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The Top 10 Criterion Blu-rays of 2017

Posted by Amoebite, December 18, 2017 01:57pm | Post a Comment

Top 10 Criterion Blu-rays of 2018

Has Criterion gone punk?? Based on the top selling Blu-rays at Amoeba this year it looks as if the primo purveyors of classic, foreign, and arthouse films found much of their success in alternative and cult-y titles by such provocateurs as Alex Cox, Terry Zwigoff, and John Waters. Perhaps it's a slight exaggeration, but based on the thin presence of films for Francophiles and classic film buffs, it seems that the prestigious label has gotten more angsty and alternative. Regardless, Criterion, as always, released a stellar collection of films in 2017. Here are the 10 best-selling Criterion Blu-rays at Amoeba.

Read all of our Best of 2017 lists.

Sid & Nancy Criterion Blu-ray Amoeba Music

10. Sid & Nancy 
Directed by Alex Cox, 1986
Released Aug 22, 2017

The long overdue Blu-ray release of Sid & Nancy has been one of the most anticipated Criterion releases in recent memory, and it couldn't have come at a more poignant time in lead actor Gary Oldman's career. Now regarded as a Hollywood mainstay, and garnering Oscar buzz for his recent portrayal of Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hours, Oldman broke through to audiences in Cox's kinetic cult flick about the infamous, short lived, heroin-fueled relationship between Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen (played by an equally fascinating Chloe Webb), before her gruesome, unsolved death by stabbing. Packed with extra documentaries, archival interviews of the real Vicious and Spungen, commentaries by the cast and crew, and more, this is the ultimate edition of the beloved punk-classic. 4K digital restoration.
Rebecca Criterion Blu-ray Amoeba Music 9. Rebecca 
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1940
Released Sept 5, 2017

Considered a favorite by many die-hard Alfred Hitchcock fans, Rebecca was the director's first production in Hollywood, after making a name for himself across the Atlantic. Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier star is this psychological melodrama, in which the bliss of their new marriage becomes overshadowed by the memory, and possibly spirit, of Olivier's dead first wife. Filled with visual style, atmospheric special effects, and superb performances, Rebecca signaled the arrival of a new master in Tinseltown, and took home the Academy Award for best picture. The new Blu-ray is filled to the brim with special features, including various archival interviews with cast and crew members, three radio adaptations (including one by Orson Wells), screen tests, and a new conversation by legendary film critic Molly Haskell with Patricia White. 4K digital restoration.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Greg Anderson of Sunn O)))

Posted by Amoebite, December 12, 2016 06:40pm | Post a Comment

Sunn O))) Greg Anderson What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

What was the first thing Sunn O)))'s Greg Anderson picked up during his recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood? That would be the super deluxe edition of Black Sabbath's seminal sophomore album, Paranoid. "This is (an) incredibly important band and album," says the guitarist and co-founder of Southern Lord Records, who also comments "everything kind of starts and ends" with Sabbath for him.

Sunn O))) Kannon Amoeba MusicSunn O))) formed in the late ‘90s, becoming legendary figures in the metal scene through their innovative incorporation of elements from doom, drone, ambient, noise rock, and black metal. Founders Stephen O'Malley (Khanate, Burning Witch) and Greg Anderson (Goatsnake, Engine Kid) originally teamed up as a Los Angeles-based Earth tribute band before honing their unique sound and releasing their debut full-length ØØ Void in 2000 via Hydra Head. The duo’s next offering was 2002’s 3:Flight of the Behemoth.

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Movies for Mother's Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 10, 2015 08:02am | Post a Comment

Mary Cassatt's After the Bath (circa 1901)

The American Mother's Day was invented by Anna Jarvis in 1905, when her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her mother's death proved the inspiration for a holiday and by 1908 others joined her in this macabre celebration.

After five years of dedication to her obsession, Mother's Day was first observed in West Virginia in 1910. Although writing "I love you" on a post-it note would be more meaningful, by the 1920s consumers dutifully purchased pre-made Mother's Day cards from the Hallmark corporation. Disgusted by this perversion of her crazy vision, Jarvis unsuccessfully tried to kill Mother's Day. 

Whatever you do this Mother's Day, please don't spend $17.95 on a Spring Multicolor Floral Infinity Scarf, $24.95 on a Bronze Metal Birdcage Lantern Wall Decoration, or $29.95 on a Coral-inspired Jewelry Tree. Instead, take her on a hike, go for a swim, eat a type of cuisine neither of you've ever had before, go to the ballet... or watch one of these films.
*****




Mother (마더, Bong Joon-ho, 2010)


Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)



Mildred Pierce
(Michael Curtiz, 1945)



Grey Gardens (Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, 1975)




Treeless Mountain (So Yong Kim, 2008)



Be With You (いま、会いにゆきますNobuhiro Doi, 2004)



Mommie Dearest
(Frank Perry, 1981)




Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)


Precious (Lee Daniels, 2008)


Strait-Jacket
(William Castle, 2004)


Friday the 13th
(Sean S. Cunningham, 1980)



*****

Follow me at www.ericbrightwell.com

Would You Like A Cheese Puff?: The Art Of The RCA SelectaVision Videodisc CED

Posted by Mark Beaver, January 13, 2015 04:20pm | Post a Comment
 For a brief moment in time (1981-1986, to be exact) there existed a film delivery system based on needle/groove technology, just like a record player.



Launched by RCA and dubbed the CAPACITANCE ELECTRONIC DISC (CED), it was quickly supplanted by both commercially available VHS tapes and Laserdiscs, the precursor to the DVD, which read the information with light beams.

Ultimately, it was a clunky, inelegant technology prone to problems and RCA lost about $600 million on it, but there was a curious upside to its brief arc through the collective consciousness...the cover art.

For many of the CED packages, promotional artwork was commissioned for the face of the cartridge that was singular for the release of the RCA SelectaVision format. 

Below I have displayed a gallery of some of the cover art from that time, in most cases, different images than were ever seen on the more popular VHS, Laserdisc or DVD releases of the same films. 

Enjoy the beauty!








    
































































































































































































































































































































In Time For Halloween: San Francisco Symphony Presents "Hitchcock Week"

Posted by Billyjam, October 28, 2013 03:10pm | Post a Comment

Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 classic "Vertigo" is one of the master of suspense's films being celebrated
by the San Francisco Symphony as part of Hitchcock Week: October 30th to November 2nd

Hitchcock and Halloween are the perfect match. So fittingly this (Halloween) week the San Francisco Symphony presents Hitchcock Week over four nights (Oct 30th to Nov 2nd) by celebrating the perfect partnership of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock with composer Bernard Herrmann. As well as Bernard Herrmann the San Francisco Symphony, with Joshua Gersen conducting, will also be performing music of Lyn Murray, and Dimitri Tiomkin. Hitchcock Week opens on Wednesday October 30th with a screening of the ultimate scary movie Psycho. On night two, Thursday, Halloween night Hitchcock's The Lodger: Silent Film: A Story of the London Fog with live organ accompaniment of this early silent thriller from the master of suspense.

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