In what I can only put down to a combination or workplace woes and workload and my increasingly batty memory, I completely forgot to post one of the most important home video announcements of the month, Eureka's Monday announcement of their DVD and Blu-ray releases for January and February 2013. The announcements were made first on Twitter, which we re-tweeted (oh bloody hell I hate those terms), but in case you missed them, the official overview is below, with more details to follow in the coming months.
Following a spate of epic releases for the last quarter of 2012 which included Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen and Carl Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Masters of Cinema Series returns in 2013 with the nearly-impossible-to-see debut feature film by Stanley Kubrick, a long-awaited Blu-ray and DVD Dual Format release of Josef von Sternberg's classic first-collaboration with Marlene Dietrich, new restorations of films by the European giants Fellini and Guitry, and a Blu-ray upgrade of Kaneto Shindô's cult horror confection Onibaba.
Producer of the Masters of Cinema Series, Craig Keller stated:
"January sees the release of Stanley Kubrick's 1953 debut feature Fear and Desire, newly restored by The Library of Congress — a war-film psychodrama that exhibits many of the thematic obsessions and visual motifs that would course throughout all of Kubrick's films over the next four decades — needless to say, ravishingly photographed, even this early on in his career. We are extremely excited that UK audiences will at last be able to see where that body of work called 'Kubrick' all began. Also this month: we've got the HD debut of Josef von Sternberg's immortal The Blue Angel, in both its German and English-language versions (shot by Sternberg simultaneously) featuring Marlene Dietrich as the impossibly erotic cabaret singer who bewitches Emil Jannings — and consigns him to perdition.
"In February we present three titles, two of which capitalise on sumptuous HD restorations carried out by Gaumont. The first of these is Federico Fellini's unhinged 1980 post-punk epic, City of Women [La città delle donne / La cité des femmes], starring the great Marcello Mastroianni in a kind of reprise of his role from Fellini's 8-1/2. The second new HD restoration is the initial entry into The Masters of Cinema Series by the French comic genius Sacha Guitry — La Poison [Poison] — starring the equally brilliant Michel Simon (of Renoir's La Chienne and Boudu sauvé des eaux, and Vigo's L'Atalante). We're so proud to introduce this venomously witty murder-comedy to UK audiences — it's a perfect example of why Guitry was revered as a kind of god both by the French public at large and by the critics and filmmakers that went on to form the New Wave. Our last release of the month is a new Blu-ray upgrade of the recently deceased Kaneto Shindô's Onibaba — one of our most popular films — an unsettling, atmospheric erotic horror film whose Scope frames veer between sunlit existential dread and moonlit mystery/suspense."
Managing Director of Eureka, Ron Benson added:
"We're very excited by this Jan/Feb lineup — with new HD elements of all five films, each accompanied by numerous supplements and the kind of lengthy booklets our fans will be thrilled to pore over. But we're only getting started — 2013 might be our most exciting year yet."
Full details of each of the titles announced can be found on the Eureka / Masters of Cinema website www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc.