The fine folks at Flicker Alley have announced and detailed their upcoming Chaplin’s Mutual Comedies Blu-ray box set, available July 30th.
In the comedies Charlie Chaplin created for the Mutual Film Corporation, Chaplin sometimes played an inebriate, a fireman, or a prop man in a movie studio; but most of all, he further explored and developed his celebrated Little Tramp character that would soon join Falstaff and Don Quixote in the pantheon of immortal comic characters. The Chaplin of these films became the most famous and recognizable character in the world, as well as the highest paid filmmaker until then (and for many years thereafter). At Mutual-where he earned the unprecedented salary of $670,000 (about $14,500,000 in 2014) for 12 two-real comedies-Chaplin perfected what would become the trademark themes and techniques of his career, and created what many critics and enthusiasts regard as his best work.
Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Films® Collection are proud to present the premiere of CHAPLIN’S MUTUAL COMEDIES, a 5-disc Blu-ray/DVD box set featuring 12 newly restored films (The Floorwalker, The Fireman, The Vagabond, One A.M., The Count, The Pawnshop, Behind the Screen, The Rink, Easy Street, The Cure, The Immigrant, and The Adventurer).Under the aegis of Association Chaplin, these editions are scanned at a resolution of 2,000 lines from original 35mm prints gathered from archives all over the world, then digitally assembled and restored, a collaborative effort of Lobster Films in Paris and L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy. Each film offers the option of either improvised piano accompaniment or a full orchestral score-all brand-new recordings. Among the many well-known composers and musicians featured are Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Timothy Brock, Antonio Coppola, Carl Davis, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Gabriel Thibaudeau.
A 34-page booklet with rare, behind-the-scenes images, and an extensive essay by film historian and author Jeffrey Vance (Chaplin: Genius of Cinema).
The home-video premiere of a 52-minute documentary by Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange, The Birth of the Tramp, which chronicles Chaplin’s rise to stardom in concordance with early cinema’s growth from fairground attraction into an international industry.
Cinema of Desire: The Films of Walerian Borowczyk
“Dadaist prankster, unrepentant sensualist and master craftsman, Walerian Borowczyk and his films have yet to be fully discovered and appreciated.”
The Essential Jacques Demy
Alfred Hitchcock’s Downhill is now available to rent through the Criterion Collection on Amazon Instant Video.
“‘Here is a tale of two school-boys who made a pact of loyalty. One of them kept it—at a price.’ So begins Alfred Hitchcock’s melodrama about a young man’s fall from boarding school rugby stardom into an underworld of European poverty. Downhill grants early glimpses of Hitchcock’s stylistic hallmarks, and stars Ivor Novello, possibly the most popular male star in Britain in the era of its release.”
David Lean’s The Passionate Friends is now available for pre-order on the Criterion Collection’s iTunes channel.
"For the first of three films starring his bride-to-be, Ann Todd, the masterful David Lean adapted this dark, wistful drama from a popular H.G. Wells novel. Todd plays Mary, a heartbroken wife torn between the security of her husband (a remarkable Claude Rains) and her lasting love for a man she hasn’t spoken to in nine years (Trevor Howard, in a role reminiscent of his star turn in Lean’s Brief Encounter five years before)."