6th January 2006
interesting Australian release slipped out virtually unnoticed during the
run-up to Christmas, and the general kerfuffle of Umbrella's recent
re-organisation. It's a six-disc box set of Thames' period adventure
series Reilly Ace of Spies (the discs are DVD-5s, with two episodes
The series is available in the UK (from
Acorn) and in the US (from A&E), but Umbrella's Australian set would seem
to be a strong contender for being the best choice.
True, it lacks the Region 1 set's Life
of Reilly: The Super Spy documentary (about the real Reilly), but
boasts superior (PAL) picture quality. (The series was shot on 16mm film,
but it's likely the Region 1 set was a standards conversion from an
existing set of PAL telecine transfers).
Acorn's UK edition is generally twice the
price of the Umbrella edition (which is about £25). Here's are links to
the set's listings at
More details about Goodnight Sweetheart
Series Three (see below) are now available. The two episodes with
commentary tracks are It Ain't Necessarily So (by Maurice Gran,
Gary Lawson and John Phelps) and The Yanks Are Coming (by Lawson
and Phelps). The video interview with Dervla Kerwin runs for twenty-two
Archive television group Kaleidoscope have
announced their latest publication: Forsyte and Hindsight, the
memoirs of one of Britain's accomplished television directors, James
Cellan Jones. Here's the press release in full...
Available to pre-order from 15th January!
‘It is difficult to remember that all those
years ago, the BBC treated The Forsyte Saga as just another show.
We had no idea that forty years on it would still be watched by thousands,
or that it would be regarded as the BBC’s first Classic serial and indeed
would be part of the title of this book. We had done plenty of Classics
before that we thought were rather good and we reckoned that this was just
another job, though a bit longer.
We were wrong, weren’t we?
In early 1967 the production team started
work. David Giles was to direct the beginning and I would do a big chunk
in the middle starting with young Jon and Fleur. I cast Martin Jarvis and
Susan Hampshire. She was very nervous and frightened and was concealing
profound dyslexia. When I got the scripts I was in despair. The series was
already underway, I was to direct eight weeks of location filming and the
scripts were drab, boring and conventional. I said to Donald, with my
heart in my mouth, that I couldn’t direct them. Donald said, ‘I’ll write
you the location film sequences and by the time you have
finished I will have the studio scripts ready.’
We proceeded. I made up a lot of
introductory shots, one for each episode. Many of them we threw away
later. The filming went spectacularly well. When we were filming Jon and
Chanctonbury Ring, where Susan sang, enchantingly, ‘O who will o’er the
Downs with me?’ Donald arrived in a rage: ‘What’s this I hear about you
overspending and commissioning music?’ ‘Two oboes only,’ I said crisply.
‘I’m not bloody made of money,’ he said. There was a roaring and a
rattling sound from above. ‘And what the hell’s that?’ ‘That’s the
helicopter I’ve ordered for the next shot. May we get on?’ I said.’
James Cellan Jones is one of Britain’s
foremost directors of classic plays, series and serials. Credits include
Portrait Of A Lady, The Ambassadors, Out Of The Unknown,
Play For Today, Holby City and A Bequest To The Nation.
He is involved in every aspect of production and his work on The
Forsyte Saga, Fortunes Of War and Harnessing Peacocks is
still watched by audiences worldwide.
For the first time, James reveals the
inside story of his days at the BBC and in independent production. He
talks frankly about the scandals and awards of being a jobbing
professional in ‘the business’.
Published 24th January 2006. £28 hdbck, £18
Hardcover or papercover, 292pp, with 40pp of rare and unseen photos, and a
detail appendix of work. ISBN 1-900203-11-1
More details are available at the
4th January 2006
third season of Goodnight Sweetheart will be released by Revelation
on January the 23rd.
The two-disc set features ten episodes,
originally screened in 1996, and the fifty-minute Christmas 1995 episode,
Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (which features a cameo
appearance by a familiar-looking Police Box). This is the last series to
feature the show's original line-up of Dervla Kirwan and Michelle Holmes
(as Phoebe and Yvonne, respectively).
The set features two episodes with
commentary tracks by series co-creator Maurice Gran and writers Gary
Lawson and John Phelps. The set also features an exclusive interview with
Goodnight Sweetheart - The Complete
Series Three has an RRP of £19.99.
seventh series of Will & Grace will be released by Contender Home
Entertainment on January the 30th. (This is the season that starts on
Channel 4 on Friday).
The set features all twenty-four episodes.
According to the sleeve image (left), it will also include a "bonus
feature", although this was not mentioned in the press release.
The episodes include guest appearances by
Janet Jackson, Sex and the City's Kristin Davis, Jeff Goldblum,
Lily Tomlin, Ed Burns, Luke Perry, Sharon Stone, Lee Majors, Alec Baldwin
and Eric Stolz.
RRP for the six-disc set is £49.99.
A preview clip from the opening episode of
the series is available here:
Home Video will release A Film About Jimi Hendrix on January the
The two-disc set features a "digitally
transferred and restored" version Joe Boyd's 1973 authorised tribute film,
which was originally released three years after the musician's untimely
death. It features live performance footage spanning Hendrix's entire
career (including the landmark Monterey and Isle of Wight festival
performances), as well as behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with
friends and admirers (including contributions from Pete Townshend, Mick
Jagger and Eric Clapton).
The film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen
format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Bonus material includes a
never-before-seen performance of Stone Free from the July 4th, 1970
Atlanta Pop Festival (culled from the Experience Hendrix estate vaults);
The Making of Dolly Dagger (analyised by producer / engineer Eddie
Kramer); and From Ukulele to the Strat (an hour's worth of bonus
RRP for the set is £19.99.
Blue Underground made the following
announcement just before Christmas. I've confirmed that this offer extends
to customers in the UK who have the set:
THE BLIND DEAD COLLECTION
Tombs of the Blind Dead and Return of the Evil Dead –
Blue Underground discovered a one-second
audio dropout in the Spanish version of Tombs of the Blind Dead,
and a one-frame video / audio glitch in the Spanish Version of Return
of the Evil Dead, included in The Blind Dead Collection. The
DVDs have been fixed and re-mastered.
Replacement DVDs are ready now should any
customers wish to replace their discs. Please mail the Disc(s) Only (do
not send the plastic case or coffin box) along with the Return Address to:
BLIND DEAD Replacement
11271 Ventura Boulevard #500
Studio City, CA 91604
Film Score Monthly has released two new
soundtrack discs, featuring two scores by John Barry, and a two-disc set
featuring music by Bronislau
The two John Barry scores are paired on a
disc which features music from the star-studded 1972 film version of
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (which features songs with lyrics by
Don Black), and the score for the the 1968 drama Petulia.
scores are presented in their original soundtrack album format, licensed from Warner Bros (which is just as well, because the
rights to Joseph Shaftel's film adaptation of Alice's Adventures...
seem to be in limbo - as demonstrated by the numerous grotty public domain
DVD releases in the US).
The score for Alice's Adventures...
is one of Barry's most enchanting compositions. It focuses on three sweet
ballads, presented on the disc as Curiouser and Curiouser, I've
Never Been This Far Before, and the finale, The Me I Never Knew.
The disc also includes songs featuring Michael Crawford (the White
Rabbit), Sir Robert Helpmann (The Mad Hatter), Peter Sellers (The March
Hare) and Spike Milligan (the Gryphon).
Barry's music for Petulia marked the
composer's second collaboration with director Richard Lester (after 1965's
The Knack... and How To Get It). The film, about the relationship
between a San Franciscan surgeon (George C. Scott) and a quixotic
free-spirited woman (Julie Christie) trapped in an abusive marriage, was a
breakthrough movie for Lester. Barry wrote Petulia's melancholy
score during an extraordinarily-creative period, which also spawned
fabulous scores like You Only Live Twice, The Lion in Winter
and Midnight Cowboy. The film's haunting main theme is presented in
several variations, including a smoky jazz version apparently aimed at
getting radio airplay.
Both scores have been re-mastered from the
original quarter-inch stereo studio album tapes. The disc has a
nicely-illustrated sixteen-page booklet, featuring track notes by Jon
Glass Slipper was, as the title suggests, an adaptation of the
Cinderella tale. The film was made in the wake of the hugely-successful
Lili, by much the same MGM crew. Both films starred Leslie Caron, and
featured music by composer Bronislau Kaper, who was reunited with Lili's
screenwriter / lyricist Helen Deutsch.
The Glass Slipper made prominent use
of its lush, romantic ballet score, and its infectious waltz, Take My
Love (which was recorded as a single by Eddie Fisher).
The film was in production for a long
period, allowing Kaper plenty of time to create and record the music. This
meant that many cues were re-written and re-recorded. The Film Score
Monthly disc presents the film's score on one disc (running in excess of
seventy minutes), and alternate cues and outtakes on a second (totalling
an hour). These were re-mixed from the original 35mm stereo recordings
(conducted by the great Miklós Rózsa).
The disc has extensive sleeve and track
notes by Lukas Kendall, in its twelve-page booklet.
The Glass Slipper is a limited
edition of 300 copies.
Track lists and track samples for both
titles can be found at
the Film Score Monthly website.
A couple of days ago Film Score Monthly
label boss Lukas Kendall issued a list of the company's CD releases that
are running out of stock. If you have any desire to get the following
titles, I suggest you snap them up as soon as possible. There's not a duff
disc among them, and some of them are essential cornerstones in any decent
collection (Patton, for example).
Stagecoach / The Loner
Fantastic Voyage (Leonard Rosenman)
The Return of Dracula / Cabinet of Caligari etc
Patton / Flight of the Phoenix
(Goldsmith / Frank DeVol - 100 left!)
Prince Valiant (Franz Waxman)
Monte Walsh (John Barry)
Prince of Foxes (Alfred
All About Eve / Leave Her To
Heaven (Alfred Newman)
Rio Conchos (Jerry
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
A Guide For the Married Man (John
Batman (Neil Hefti -
less than 200 copies left)
Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (Bernard
Herrmann - less than 100 left)
The French Connection I & II (Don
Ellis - less than 200 left)
The Bravados (Alfred Newman,
The World of Henry Orient
The best place to get Film Score Monthly
discs is from their official distributor,
Screen Archives Entertainment.
ARCHIVE TV NEWS
has announced the dates of four events that will take place during 2006.
Saturday the 4th of March (provisional
guests: Ted Childs, Verity Lambert, and James Cellan Jones)
Saturday the 3rd of June
Saturday the 2nd of September
Saturday the 9th of December
More details will be announced in due
Last week's Zeta Minor News
can be viewed here.
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed