Archive for Arrow Video

Arrows of Desire

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2015 by dcairns


Finally got copies of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER and THE COMEDY OF TERRORS, from Arrow Video. Both feature video essays written by me and edited by Timo Langer and are available from all good UK outlets, plus Amazon.

Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray]

The Comedy of Terrors [Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD]

COMEDY OF TERRORS is dual-format. To spare you the usual sight of our chipped floorboards, I performed a Cocteauesque trick and taped the movies to the living room wall for the above photo. So now you can enjoy our filthy, greasy wall.

USHER was an interesting one — my first video essay, Through the Pale Door. Since so much of the film is prowling around empty corridors, we created a totally uninhabited version of the movie, and also joined together all the matte paintings to tell the story in exteriors alone. And also cut together all the shots of paintings of Usher’s depraved ancestors. I like these little experiments and hope to do more like that when I can find a suitable project.

COMEDY OF TERRORS has more faces and talk, so for Whispering in Distant Chambers we did a lot of cutting in lines of dialogue to point up or undercut what the voice-over is saying. And I got Fiona to narrate this one as she has a better voice. It’s also a whistle-stop tour of Jacques Tourneur’s entire life and career, in parallel with his dad’s. Sadly, my plan to rope in Tourneur experts Chris Fujiwara, Christine Leteux and Geoffrey O’Brien came to naught, due to time constraints, but the film yielded some surprisingly cool stuff, despite its well-documented weaknesses, and Tourneur is always great to explore. Arrow allowed me to include clips from his earlier work via “fair use” so buyers can catch a glimpse of his first, super-rare movie, TOTO (from Pathe-Natan) and follow his style from CAT PEOPLE to WARLORDS OF THE DEEP.


Posted in FILM with tags , , , on April 19, 2014 by dcairns


Jack Hill’s corruscating PIT STOP reviewed by moi over at Electric Sheep. Confession: I have never seen Hill’s vaunted blaxploitation films. What’s the best?

Chez les hommes

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on May 11, 2011 by dcairns

What’s this luxury dual-format BluRay/DVD of Jules Dassin’s seminal heist movie RIFIFI, from Arrow Video, doing lurking in the foul rag-and-bone shop of my flat? Well, it’s newly arrived, and contains a new essay by myself, and so I want you all to buy it. And if you buy it via the Amazon link below, money will literally cascade over my face and body.

Rififi [Dual Format Edition DVD + Blu-Ray]


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