We get this kind of press release all the time and generally reword them into something that is more eatmybrains friendly, but there are so many titles coming out that look great here, that we thought we might as well just give you the release info in full and let you make up your minds.
29 JANUARY: ANGEL-A
The first film directed by the iconic Luc Besson (Nikita, Leon, The Fifth Element, The Big Blue) in seven years, ANGEL-A is his most personal and beautiful yet, and a love letter to his home-town. Shot in black and white in an unforgettably picturesque Paris, the film stars supermodel Rie Rasmussen, who starred in Brian de Palma’s Femme Fatale and Jamel Debbouze, last seen in the smash hit Amelie. Renowned director of photography Thierry Arbogast joins Luc Besson in their fifth collaboration, fifteen years since they first worked together on Nikita. ANGEL-A is a visually beautiful tale that begins when two strangers meet on a bridge in Paris one morning. Looking to escape his past Andre (Jamel Debbouze) accepts the help of the mysterious Angela (Rie Rasmussen) and sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life forever. Beautiful in its simplicity, Angel-A is a striking, supernatural love-story.
Extras: Interview with Luc Besson / Making Of The Film / Music video / 15min making of the music video / An Interview with Luc Besson / Theatrical Trailer
29 JANUARY: SOUTHERN COMFORT Nine part-time National Guardsman are sent on a weekend training exercise in the Louisiana bayou in this classic American male action movie from Walter Hill (The Warriors, The Long Riders, 48HRs). Expecting the manoeuvres to take in high jinks and a trip to the local whorehouse, events take a turn for the worse when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Lost without live ammunition in a hostile, alien environment, the troops – comprised of a powerhouse cast including Keith Carradine (Nashville), Powers Boothe (Sin City) and Fred Ward (Short Cuts) – find themselves locked in a desperate battle for survival.
EARLY HITCHCOCK BOXSET featuring
The Ring / Champagne / The Farmer’s Wife / The Manxman / Blackmail / Murder! / The Skin Game / Rich & Strange / Number Seventeen
Alfred Hitchcock directed his first feature film, “The Pleasure Garden” in Germany in 1925 and received immediate critical acclaim. By the age of twenty-seven with several successes behind him he was regarded as one of the mot promising young film directors in all Europe, with a reputation for being a patient, polished, highly intelligent director who showed more subtlety and imagination in his work than most his contemporaries. The films in this set serve as a fascinating and illuminating introduction to the legendary director’s early career before he moved to Hollywood.
THE RING "One Round Jack" (Carl Brisson) is a circus sideshow boxer whose streak of one-round knockouts ends when he faces a strapping Australian boxer. The boxer (Ian Hunter) is actually the heavyweight boxing champion and offers the defeated Brisson a sparring position. However, Hunter's interest doesn't lie with Brisson but his finance/wife (Lillian Hall Davis) which forces the two boxers to meet again in the ring to win the woman's heart.
CHAMPAGNE Rebellious daughter of a millionaire (Betty Balfour) decides to marry the penniless Jean Bradin against her father's will. She runs off to France and begins living a life of luxury on the profits from her father's business. Her father puts an end to her lavish lifestyle telling her the business has gone bust and she must now work for a living. When he finds out about her "job," he decides to end his facade but she'll only forgive him if he accepts her new husband.
THE FARMER’S WIFE Jameson Thomas plays Farmer Sweetland, a middle-aged landowner, who after being widowed for five years decides that the time has come for him to choose a wife from among the unattached women of his neighbourhood. Thinking himself to be a fine catch he sets about the task of conferring his favour on someone whom he considers to be deserving of the high honour. With the aid of his housekeeper (Lillian Hall-Davies), the faithful Araminta, he compiles a list of eligible females and then sets off on his journey to make his choice.
THE MANXMAN Pete and Philip have been friends from boyhood in the village in the Isle of Man where they live. The former is a fisherman, the latter studies law. Both men admire Kate, daughter of the village innkeeper, but Pete is repulsed by her father owing to poverty. He goes abroad and is reported drowned. Kate had promised to wait for him, but thinking he is dead she falls in love with Philip and has an affair with him. Shortly afterwards Pete returns suspecting nothing, and he and Kate are married. But the child she shortly afterwards bears is Philip’s, and she is unable to maintain the deception anymore…
BLACKMAIL Anny Ondra is Alice, the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920's London. She secretly arranges a rendevous with an artist and goes off to his studio where he attempts to rape her. She defends herself but kills him accidently with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, John Longden, a Scotland Yard detective is assigned to the case. However, he is also Alice’s boyfriend, which makes him an ideal target for blackmail…
MURDER! Diana Baring, an actress in a touring company, is discovered near the scene of the crime when a woman is found murdered. She is charged with murder, placed on trial and convicted on circumstantial evidence. One of the jury, however, Sir John Menier, believes in her innocence and undertakes to prove it.
THE SKIN GAME Two neighbouring families, with different views on the future of their community, are pitted against each other. The affluent Hillcrests wish to stop the land speculating Hornblowers from removing poor farmers from their land and building factories in their place. When The Hillcrests discover a secret about the "dark past" of the Hornblower's daughter, they use this information as a way to blackmail the greedy land developer.
RICH AND STRANGE Fred and Emily Hill, a happy young married couple, inherit money and decide to take a world cruise. On board the ship their new-found fortune goes to their heads and they tend to go their separate ways. Fred loses most of his money to a fake princess, while Emily also gets involved, but luckily escapes the commitments of her escapade. Their ship-board romances drive them apart and it takes a ship-wreck brings them back together again.
NUMBER SEVENTEEN A beautiful girl, member of a gang of thieves, falls in love with a detective, who is on the track of her confederates. She saves him from death at the hands of the gang but thereafter they must flee from her vengeful former associates and life live on the run. Screenplay by Alfred Hitchcock, from the play by Jefferson Farjeon
29 JANUARY: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH: SPECIAL EDITION The Man Who Fell To Earth is Nic Roeg’s science-fiction cult classic starring David Bowie. Crash landing on Earth from his dying planet, an alien humanoid traveling by the name of Thomas Jerome Newton uses his superior intelligence to build a vast business empire. As he takes on, and beats, every US corporation people can only guess his true purpose – to save his dying world from agonizing death by drought. Newton’s ageless fall from grace, as he becomes prey to lust, alcohol, business rivals, and the US Government makes THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH not only a bitingly caustic indictment of the modern world but also a poignant commentary on the loneliness of the outsider.
Extras: Exclusive new interview with Nic Roeg / Watching the Alien documentary feature / Theatrical Trailer / plus more TBC
5 FEBRUARY: THE GRIFTERS: SPECIAL EDITION
The Grifters is Stephen Frears’ darkly modern noir tale of a small-time grifter (John Cusack) torn between his new girlfriend (Annette Benning) and his estranged mother (Angelica Huston): both con-artistes with their own angles to play….
12 FEBRUARY: SLEEPY HOLLOW: SPECIAL EDITION Johnny Depp stars as Ichabod Crane, a man who has to confront the legend of the axe-wielding headless horseman in order to win the heart of Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci) in this hugely enjoyable Tim Burton film. Set in 1799, Sleepy Hollow is based on Washington Irving’s classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Faithful to the dreamy custom-bound world that Irving paints in his story, the film mixes horror, fantasy and romance, and features an extraordinary cast of characters who dabble in the supernatural.
12 FEBRUARY: NEAR DARK
Katheryn Bigelow’s vampire western Near Dark was the film that announced her arrival as a director of visionary genius and has achieved cult status as perhaps the best blood-sucker movie ever made. Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) is a mid-Western farm-boy who tries his luck with Mae (Jenny Wright) only to discover that she is part of a travelling gang of vampires led by the diabolical Severen (Bill Paxton), and that he’s next in line for initiation… Released on DVD in perfect time for Halloween, the film also stars Lance Henriksen and was followed up by Bigelow with Blue Steel, Point Break and Strange Days.
12 FEBRUARY: BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF
Based on a myth, Brotherhood of the Wolf sees gifted and handsome biologist Gregoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) travel to a remote part of South West France to investigate a series of brutal slayings - according to local lore perpetrated by a mysterious lupine beast. Accompanied by his Native American sidekick Mani (Mark Dacascos), Gregoire soon realises the “beast” has been trained to kill, and the list of possible suspects could include mysterious prostitute Sylvia (Monica Bellucci), aristocratic big game hunter Jean-Francois (Vincent Cassel) or his beautiful sister (Emilie Dequenne) and any number of the aggrieved local gentry….
12 FEBRUARY: NARROW MARGIN is a high-octane chase thriller set on a train speeding through the wilds of Canada as lawman Gene Hackman and key witness Anne Archer try to elude the two hitmen on board and on their tail.
12 FEBRUARY: L’APPARTEMENT
Max, a thirty-something Parisian, has decided somewhat reluctantly to settle down and get married, but then a chance sighting (or not?) of his great, lost love sends him into a spin and sets off a whirlwind chain of events involving another beautiful but mysterious girl, an older man and possible rival, a healthy dose of voyeurism and of course the emblematic apartment at the centre of it all. Winner of the BAFTA for Best Foreign Film in 1998, L’Appartement stars Vincent Cassel, Monica Belluci, Romane Bohringer and Jean-Philippe Ecoffey and is directed by Gilles Mimouni.
26 FEBRUARY: MULLHOLLAND DRIVE: SPECIAL EDITION Beautiful, bizarre and strangely addictive Mullholland Drive begins as a botched hit results in the meeting of bruised brunette amnesiac Rita (Laura Harring) and blonde would-be Hollywood actress Betty (Naomi Watts – King Kong, 21 Grams). Taking the viewer on a memorable neo-noir trip through Hollywood’s dark underbelly, Lynch dispenses with a conventional narrative in favour of an hallucinogenic assault on the senses that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
26 FEBRUARY: HIGHLANDER – IMMORTAL EDITION
1985 New York City; the Battle to end all battles. The last remaining Immortals gather together to fight to the death: decapitation alone can kill them, and victor alone can lay claim to “The Prize”. Amongst the contestants is Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), who fought his first battle in 1536 on the highlands of Scotland, and his most feared opponent, the evil Kurgan (Clancy Brown) who was responsible for the death of MacLeod’s mentor, the swordsman Ramirez (Sean Connery). Also starring Roxane Hart, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish and Celia Imrie, The film was directed by Russell Mulcahy (Swimming Upstream, The Real McCoy) and features an original score by Michael Kamen and Queen.
Extras: New and exclusive Making Of documentary / more tbc
JOHN SAYLES COLLECTION featuring
Lianna / Return of the Secaucus Seven /
Brother From Another Planet
This boxset brings together three early films from John Sayles, one of the foremost American Independent directors working today. Characterised by their nuanced observations, humanity and irrepressible sense of independence, the three films that comprise this box set form the foundations of Sayles’ illustrious career.
LIANNA Directed, written and edited by Sayles, Lianna was one of the first American films to deal with a lesbian relationship in a non-exploitive manner. It also continued Sayles’ crafting of strong female roles and interest in protagonists largely ignored by the mainstream.
RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS SEVEN John Sayles’ directorial debut, The Return of the Secaucus Seven is a landmark moment in American independent cinema.
Shot on free locations with actors drawn from Sayles’ Eastern Slope Playhouse, the film is an affectionately observed ensemble drama that deals with the annual reunion of several college friends. Formerly bound by the shared moral and political activism of 1960’s campus life, the group have all chosen different paths since graduation but despite the shifts in time and the changing nature of their relationships remain linked by a shared experience and common humanity.
BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET Following a trying studio experience on Baby It's You, John Sayles triumphantly returned to independent productions with the African-American sci-fi allegory The Brother From Another Planet. Sayles regular Joe Morton (Lone Star) stars as an escaped mute black slave who fetches up in Harlem. Deftly performed and executed with Sayles’ trademark gift for understatement, the film was a sizeable box-office success and was nominated for a Sundance Grand Jury Prize.
23rd Mar 04 Forget the Ed Gein movie – this is where its at. Deranged is darkly hilarious but also deeply disturbing account of the nefarious activities of the same person, but is executed with much more skill than the Ed Gein movie.