|Title:||Night Train to Munich|
|11.12.16||Blu-ray||This Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2016|
Welcome to Day 2 of DVRfest 2016! Even though I don't actually use the DVR to store movies on anymore, this fest is still in the spirit of going back and catching up on films I've been meaning to see. There is no more megalithic monument to that motivation than the top row of my DVD/Blu collection, which houses all of the blind buys that I have yet to get around to actually watching even though, in some cases, I've owned them for over a decade. Some would take that as a sign of me not really wanting to watch the movies. In a few cases, I'd say you're right (I mean, how much Bergman is enough Bergman?). In other cases, like the netflix rental from last night, there is still a reason why I want to watch the movie, even if I happened to have forgotten it.
Of the monumental top row of my collection (which stretches across the whole back wall of my home office/game den here), the most monumental section is that of Criterion. I love the Criterion Collection; used to joke that if I ever got stupid rich I'd want to own the whole thing (a statement less logistically complicated back when there were only 200 releases, not the ~750 of today). I love their design, usually find their releases at least interesting, and owe my love/admiration of several favorite filmmakers (Jean-Pierre Melville, Sam Fuller, Akira Kurosawa) to their library. So what's become a recent development since the dawn of the streaming age is that I pretty much only buy Criterion titles still, and even then only once or twice a year during their 50% sale. So I have a ton of Criterion blind buys, so much so that it was hard to pick just a handful for today's programming.
Therefore, like any good gamer, I am turning control over to chance. I have my trusty d6 and d10 here, ready to program today's festivities. There's only one movie locked in for midnight, otherwise I am going to try and fit in as many of these gems as I can. I won't lie, some of them are pretty scary choices (I left out the box sets and anything with a running length over 4 hours, but there are still some Bergman in there, some french nonsense, and at least one silent), but that's what makes randomness fun.
So, without further ado, I am literally rolling the dice to see what's first on today's agenda. See you in a few hours!
The dice could not have chosen a better Saturday matinee! This early war thriller from Carol Reed has that 40s British breeziness mixed with wartime patriotism and tension typical of Reed's thrillers. I mostly knew Carol Reed only by The Third Man until a screening of The Fallen Idol at the Paramount completely blew me away. Since then, I've been keen to explore more of Reed's work. This one reminded me a ton of Hitchcock's early stuff. Foreign Correspondent but also 39 Steps (I guess it makes sense considering the script was from the same guys who wrote The Lady Vanishes). A lot of the stuff here gives me the best feeling of old studio productions. Heavy use of sets, miniatures, rear projection, stock footage, British guys playing Czechs, Germans, and Poles... it's all so wonderfully cinematic in an historic sense. Plus a young Paul Henreid and even younger Rex Harrison... but to me the real stars of this movie are the two British chaps caught up in the middle Hidden Fortress / R2-D2 & C-3P0 style as they happen upon Harrison on the titular rail car. Those guys were amazing, chucking off old Brit slang left and right like Denholm Elliot in Raiders.
Ok, so one down. what's next? Only the dice knows...