Various – This Is Cinerama (1952)

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On the evening of September 30, 1952, the shape and sound of movies changed forever with the introduction of Cinerama. This unique widescreen process was launched when television was deemed as a major threat to US film exhibition. Fred Waller, Cinerama’s creator, had indeed labored that long on his dream of a motion picture experience that would recreate the full range of human vision. It used three cameras and three projectors on a curved screen 146° deep. In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of its premiere, Flicker Alley is proud to present THIS IS CINERAMA, exactly as seen by over 20,000,000 viewers in its original roadshow version. You will travel around the world with Cinerama, from Venice to Madrid, from Edinburgh Castle to the La Scala opera house in Milan, and concluding with a flight across America in the nose of a B-25 bomber. Continue reading

Various – BFI Film Classics Series: 154 Titles (1992 – 2015)

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BFI Film Classics is a series of finely written, illustrated books that introduce, interpret and celebrate landmark films of world cinema. Each volume offers an argument for the film’s classic status, together with a discussion of its production and reception history, its place within a genre or national cinema, an account of it’s technical and aesthetic importance, and in many cases, the author’s personal response to the film. The BFI Film Classics series now includes titles previously published separately in the BFI Film Classics and the BFI Modern Classics Series. Continue reading

Various – Screening the Poor 1888-1914 [compilation] (1888-1914)

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Around 1900, the issues of poverty and poor relief were the source of heated controversy. This DVD illustrates in seven chapters how examinations of the ‘Social Question’ were presented in magic lantern slide sets and early films. On the screens of auditoriums, Sunday schools, music-halls, cinemas and churches, visitors could witness orphans freezing to death in the snow, drunkards plunging their families into misery and helpless old people begging for a scrap of bread. Audiences experienced poignant moving pictures in performances with music, singing and recitations. The photographic and film industries delivered glass slide sets and films in very large runs on a variety of themes relating to poverty. Continue reading

Various – Loin Du Vietnam AKA Far From Vietnam (1967)

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Synopsis by Dan Pavlides
Six directors combined efforts for this 1967 documentary, a searing anti-American indictment of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Alain Resnais, William Klein, Joris Ivens, Agnes Varda, Claude Lelouch, and Jean-Luc Goddard all direct segments. They are quick to point out that the U.S. is radically divided about their country’s policy to stop the threat of communism. Continue reading

Various – Destricted (2006)

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the first short film collection of its kind, bringing together sex and art in a series of short films created by some of the world’s most visual and provocative artists and directors

Balkan Erotic Epic
Marina Abramović, 2005, 13 min
Performance art legend Marina Abramović delves into Balkan folklore to create an instructional series of mis en scènes that explore the crude, magical and mysterious rites of ethnic fertility and virility.

Hoist
Matthew Barney, 2004, 14 min 36 sec
American fabulist Matthew Barney stages the erotics of sexual encounter as it takes place between ‘green man’ and the lubricated drive shaft of a customised deforestation vehicle destined for the Carnival de Bahia.
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Various – Avant-Garde 3: Experimental Cinema 1922-1954 (2009)

CAVALCANTI MAAS PETERSON BROUGHTON BUTE KESSLER WHITNEY KIRSANOFF MURPHY MARC’O WATSON HUFF

From THE Collection of THE GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE AND FROM THE RAYMOND ROHAUER COLLECTION

From the little theaters of the 1920s to the ad hoc film societies of the ’50s, avant-garde cinema knew no established form and held no predictable position. The boundaries of its history are still hotly debated, but its rough sensibilities informed and permeated the city symphonies of Alberto Cavalcanti, the visual music of Mary Ellen Bute and John Whitney, the classroom films of Sidney Peterson, the confessional film poems of Willard Maas and John E. Schmitz, the Lettrist cinema of Marc’O, and even marginal exploitation films and home movies. Drawn from the rich collections of Raymond Rohauer and the George Eastman House, Kino’s third volume of experimental films continues to illuminate the degree to which cinema’s evolution has been influenced by those filmmakers who occupy its periphery. Continue reading

Various – Avant-Garde 2: Experimental Cinema 1928-1954 [Disc 2] (2007)

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Disc two travels back in time for two late-Twenties American shorts before heading off to France for three late-Forties/early-Fifties films, including the epic Lettrism manifesto, Jean Isidore Isou’s Venom and Eternity (also known by the far better title Treatise on Slime and Eternity, 1951). From the former group only James Watson and Melville Webber’s expressionist adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) is of any note, while two of the three later films, Jean Mitry’s Pacific 231 (1949) and Dimitri Kirsanoff’s Arriere Saison (1950), serviceably employ techniques that had reached their fulfillment thirty years prior. Venom and Eternity is supposed to be the cherry on the cake—a rarely seen controversial feature with 34 minutes of restored footage. Continue reading