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DVDs, Globes and more Lists and Awards

"A new DVD specialty label, Twilight Time, featuring limited editions of vintage 20th Century Fox films, was launched Tuesday," reports Susan King in the Los Angeles Times. "The first film under the Twilight Time banner is John Huston's rarely seen 1970 spy thriller, The Kremlin Letter, which will be available Jan 25. A new title will be offered on the last Tuesday of each month thereafter."

Icarus Films has released Marcel Ophüls's 4½-hour documentary Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (1988), which Sight & Sound editor Nick James first saw in the late 80s: "Then it seemed a contemporary work; now it's more like a time machine from an age when every person interviewed, no matter how much they had to hide or how mendacious they were, seems to feel a responsibility to the truth — even when they're lying. Watching it now, you realise that there really was once a world without spin. Ophuls can quiz a US State Department official or a former US intelligence officer and get either straight answers of utter candour or straight answers of utter cant. What you don't get are the bland locutions of cynical stonewalling and blindsiding that the most recent era of western adventurist politics has left as its legacy."

"If one were to make a list of the most influential TV series that almost nobody watched, HBO's The Larry Sanders Show would be at the top," argues Matt Zoller Seitz at Moving Image Source. "Its greatness is confirmed by The Larry Sanders Show: The Complete Series, a DVD box set by Shout! Factory, the patron saint of cult TV."

DVD roundups. Paul Matwychuk and Heather Noel, Noel Murray (LAT), Bryce J Renninger (indieWIRE), Stephen Saito (IFC), Slant and Michael Tully (Hammer to Nail).



So you'll have heard that the Golden Globe nominations were announced today and that Tom Hooper's The King's Speech leads with seven, followed closely by David O Russell's The Fighter and David Fincher's The Social Network with six each. Guy Lodge has the full list at In Contention. The Social Network has scored again, too, with three more critics groups: The African-American Film Critics Association, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Toronto Film Critics Association. Nick Davis has been posting his thoughts on the film: "For all that I appreciate and admire in it, even for all that I second-guess in it, I still don't feel very much about it, and there's something vaguely disheartening about seeing it trounce all comers as the year's critical darling. I don't think it's cold or heartless or smug. I don't have the big reservations about it that I hear being voiced by some more forceful detractors. But I don't actually feel connected to it, even after two viewings. I would teach it in a class about directorial technique, I think it's terrific for Hollywood that it exists, and, rarely among movies I admire this much, I don't know if I'd miss it if it hadn't been made."

Catherine Grant points to a list worth lingering over: "As 2010 draws to a close, LUX asked a few artists, curators and writers to pick their favorite film-related work, screening or show of the year." Here, for example, is artist and curator Ian White: "Yvonne Rainer's performances at Tramway were the best works in any medium in any year, ever, but I already blogged about that. Before that time, tears had lit my ears on hearing Adrian Rifkin speak at the first Documentary Forum in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin in June. He, Marie-José Mondzain and Eyal Sivan were formulating a reading of Alain Resnais's Nuit et Brouillard, largely via a discussion of Resnais's earlier documentaries on artists.... All you could do afterwards was to cycle home alone, in silence, with broken gears. I haven't watched the documentation of the event, maybe you had to be there, but you can watch it online."

Tim Robey writes up the Telegraph's top ten, writes down the worst, and Sukhdev Sandhu comments on the paper's top ten independent films of 2010. Vulture's Bilge Ebiri and Logan Hill list the year's "25 Best Performances That Won't Win Oscars."

Slate's Dana Stevens talks about a few of the music-related films of the year and notable soundtracks on WNYC's Soundcheck (18'42"), while Slate's Gaming Club asks, "What was the year in video games 2010 all about?" Slant lists the best albums and singles of the year. For the Atlantic Wire, John Hudson rounds up reactions to the top trends of the year on Twitter. Advertising Age's Book of Tens.

Viewing (6'03"). You may well not have seen half of the 270 films cut together in Filmography 2010, and chances are, you'll prefer to keep it that way. Still, you've gotta admire the editing here.



For New York, Miranda Siegel talks with nine youngish filmmakers about working in the city: Jody Lee Lipes, Ry Russo-Young, Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, Antonio Campos, Daryl Wein, Lena Dunham and Josh and Benny Safdie.

And The Birth of Love screens tonight in NYC at the French Institute Alliance Français. The New Yorker's Richard Brody: "This ardent, muted Parisian melodrama, from 1993, derives its power from the director Philippe Garrel's passionate identification with its middle-aged protagonists."

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I’m excited to hear of the Huston and Ophuls releases [the latter I found out about in the previous issue of Film Comment.] TKL is among the Hustons I’m most interested in seeing.
That’s REALLY thrilling news! I’d just been reading three days ago about “The Kremlin Letter” on Mubi, wondering why I’d never heard of it before!!
The limited pressing of Twilight Time discs is somewhat disappointing, though it will probably benefit resellers and downloaders. Glad to hear about this release, and also Fate is the Hunter, another one they’re supposed to be releasing that I’ve never seen, but one which my father has referenced many times.

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