Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Summer with Audrey, Jean, Alain, Rupert and Buika !

Today's "Daily Telegraph" Review section has an intresting feature by David Gritten on forthcoming movies back on big screens here (in London), as ROMAN HOLIDAY is re-released, as well as Hitch's DIAL M FOR MURDER, the vastly expensive western HEAVEN'S GATE (didn't think that would ever see the light of a projector again), and of course CLEOPATRA is also on 30 screens here at the moment. Two interesting ones coming up are - yes, here it is again - PLEIN SOLEIL at the end of the month - that should gather it a lot of new admirers - and Preminger's BONJOUR TRISTESSE - certainly a good Summer movie choice, one I will have to re-view again.

Park Circus is the market leader in these re-issues. It seems the re-issue business is in good health, with appreciative audiences and good notices from the critics. Of course back in days of revival houses we were used to seeing reissues at the cinema, but thats a rare pleasure now if one is not near a complex like the London BFI.

Interesting quote from Nick Varley from Park Circus: "With CASABLANCA for instance, everyone thinks they've seen it. And maybe they have, on television. But when you watch it in a theatre with an audience, its totally different. The script is so clever and witty, you find yourself feeding off the audience's emotions and laughter". That applies to so many movies we love, whether ALL ABOUT EVE or SOME LIKE IT HOT, sharing the experience of seeing them on the large screen.

Yet another PLEIN SOLEIL re-issue!
Studio Canal is another company specialising in re-issues and restoring films, and have a great dvd back catalogue. They are releasing another PLEIL SOLEIL (restored with the Cinematheque Francaise) to cinemas and on dvd and Blu-ray on August 30 (I had just reviewed the Criterion Blu-ray below): "Featuring a score by Nino Rota and the vivid sun-drenched camera work of Henri Decae its argeuably director Rene Clement's best-loved film", and is re-released now for the centenary of Clement's birth. BONJOUR TRISTESSE also with its sun-drenched South of France will also look good on a big screen. ROMAN HOLIDAY will also do well: "its a great summer movie, Audrey Hepburn always brings in a crowd, and it has a feel-good quality".  Sometimes, as with LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, when it comes to watching movies only a big screen will do.

One of my theatre highlights last year was seeing Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde in David Hare's THE JUDAS KISS which we saw at the compact Hampstead Theatre last summer, before its west end run earlier this year. Rupert also had his second volume of memoirs out VANISHED YEARS which I bought in hardback, but only got around to reading it now - and its like listening to an old witty friend. Totally enjoyable, as per the splendid reviews, and its out now in paperback. Essential holiday reading. Though the likes of Richard Curtis and Emma Freud, Tina Brown, Madonna, Harvey Weinstein, Piers Morgan, Alistair Campbell, Ross Kemp and others must have found it alarming reading. Rupert deliciously skewers our trashy celebrity culture, as in "success for a movie star is no longer simply based on a good performance in a good film. It is measured in perfumes, and book deals, clothing contracts and celebrity endorsements, and the perception of success is as important as the actual quality of the product", 
How very true, as nobody seems ashamed of making trash anymore, as we see them promoting their wares on tv every week ...

A new discovery: Concha Buika, flamenco superstar (ok, I had not heard of her before...) she is a house diva with a new album LA NOCHE MAS LARGA which is "multi-layered, multi-textured Afro-latin-flamenco-jazz fusion, as she takes standards by Jacques Brel (Ne Me Quitte Pas) and Billie Holliday (Don't Explain) to places their creators never knew existed". This sounds like one to investigate ....


  1. Michael thanks for the various information.

    Now own the restored criterion dvd 'Plein Soleil', a superlative version of a superlative film in every sense and worthy top 10 inclusion.
    May I ask whether 'Bonjour Tristesse' has now been restored to maximum quality for cinema with DVD/BluRay to follow or do you mean the old print returns? Thank you for any advice.
    'La Noche Mas Larga' sounds very worthwhile!
    Happy summertime!

  2. Thanks Emma, It seems to be a new restored BONJOUR TRISTESSE initially for cinema showings, though no doubt a dvd/bluray will follow, as with the new StudioCanal PLEIN SOLEIL. cheers, Michael

    1. PS. I would have thought everyone knew ROMAN HOLIDAY so well to risk putting it back in cinemas, but as the man said, Audrey always brings in the crowd!