(Here’s Part I in case you missed it.) Many of these entries will be quite brief. My apologies, but I’m watching them pretty quickly this month and am trying to get them out there as I watch ‘em. More on the way…
April holds almost nothing as far as U.S. releases go, but there are quite a few nice Region B releases if you live in Europe or own a region-free player. I’m very excited to see so many interesting releases from the new UK label Indicator. (Anyone who has bought one, please let me know what you think.) So here we go…
Without Warning! (1952)
Directed by Arnold Laven
Written by William Raynor
Produced by Arthur Gardner and Jules V. Levy
Cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc
Edited by Arthur H. Nadel
Dark Sky Films DVD – interlibrary loan (1:15)
Without Warning! looks like a super low-budget picture (which it is) that you’d probably pass by, but you shouldn’t; it’s surprisingly good. The first thing I noticed about the cheesy-looking DVD cover was Adam Williams – a somewhat familiar actor – holding a pair of garden shears.
Outside of his many appearances in TV shows, Williams (a distinguished WWII veteran) is probably most famous for his role as Valerian, one of Phillip Vandamm’s (played by James Mason) henchmen in North by Northwest (1959), where he also handles a pair of garden shears, albeit a larger pair. (That’s Williams on the right, trying not to get upstaged by Cary Grant. Sorry, Adam… You don’t stand a chance, dude.)
If you live in Europe or have a region-free Blu-ray player, there’s quite a bit to be excited about in March. In the U.S., not so much. Still, I hope everyone will find something to pick up next month. All releases are North American Region A releases unless otherwise noted.
Too Late (2016)
Written, directed and co-produced by Dennis Hauck
Also produced by Alexandra Barreto, John Taylor Feltner, Erich Lochner, Matt Miller
Cinematography by Bill Fernandez
Edited by David Heinz
Music by Robert Allaire
You could easily overlook this film while searching for something to watch on Netflix. I did. It wasn’t until I heard Leonard Maltin mention Too Late on his podcast Maltin on Movies as an overlooked film he recommends that I decided to see it. Yet Maltin seems to be one of the few critics praising the film. Some have called it awful. (One Rotten Tomatoes critic called it “perhaps the worst thing I have seen in the many years I’ve attended this [Cleveland International Film] festival.” Do I recommend it? Read on.
Directed by Sebastian Schipper
Produced by Catherine Baikousis and nine others
Written by Sebastian Schipper, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, Elke Frederik Schulz
Music by Nils Frahm
Cinematography by Sturia Brandth Grøvlen
In German and English with English subtitles
Adopt Films DVD – interlibrary loan (2:18)
Anytime you hear someone talking about Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria (2015), I’ll bet it takes less than 20 seconds for them to mention the film’s “gimmick,” which is Schipper’s decision to shoot the 138-minute movie in a single take. I’ll admit it: I’ve presented the film to people this way. I suppose depending upon how you talk to people about it determines how much importance you give to the gimmick. Is it really a gimmick? Or is it a device?
When first looking over the Noir City schedule, you might come away disappointed, not in the selection of titles, but in the number of films shown per day. With the exception of Saturdays, Noir City features two films a day, generally showing around 7:15pm and 9:00pm or thereabout. (The two Sunday films are repeated later in the day.) But remember, you’re in San Francisco, one of the most fascinating cities on the planet, so go explore it! In the two years I’ve attended Noir City, I have also gone on a wine tour, an “Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco” walking tour, visited the Museum of Modern Art, Alcatraz, a Japanese garden, John’s Grill, ran a 5K, spent time in Chinatown, and much more.