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Three new titles on Blu-ray & DVD from Arrow Academy in July

24 April 2017

Today, Arrow Academy announced a tatalising slate of classic Western cinema, cult TV drama and an arthouse favourite. As ever, the releases are full of new and archival extras to keep the most ardent collector happy.

First up is Tout va bien from directors Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin, a dazzling and delirious exploration of life and love and revolution in Paris, starring Yves Montand and Jane Fonda. This vital film from the 1970s is presented in a high-definition digital transfer, with behind the scenes rarities, and a little-seen 55-minute film about Fonda by Godard and Gorin.

The next July release is Terror In A Texas Town, a brilliant and underrated Western from the writing and directing team behind the noir classic Gun Crazy. Director Joseph H. Lewis and scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo teamed up again for this magnificent 1958 revenge thriller starring Sterling Hayden (The Killing).

The end of July sees the dual format release of legendary German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s acclaimed TV mini-series Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day from the early 1970s. A look at the everyday life of working people, starring Gottfried John (Goldeneye) and Hanna Schygulla (The Marriage Of Maria Braun), this brand new restoration of all five episodes comes with a full length documentary on Fassbinder and a specially commissioned booklet.

 

Tout va bien dual format cover

Tout va bien | Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD | 3 July 2017 | £19.99

“If you use stars, people will give you money.”

And so Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin went to work on what would be their first commercial narrative feature since coming together to form the radical Dziga-Vertov-Group filmmaking collective in the aftermath of May ’68. Enter Yves Montand and Jane Fonda as the stars, the latter of whose public support for the militant cause could serve as mutually beneficial for her own revolutionary credentials and for the publicity of Godard and Gorin’s film itself.

Tout va bien [Everything’s Going Fine] places Fonda and Montand in the roles of Her and Him, that is, a modern couple representative of the middle-class global bourgeoisie circa 1972. She’s a radio journalist at the French bureau of the American Broadcasting System; he’s an advertisement director who before ’68’s social upheavals served as a Nouvelle Vague screenwriter. Through Fonda’s and Montand’s star-personas, Godard and Gorin investigate ‘how the sausage is made’, both metaphorically (movie financing) and literally (industrial food processing), in the process questioning what it means to be involved or ‘engaged’ socially, politically, and romantically.

Taking a cue from the tricolour of the French flag, Godard and Gorin adopt the language of Frank Tashlin to discover whether or not, four years on, May ’68’s revolutionary spirit has not already been perverted into a living pop-art Looney Tunes, with society having finally transformed into a playground of consumption and commodity. With its bravura scenes of a factory cross-sectioned like a dollhouse (a nod to Tashlin-protégé Jerry Lewis’s film The Ladies Man) and an oscillating supermarket tracking-shot (one of many quotations of Godard’s ‘60s work such as Weekend, La chinoise, Le mépris and À bout de souffle), Tout va Bien remains a vital film of the 1970s – and for a world gone out-of-control.

Special Edition contents:

  • High-definition digital transfer
  • High-definition Blu-ray (1080p) and standard-definition DVD presentations
  • Original uncompressed monaural audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still (1972), Godard and Gorin’s 55-minute film analysing the infamous photo of Jane Fonda meeting with the North Vietnamese published shortly after the release of Tout va bien
  • Video interview with Jean-Pierre Gorin from 2004 about his work with Godard
  • Vintage footage from the set of the film interviewing Godard
  • Reversible sleeve featuring alternate artwork
  • First pressing only: 48-page full-colour booklet containing English translations for the first time of writing on the film by David Faroult and Godard and Gorin, and a facsimile presentation of the film’s original pressbook

 

Terror in a Texas Town dual format cover

Terror In A Texas Town | Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD | 10 July 2017 | £24.99

For his 41st and final feature film, Joseph H. Lewis was able to combine the two genres in which he had excelled. The man in the director’s chair for My Name Is Julia Ross, Gun Crazy and The Big Combo, Lewis was one of the all-time greats in film noir. But he was also a fine director of Westerns, having made A Lawless Street, 7th Cavalry and The Halliday Brand, all of which – especially the last – remain underrated. Terror In A Texas Town would bring his noir sensibilities to the American West, resulting in one of his finest works.

McNeil (Sebastian Cabot, The Time Machine) is a greedy hotel owner who wants to take control of Prairie City, the Texas town of the title. Keen to drive the local farmers off their land, McNeil hires a gunman, Johnny Crale (Nedrick Young, who would pen the Oscar-winning screenplay for The Defiant Ones the same year), resulting in the death of a former whaler. The dead man’s son, George Hansen (Sterling Hayden, The Killing), arrives in town to inherit the farm and set the stage for revenge – armed with only his father’s old harpoon…

Terror In A Texas Town was written by Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten blacklisted by the film industry and forced to write under pseudonyms or to use ‘fronts’. Two years before he helped break the blacklist with on-screen credits for Otto Preminger’s Exodus and Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, his work was credited to Ben Perry, but it demonstrates a psychological depth and political dimension that is undoubtedly that of Trumbo.

Special Edition features:

  • Brand-new 2K restoration from original film elements produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
  • High-definition Blu-ray (1080p) and standard-definition DVD presentations
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Introduction by Peter Stanfield, author of Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail and Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy
  • Scene-select commentaries by Stanfield
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir Zimakov
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Glenn Kenny

 

Eight Hours Don't Make a Day dual format cover

Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day | Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD | 24 July 2017 | £59.99

Rainer Werner Fassbinder had been making feature films for three years – and already amassed a filmography that would satisfy most careers – when he decided to take on a bigger challenge. Teaming up with West German television channel WDR, he conceived of Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day, a series that would extend to five feature-length episodes to be broadcast at monthly intervals.

Centring on the Krüger family, as well as their lovers, in-laws, friends and co-workers, the series takes a sometimes comic, sometimes dramatic look at domestic relationships and labour relationships, with particular focus on skilled worker Jochen (Gottfried John, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Goldeneye) and his new girlfriend, Marion (Hanna Schygulla, The Marriage of Maria Braun).

Reminiscent of working-class soap operas such as Coronation Street and the family-based sitcoms of Carla Lane, Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day has been one of the more difficult to find entries of Fassbinder’s extraordinarily prolific output, but is now presented here in full and newly restored by the Fassbinder Foundation.

Limited Edition contents:

  • Brand new restoration of all five episodes by the Fassbinder Foundation
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original German mono soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Fassbinder, a feature-length 2015 documentary on the director featuring interviews with Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Schlöndorff and others
  • Brand-new retrospective featurette on Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, featuring interviews with Schygulla, Hermann, Wolfgang Schenck, Hans Hirschmüller and others, and directed by Juliane Lorenz, head of the Fassbinder Foundation
  • 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by David Jenkins and a new interview with Juliane Lorenz, plus archival essays by Manuel Alvarado and Christian Braad Thomsen