22 December 2007

List #1 for 2007

Here's my first list of the year. There'll be at least two more (best, worst) and maybe another (performances), but here are your best new-to-region-1-DVDs of 2007, in alphabetical order. I didn't have the time or patience to annotate the list, so please forgive (I've been catching up on The Wire, which is better than fucking sliced-bread. (Naturally, the Twin Peaks Gold Box would have made the cut, but I disqualified it as everything but the pilot was already available)

Army of Shadows [L'armée des ombres] - dir. Jean-Pierre Melville - Criterion. With Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret. France/Italy. 1969.

Berlin Alexanderplatz - dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder - Criterion. With Günter Lamprect, Karlheinz Braun, Hanna Schygulla, Brigitte Mira, Barbara Sukowa. West Germany. 1980.

The Films of Kenneth Anger: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 - dir. Kenneth Anger - Fantoma. Sets includes Fireworks, Puce Moment, Rabbit's Moon, Eaux d'artifice, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos, Invocation of My Demon Brother, and Lucifer Rising. With Anger, Marianne Faithfull, Anais Nin. 1947-1972. USA.

Mala Noche - dir. Gus Van Sant - Criterion. With Tim Streeter, Doug Cooeyate. 1985. USA.

The Milky Way [La voie lactée] - dir. Luis Buñuel - Criterion. With Paul Frankeur, Laurent Terzieff, Michel Piccoli, Pierre Clémenti, Delphine Seyrig. 1969. France/West Germany/Italy.

Muriel [Muriel, ou Le temps d'un retour] - dir. Alain Resnais - Koch Lorber. With Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kérien, Nita Klein, Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée. 1963. France/Italy.

Performance - dir. Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg - Warner. With Mick Jagger, James Fox, Anita Pallenberg. 1970. UK.

Sombre - dir. Philippe Grandrieux - Koch Lorber. With Marc Barbé, Elina Löwensohn. 1998. France.

Sweet Movie / WR: Mysteries of the Organism - dir. Dusan Makavejev - Criterion. With Carole Laure, Pierre Clémenti, Anna Prucnal / With Milena Dravic, Ivica Vidovic, Jackie Curtis. 1974/1971. France/Canada/West Germany / Yugoslavia/West Germany.

Viva Pedro: The Pedro Almodóvar Collection - dir. Pedro Almodóvar - Sony Pictures. Set includes: Bad Education, All About My Mother, Talk to Her, The Flower of My Secret, Live Flesh, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, as well as new-to-DVD titles Law of Desire and Matador. With Carmen Maura, Penélope Cruz, Marisa Paredes, Antonio Banderas, Cecilia Roth, Javier Bardem, Assumpta Serna, Darío Grandinetti, Rossy de Palma, Rosa Maria Sardà, Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Javier Cámara, Gerladine Chaplin, Paz Vega, Leonor Watling, Chus Lampreave, Eusebio Poncela, Francesca Neri, Liberto Rabal. 1986-2004. Spain.


filmbo said...

Solid list indeed. I may have gone with the Lionsgate Jean Renoir box, or the Louis Malle Eclipse, but then I still haven't seen the Angers.

And I just rewatched Army of Shadows and the film is timed perfectly: each act is EXACTLY 40 minutes long, not counting the epilogue. Next time you watch it keep an eye on the DVD clock. Gotta love Melville's efficiency.

Ed Howard said...

Nice list. Sweet Movie was probably my most exciting discovery this past year, and big props to Criterion for unleashing such a wild, original, and difficult film. I liked it even more than the more well-known WR, probably because Makavejev's style is at its best the more he risks absurdity. Also loved the two Anger sets, and the Almodovar set was a steal considering all the super-cheap online mispricings surrounding its release.

Joe said...


Damn me for paying full price for that Pedro set. Thankfully, Sony had put all of the tiles out of print, so I made back over $100 on selling them (I think I ended up selling Women for over $50). I had to buy the damned set when I heard that Sony wasn't planning on releasing LoD and Matador separately.

Sweet Movie is astounding. Every fucking frame of it. It's was Criterion's best "ballsy" release this year. I hope 2008 marks more (especially as they were SUPPOSED to release a new version of Salo late this year).