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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Picnic (1955) starring William Holden Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This rather dated and overly melodramatic adaptation of William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning play is redeemed by some beautiful cinematography and Susan Strasberg's turn as a shrewd, brattish tomboy. Also starring Kim Novak and William Holden.

William Holden and Kim Novak in Picnic

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Human Desire (1954) dir: Fritz Lang Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

This Americanised adaptation of Jean Renoir's version of Émile Zola’s novel La Bête humaine is one of Lang's more underrated film noirs. The director's cinematic flair and the ambiguities in the central characterisations make for a gripping watch.

Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in Human Desire

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True Stories (1986) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's first and only feature film is an interesting but somewhat uneven oddity. It looks and sounds great but comes across as being unfocused and self-consciously twee. It provided John Goodman with his first big break.

David Byrne in True Stories (1986)

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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) Blu Ray (Eureka!)

It’s the film which was meant to reunite director Robert Aldrich with What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. When the latter dropped out, Olivia de Havilland replaced her. While not as original as its predecessor, it takes the gothic delirium that bit further.

Bette Davis with gun in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

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Climax (2018) dir: Gaspar Noé Blu Ray & DVD (Arrow)

Noé’s latest film is a challenging and dread-inducing depiction of human deterioration under the influence of LSD-spiked sangria. It is a breathlessly audacious piece of work but not for everyone. Starring Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub and Kiddy Smile.

Climax (2018) starring Sofia Boutella

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R.P.M. (1970) dir: Stanley Kramer Blu Ray (Indicator)

This fictional dramatisation of America's late-1960s campus protests suffers from clunky didacticism. Nonetheless, the central debate remains compelling, Anthony Quinn is perfectly cast and the finale sends palpable chills down the spine. Also starring Ann-Margaret, Gary Lockwood and Paul Winfield.

R.P.M. (1970) poster

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The Last Movie (1971) dir: Dennis Hopper Blu Ray (Indicator)

Hopper's second film as director was - and, to be honest, still is - a rambling and self-indulgent mess. However, this disc is a must due to the sheer wealth of extras here, not least being an excellent Alex Cox documentary on its production.

Dennis Hopper in The Last Movie (1971)

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Gardens of Stone (1987) Blu Ray (Indicator)

Francis Ford Coppola's little-seen look at the Vietnam War from the home front is a worthy, sombre effort which never quite delivers the emotional sucker punch that it aims for. However, there are sterling performances by James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones and D. B. Sweeney.

Gardens of Stone (1987)

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Breakout (1975) starring Charles Bronson Blu Ray (Indicator)

This average rescue escapade, based on the true story of Joel David Kaplan getting busted out of a Mexico City prison by pilot Vic Stadler, benefits from some enjoyable performances and an exciting last 25 minutes. Also starring Robert Duvall, Jill Ireland, John Huston, Randy Quaid and Sheree North.

Charles Bronson in Breakout

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Laura (1944) dir: Otto Preminger Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This classic film noir mystery is, at its heart, a dreamlike study of obsession - and one which has considerable relevance in today's post-#MeToo era. It features memorable performances by Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb and Vincent Price.

A painting of Laura (1944), a film directed by Otto Preminger

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

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