a hand drawn 40 page booklet from Cox himself.
Another Universal title, and another Limited Edition release from Masters Of Cinema. We’re not the biggest fans of Monte Hellman’s minimalist road movie, Dennis Wilson’s performance aside, but it’s great to see a film like this get the deluxe treatment. Extras wise, this release looks to replicate the already fantastic Criterion Collection edition of the film, which includes an audio commentary from Hellman, and around 90 minutes in documentary features.
The Insect Woman
Masters Of Cinema continue in their quest to release every frame of film shot by Shohei Imamura. The Insect Woman, which also includes a copy of Imamura’s second film, Nishi Ginza Station alongside it will be the company’s fifth Imamura Blu-ray. Imamura is the perfect example of why the work that Masters Of Cinema do is so important, and how effective it can be, with the label bringing a relatively obscure filmmakers work to a larger audience.
Le Silence le La Mer
Jean-Pierre Melville’s debut piece is here reissued as a dual-format edition. We’re big fans of Melville’s resistance tale here at Hope Lies, with the thought of seeing the film in glorious HD a mouth-wateringly exciting proposition. Check out our recent re-evaluation of the film here.
A second dual-format reissue, this time of Antipodean filmmaker Peter Watkins’ most complete work. Punishment Park takes place in a fictional America, one in which justice is dealt out in a manner quite different to the real world. Ultra-right wing politics and notions of justice are brought to the fore. We were actually at a screening of Punishment Park just last month, and can attest to just how relevant the film remains over 40 years on from its initial release.
It’s not all good news though. A bunch of titles have gone out of print recently, most notably the Lubitsch In Berlin box-set, Dreyer’s Michael and Soul Power. Check out the complete Masters Of Cinema collection online at MastersOfCinema.org.