News in a nutshell: You can have a chance to bring a silent film to DVD, TCM announces film festival events and films, getTV airs a new show, and what’s new on DVD and Blu-ray.
Fans of silent cinema might want to check out the latest Kickstarter from Ben Model, silent film accompanist and historian. His work as part of Undercrank Studios has yielded remarkable DVD releases of some intriguing silent films, but while he’s focused more on obscure works his latest deals with a big name star in the world of silent cinema. Marion Davies’ When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922) was a big budget epic, and one of the few Davies films not currently available on DVD. Model’s Kickstarter and accompanying video is asking fans to contribute towards putting the film out on both DVD and Blu-ray. You can visit the official Kickstart here.
Since I’ve been a terrible reporter you’ve probably already heard about these upcoming TCM Film Festival events, but let’s discuss them anyway. Breaking with the festival’s unofficial tradition of opening with a musical, the network announced the Robert Redford/Dustin Hoffman journalism drama, All the President’s Men (1976) will be the red carpet film.
They also announced Carl Reiner will be on-hand for a screening of Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982); Elliott Gould will introduce two films: MASH (1970) and The Long Goodbye (1973), as well as hold a conversation at Club TCM; Eva Marie Saint is introducing a presentation of The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966); John Singleton will be on-hand for a 25th-anniversary screening of Boyz in the Hood (1991), Stacy Kean will discuss Fat City (1972), and Anna Karina is introducing Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders (1964). TCM will also be showing Holiday in Spain aka Scent of Mystery (1960) in Smell-O-Vision and a poolside screening of Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman (1925) with live DJ.
There’s also a yearly hand and footprint ceremony in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese (now the TCL Chinese Theatre), and this year’s recipient is director Francis Ford Coppola. He marks the third man in the last three festivals to e honored. Overall, I’m a bit ambivalent about the recent announcements. I have no doubt the festival’s full lineup will include countless films I’ll be itching to see, but none of these are exactly mouth-watering to me.
Those living in or visiting L.A. this weekend should drop by the Billy Wilder Theatre in Westwood Village for another excellent presentation from the UCLA Film and Television Archive. This month they’re celebrating William Cameron Menzies with two presentations of his films: The Tempest (1928) and The Bat (1926). The event takes place March 26th at 7:30 and includes live musical accompaniment and author James Curtis will be on-hand to sign copies of his book, William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come. You can find full information at the event website.
getTV announced a new show in honor of their “Get Lost in TV” April lineup, Gene Roddenberry’s military drama, The Lieutenant. Airing every Wednesday at 8pm ET, the series had special guests like Dennis Hopper and Nichelle Nicols. You can learn more about the series and the rest of the network’s April lineup on its website.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Warner Archive: Warner Archive announced three new Marion Davies films as part of their manufactured on-demand series – The Floradora Girl (1930), Not So Dumb (1930) and Peg O’ My Heart (1933). You can order all three via Warner Archive.
20th Century Fox: Fox’s MOD program released Blue Denim (1959), starring Carol Lynley and Brandon de Wilde.
Criterion: Criterion announced two classic titles for June – Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Dr. Strangelove (1964). Mr. Jordan arrives on June 14th while Dr. Strangelove drops June 28th.
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.