Not one but two films from Northern Europe—one from Norway and one from Denmark—made the list of Oscar nominees today for Best Foreign Film. Not to be outdone, Artsploitation Films released the award-winning Finnish flick “Lapland Odyssey” this week on DVD. This wacky road trip comedy, Finland’s biggest hit of the year, is also available for online download and is being offered in standard and hi-def VOD.
“Japanese Films: A Filmography and Commentary, 1921–1989” by Beverley Bare Buehrer (now available in paperback from McFarland & Company) is a most accessible intro to the work of Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and many others. The only real flaw in this reprint of the 1990 edition is the lack of DVD info, but the impressive bibliography more than makes up for it.
Shohei Imamura, who work is discussed at length by Buehrer, is newly represented in the US by a 4-disc box set from Icarus Films Home Video that includes “A Man Vanishes” (1967) and five bonus documentaries. The main feature is a highly acclaimed drama that investigates the strange disappearance of a handsome businessman; the bonus films, all made between 1967-1975, appear on video for the first time.
Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) is a popular destination on the Net, but it’s only a jumping-off point and far from infallible. There’s no substitute for a good reference book, such as Thomas S. Hischak’s “American Literature on Stage and Screen: 525 Works and their Adaptations” (also new in paperback from McFarland). The original novels and stories are described in detail, and compared with their film, TV and stage counterparts.
Look up “Double Indemnity,” for example, and you’ll not only find Billy Wilder & Raymond Chandler’s 1944 film noir classic and Stephen Bochco’s 1973 mediocre TV remake, but two additional TV versions imdb doesn’t know about. While imdb lists a Hallmark Hall of Fame version of “On Borrowed Time” Hischak missed, he provides details on the Broadway play and two additional TV versions you won’t find on imdb, as well as the beloved 1939 Lionel Barrymore film.
More from Jordan:
Academy Award Losers, 1912-1939: Great Performances in the Oscar Hall of Shame, Vol. 1 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ARTJGOA
Italian and British gems on DVD, Broadway spoofs & Oscar losers http://www.examiner.com/article/italian-and-british-gems-on-dvd-broadway-spoofs-oscar-losers
Dalí, Disney And Destiny: The Inside Story of Destino
Keaton, Arbuckle, Joe E. Brown, Shemp, Pagnol on DVD http://www.examiner.com/article/keaton-arbuckle-joe-e-brown-shemp-pagnol-on-dvd-for-nye
Best of OC Theatre 2012
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