Category Archives: Movies

A restored “The Bostonians” explores political intrigue and forbidden romance in post-Civil War Boston.

Charles S. Cohen, Chairman and CEO of Cohen Media Group is ready to pull another gem out of his wealth of wonders.  On May 21, Cohen releases Merchant Ivory Productions’ Academy Award-nominated The Bostonians in a 4K restoration on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms.
The Bostonians (1984) was the second of three handsomely mounted Henry James adaptations by the team of producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, following 1979’s The Europeans and preceding The Golden Bowl (2000).
Academy Award-winning actresses Jessica Tandy, Vanessa Redgrave and Linda Hunt headline an all-star cast alongside Christopher Reeve in this adaptation of James’s 1886 novel of political intrigue and forbidden romance in post-Civil War Boston. Olive Chancellor (played by Redgrave) finds her infatuation with young activist Verena Tarrant (Madeleine Potter) challenged by a Southern lawyer (Christopher Reeve) who also loves her. An intricately drawn study of the impact of women’s suffrage on society, The Bostonians is also a lush evocation of the late 19th century, with dazzling cinematography by Walter Lassally and a memorable score by frequent Merchant Ivory collaborator Richard Robbins.

The film received two Academy Award nominations, for Best Actress (Vanessa Redgrave) and Costume Design (Jenny Beavan, John Bright). Redgrave was named Best Actress by the National Society of Film Critics.
Special features on the Blu-ray and DVD include a new interview with director James Ivory, “Conversations from the Quad: James Ivory on The Bostonians,” the original trailer and the 2018 re-release trailer.

“That Way Madness Lies” takes an unfliching look at schizophrenia

What do you do when your brother descends into a black hole of mental instability, starting with falling for a Nigerian email scam but eventually winding up involuntary committed into the hospital made famous by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?

Award-winning filmmaker Sandra Luckow unflinchingly turns her camera on her own family as they attempt to navigate the broken mental health system in an effort to save their brother, whose iPhone video diary ultimately becomes an unfiltered look at the mind of a man with untreated schizophrenia as well as an indictment of how the system failed.

The riveting film, That Way Madness Lies…, has been released on DVD by First Run Features. May is Mental Awareness Month, but this is a documentary that’s mandatory viewing all year.

High Notes and Even Higher Passions Abound in “Farinelli”, the true story of the legendary castrato

He was born Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi, but audiences in the 18th century during Handel’s time, knew him as Farinelli.  And no man could eclipse the fame or passion of the opera singer who had been castrated as a child to preserve his angelic voice
Filled with romance and eroticism, Farinelli is the incredible, true story of the legendary castrato and the internationally-acclaimed period piece has made its North American Blu-ray debut in a stunning, new 2K digital restoration. The lavish drama, winner of the 1995 Best Foreign Language Golden Globe, will also be available on DVD and all via leading digital platforms from Film Movement Classics.

Farinelli (played by Stefano Dionisi) tours the royal courts of Europe with his brother and composer Riccardo (Enrico Lo Verso). The two are inseparable, seducing audiences both on and off the stage, while sharing everything—even lovers—until rivalry and obsession threaten to tear them apart. Filled with romance and eroticism, this Oscar-nominated drama from acclaimed producer Véra Belmont lavishly recreates the life and loves of one of history’s most fascinating musical artists.
 

Remastered, restored “The New York Ripper” will scare the shit out of you

A blade-wielding psychopath is on the loose, turning The Big Apple bright red with the blood of beautiful young women. As NYPD detective Fred Williams  follows the trail of butchery from the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to the sex shows of Times Square, each brutal murder becomes a sadistic taunt. In the city that never sleeps, the hunt is on for the killer that can’t be stopped.

Oh! Welcome to Madhattan.
Co-written and directed by acclaimed horror maestro Lucio Fulci and filmed on location on the mean streets of New York City, this is one of Fulci’s most savage and controversial thrillers. Now Blue Underground is proud to present The New York Ripper in a new 4K restoration from its original camera negative, completely uncut and uncensored, and fully loaded with exclusive new extras.

New 4K restoration from its original camera negative, completely uncut and uncensored, the 3-disc set is loaded with exclusive extras:
  • Audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
  • The Art Of Killing: Interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti
  • Three Fingers Of Violence: Interview with film’s star Howard Ross
  • The Second Victim: Interview with co-star Cinzia de Ponti
  • The Broken Bottle Murder: Interview with co-star Zora Kerova
  • “I’m an Actress!”: 2009 Interview with co-star Zora Kerova
  • The Beauty Killer: Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
  • Paint Me Blood Red: Interview with poster artist Enzo Sciotti
  • NYC locations: Then and now
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Poster & still gallery

“Iceman” tells the story of a man, frozen in Italian mountains, some 5,300 years ago

In 1991, a melting glacier revealed the body of a man. At first, people assumed he was a hiker. Later, his true Stone Age origins were revealed. This is his story . . .
From writer/director Felix Randau, Iceman (Omnibus) set in the stunning Ötztal Alps more than 5,300 years ago.  Kelab (portrayed by Jürgen Vogel), leader of a Neolithic clan, is also the appointed keeper of the group’s holy shrine, Tineka.

But, one day, while out hunting, his village is attacked by a bloodthirsty band of marauders.  Everyone in the tribe is brutally murdered, including Kelab’s wife and son, and Tineka is stolen.  Blinded by pain and fury, Kelab now has one sole purpose — vengeance—and he sets off on a treacherous odyssey through the mountains to confront his family’s killers.

Of the film, the Los Angeles Times said “Iceman’s’ Neolithic murder mystery and stunning scenery set it apart…marked by stunning locations and Jakub Bejnarowicz’s fleet, evocative cinematography, Iceman is almost like something unearthed itself: a recognizable B western sharpened as much by its glints of psychology as by its kinetic savagery”.

“Bosch: The Garden of Dreams” proves to be, well, a garden of earthly delights!

It’s a mystery within a mystery within the painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, is the most famous and intriguing work by Hieronymus Bosch. He’s an artist who is as much as an enigma as his highly symbolic and detail-rich paintings; in 2017 the world celebrated his 500th anniversary.

Now, through unique exclusive access granted by the Prado Museum, such as witnessing the processes of X-raying and restoring the painting, Bosch: The Garden of Dreams from director José Luis López-Linares seeks to answer centuries-old questions about the painter and painting, as well as to explain the inspiration both have had on artists, writers, philosophers and musicians through the years. Save the date: The flick releases on May 14 from Film Movement.

“The Garden of Earthly Delights” in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, c. 1495–1505, attributed to Bosch.

Interviewees in the documentary include such notable figures as Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, Renee Fleming, William Christie, Philippe de Montebello, Ludovico Einaudi and John Eliot Gardiner.

Dark Sky Films’ “Level 16” takes terror to a whole new level

Sometimes life is sweet.

Especially when you are 16. Sweet 16.

Except for 16-year-old Vivien, who’s trapped in The Vestalis Academy, a prison-like boarding school, keeping to herself and sticking her neck out for no one.

Until she is reunited with Sophia  . . . the former friend who betrayed her. Together the girls embark on a dangerous search to uncover the horrifying truth behind their imprisonment.

Soon running for their lives, the girls must save themselves or die trying.

That’s as much as we dare reveal.

Wish Vivien a happy birthday. If you dare.

Watch Level 16 (Dark Sky Films) if you dare.

Two masterpieces from PBS: “Mrs. Wilson” and “Victoria, Season 3”

Mrs. Wilson
Ruth Wilson stars as her own grandmother in this true-life story of spies, plot-twists, love and betrayal, and a woman’s search for her husband’s real identity.

At the outset of World War II, Alison McKelvie (played by Ruth Wilson), took a secretarial job with the Secret Intelligence Service. There, she fell in love with an older man–Major Alexander Wilson (played by Iain Glen), a popular author of spy novels then doing real intelligence work for the war effort.

Fast-forwarding to 1963, Alison and Alec have been married for more than 20 years. While working on his new novel, Alec suffers a fatal heart attack. Prior to the funeral, Alison is confronted by a woman claiming to be Alec’s real wife. Alec’s colleagues offer condolences but refer to puzzling aspects of his work and personal life.

Nervously, Alison tracks down Coleman, Alec’s old spymaster, and enters the looking-glass world of secret intelligence, where agents assume identities, pursue careers, fake romances, and undergo public humiliations. Given Alec’s gift for creating plots, how much of what he confided to Alison was true and how much did he make up?


Jenna Coleman returns as her fearless Majesty Queen Victoria in the long anticipated third season of Victoria. A a runaway hit during its first two seasons, season three continues the story of Victoria’s rule over the largest empire the world has ever known.

Victoria: Season 3 introduces fascinating new historical characters, including Laurence Fox as the vainglorious Lord Palmerston, who crosses swords with the queen over British foreign policy. Also vexing the queen this season is Kate Fleetwood as Victoria’s devoted but troubled half-sister, Princess Feodora, who seeks refuge at Buckingham Palace due to political unrest back home in Germany.

 

 

Kurt Russell and Alexis Bledel highlight “Crypto”, a gripping, timely cyber-thriller

When Wall Street banker Martin is sent to a bank branch in upstate New York, he uncovers suspicious cash flow through a local gallery selling million-dollar paintings. As the young agent is tasked with following a long trail of corruption and theft. During his investigation, he finds that the people involved are more powerful than he could have ever imagined. 
Such is the result with the current rise of cryptocurrency; people find ways to exploit the system and the global economy.

Welcome to Crypto. Kurt Russell and Alexis Bledel highlight this gripping, timely cyber-thriller. This searing action tale also stars Luke Hemsworth and Vincent Kartheiser.

The cyber-thriller will be available on Blu-ray (plus Digital), DVD and Digital on June 18 from Lionsgate.

Cohen Media Group to release the must-see “Shoah: Four Sisters”

Mark your calendar: On May 7, Cohen Media Group will release Palme d’Or winner Claude Lanzmann’s final film Shoah: Four Sisters on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms.
The film, completed shortly before Lanzmann’s death at 92 in July 2018, is the long-awaited follow-up to his monumental Shoah, which shook the world upon its release in 1985 as a profound cinematic memorial to the Holocaust.

In Shoah: Four Sisters, four Jewish women, survivors of unimaginable Nazi horrors during the Holocaust, tell their individual stories. Each of their testimonies was filmed more than 40 years ago as Lanzmann collected first-hand accounts in preparation for what would become the nine-and-a-half-hour Shoah.
Starting in 1999, Lanzmann made several films that could be considered satellites of Shoah, comprising interviews conducted in the ’70s that didn’t make it into the final, monumental work. In the last years of the director’s life, he decided to devote a film to each of four women from four different areas of Eastern Europe with four different destinies, each finding herself improbably alive after war’s end: Ruth Elias from Ostravia, Czechoslovakia; Paula Biren from Lodz, Poland; Ada Lichtman from further south in Krakow; and Hannah Marton from Cluj, or Kolozsvár, in Transylvania, Romania.
Survivors of unimaginable Nazi horrors during the Holocaust, these women tell their individual stories and become crucial witnesses to the barbarism they experienced. Each possesses a vivid intelligence and a commitment to candor that make their accounts of what they suffered both searing and unforgettable.
The four films that make up Shoah: Four Sisters are titled “The Hippocratic Oath,” “The Merry Flea,” “Noah’s Ark” and “Baluty,” and together they remind audiences of the immense courage it took for these witnesses to return to their painful past as they retell personal tragedies that represent the larger tragedy of the Holocaust.
Both the two-disc Blu-ray and two-disc DVD include a new conversation with globally renowned philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy moderated by Deborah Lipstadt at the Streicker Center in New York City.