NEWS ARCHIVE - 21st to 27th MAY 2007


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24th May 2007


BFI DVD will release a comprehensive collection of short films by Czech animator Jan Svankmajer on June the 25th.

The collection will feature nearly eight hours of material spread across three discs, packaged in a "deluxe digipack" with a fifty-four page booklet. Its release coincides with a preview of Svankmajer's latest film, 2005's Lunacy, which spearheads a Svankmajer retrospective at the BFI (Svankmajer himself will be attending the BFI on Tuesday).

The set was prepared by Michael Brooke (who was also responsible for last year's excellent Quay Brothers set). Jan Svankmajer - The Complete Short Films spans almost thirty years of the director's output, starting with 1964's The Last Trick. The set will include both versions of The Ossuary (including the version with the banned soundtrack); the music video made for Stranglers front man Hugh Cornell, Another Kind of Love; and two Art Breaks created for MTV.

The third disc will feature bonus material, including a bonus short, Johanes Doktor Faust (1958); the fifty-four minute Channel 4 version of The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (1984, with a new introduction by the Quay Brothers); the French documentary Les Chimères des Svankmajer (2001, 58m) and interviews with Jan and Eva Svankmajer. It will also feature the trailer for Lunacy, to bring things up to date.

The set will feature material in various ratios, with a mixture of Czech, French and English dialogue, with optional English and HoH subtitles (including extras).

The RRP is £29.99 (not £32.99, which is what many etailers are basing their price on). The full press release has been added to the disc's Incoming record.

More information about Contender's 9th Company Collector's Edition DVD is now available. (It was originally announced here, a few weeks ago).

The two-disc set features the film on disc one (a DVD-9), in anamorphic 2.41:1 ratio, with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 384kbps) and DTS 5.1 (at full-rate 1536kbps!) audio tracks, and optional English subtitles. It appears, from watching a few minutes of the film, that the film features the 'original' English-language burnt-in captions (i.e.: not player-generated captions). The average bit-rate for the film is a healthy 7.73Mb/s. The disc also features trailers for Typhoon and Duelist.

The second disc (a DVD-5) features a Making The Movie documentary (39m); a 20 Years Later documentary (30m); footage from The Premiere (9m); and five TV spots and trailers (grouped together in the menus misleadingly as Behind The Scenes).

A selection of menu screens from the set can be found here. The disc is released on June the 11th. The RRP is £19.99.

You can see menu screens for three forthcoming Optimum British horror films - Ghost Ship, The Beast Must Die and Dr. Crippen - here.

The Beast Must Die and Ghost Ship are both presented in 4:3 format (the former looks like an un-matted transfer, with a fair bit of dead space at the top of the frame). Dr. Crippen is presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 format. A quick scan through the film suggests that the framing is fine, and that the (apparently re-mastered) print has good contrast. All three films are due on June the 25th.

Metrodome will release the tight French thriller Them (aka Ils) on DVD on July the 2nd.

The film will be presented in anamorphic 2.36:1 format, with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 French tracks, with optional English or English HoH subtitles.

The film is supplemented by a Making of... featurette (27m); a video interview with composer Rene-Marc Bini (10m); a featurette on the filming of Clementine's Ordeal (7m); a Police Press Conference With The Victim's Sister (2m); Footage Recovered From The Original Location (a 1m trailer); The Awful Truth text feature; and a Marketing Campaign Gallery (including trailers and TV spots).

The RRP is £17.99. You can see menu screens from the disc here.

Metrodome will release Going To Pieces - The Rise And Fall of the Slasher Film, an eighty-eight minute documentary, on DVD on June the 25th.

The documentary is presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 format, with 2.0 Dolby Digital audio and optional English HoH subtitles.

The documentary features interviews with numerous genre luminaries, including John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Sean S. Cunningham and Tom Savini.

The disc features a commentary track by producers Rachel Belofsky and Rudy Scalese, and editor Michael Bohusz; extended interviews (33m); three quizzes; and a written Message from author [of the book the documentary is based on] Adam Rockoff. The press release also claims that the disc contains deleted scenes, but I wasn't able to find them.

The RRP is £19.99. You can see menu screens from the disc here.


Universal Playback is celebrating the re-release of Xena: Warrior Princess on DVD with a photo' opportunity in Golden Square, London W1 on Tuesday the 29th of May at 9am.

To quote from the press release...

Two top Xena-clad glamour models will take to the mud wrestling ring in central London to celebrate the DVD release of Xena: Warrior Princess, Seasons 1 & 2, courtesy of Universal Playback.

Pin-up favourites Emily Clark and Katie Downes, will enter the ring as TV drama’s most popular female action hero where they will get to grips with each other in one of the oldest forms of unarmed combat …wrestling – Xena style!

21st May 2007


There's a new DVD review on the site today! Andrew Smith has examined the Dick Van Dyke Show - Season Two DVD set, from Revelation Films. Buyers of the first set will probably need little convincing to pick up the second, but Andrew's review should help you if you're new to the series. Click here to read the review.


There's loads of Optimum news today! So much, in fact, that In many cases, I've added details directly to the appropriate Incoming pages.

This includes details of their nine-disc Harold Lloyd Collection; River Phoenix's last film, Silent Tongue; stylish thriller Unknown; Shane Meadows' This Is England; the Comic Icons - Alastair Sim set and the Comic Icons - Will Hay set.

The line-up for the Screen Icons - Dirk Bogarde set has finally been announced: it will contain The Blue Lamp, The Sleeping Tiger, The Servant, Accident, Victim, The Spanish Gardener and Hunted.

Optimum will release David Lynch's Inland Empire as a two-disc set on August the 20th. Bonus features will include (TBC) David Lynch Masterclass; David Lynch interview at the Cartier Foundation; Guardian / NFT interview with David Lynch and Mark Kermode; Film 2007 Interview with David Lynch; and an interview with sound mixer Dean Hurley.

Optimum's schedule:

9th July - Visconti's Senso; Antonioni's L'Eclisse; The Conquest of Everest; Gerad Depardieu in Buffet Froid, Helas Pour Moi and Camille Claudel; The Harold Lloyd Collection

23rd July - Silent Tongue; The Jean-Luc Godard Collection - Volume 2 (Pierrot Le Fou, Une Femme Est Une Femme, La Chinoise, Le Petit Soldat and Detective); Screen Icons - James Mason; Screen Icons - Dirk Bogarde; The Minus Man

6th August - Unknown; The Caiman; Aprile; Jacques Becker's Casque D’Or, Le Trou and Touchez Pas Au Grisbi

20th August - Inland Empire; Western Classics Deadly Companions (Peckinpah), Canyon Passage (Tourneur), Seminole (Boetticher) and The True Story of Jesse James (Ray); The All Blacks rugby documentary

3rd September - This Is England; Sam Fuller's House of Bamboo, Fixed Bayonets and Hell and High Water

19th September - Patrice Leconte's My Best Friend; French Classics Les Bronzes and Romuald et Juliette; a Brotherhood of the Wolf Special Edition; Comic Icons - Alastair Sim; Comic Icons - Will Hay;

Momentum have announced the details of the CSI - Crime Scene Investigation - Series 6 - 6.13-6.24 box set, which is due on June the 4th.

In addition to the episodes, the set will include commentary tracks on Killer (with Naren Shankar, Kenneth Fink and Dustin Lee Abraham) and Poppin' Tags (with Dustin Lee Abraham and George Eads); Apparent Cause of Death featurette; Gadgets and Gizmos featurette; Coroner’s Report featurette; and Season Six Trajectory featurette. The RRP is £34.99.


American label VCI has formally announced the titles that will be featured on volumes six and seven of their Hammer Film Noir Double Feature collection. Both discs will be released on June the 26th.

Vol 6 will feature Terence Fisher's The Black Glove (a.k.a. Face The Music) and Daniel Birt's The Deadly Game (a.k.a. Third Party Risk). The Deadly Game will be presented in "widescreen" format.

Vol 7 will feature two Terence Fisher films: The Unholy Four (a.k.a. The Stranger Came Home) and A Race For Life (a.k.a. Mask of Dust).

Both discs will feature Bios, trailers, trivia and photo's. Vol 7 will feature an interview with producer Richard Gordon and genre expert Tom Weaver. Each disc has an SRP of $14.99.

The Hammer DVD Guide has been updated accordingly.


The BFI Imax theatre has announced a new batch of After Dark screenings, including a very tempting Alien Quadrilogy All-Nighter (where three of the films will be screened from 70mm prints!) Here's the press release:

After the roaring success of 300, which took over the late evening slot for the last two months, After Dark at the BFI IMAX is back with an extra-special event on Saturday 2 June - an all-night screening of the Alien Quadrilogy with the added bonus of Alien, Aliens and Alien 3 presented in stunning 70mm. Also showing soon on the big screen on the South Bank will be four current movie hits; Hot Fuzz, Sunshine, 28 Weeks Later and Curse of the Golden Flower.

For the first time at the BFI IMAX since 2000, sci-fi and horror fans can not only see Ridley Scott’s ground-breaking movie - one of the scariest films ever made - back on the big screen again, but can sit in comfort, even with a beverage or two and enjoy the three sequels. It’s a marathon SEVEN hours of viewing to handle throughout the night, so remember…. in space no one can hear you scream.

After Dark dates and times are:

Fri 25 - Thurs 31 May at 8.45pm - Hot Fuzz (15)

Fri 1 - Thurs 7 June at 8.45pm (except for 6.45pm on 2 June) - Sunshine (15)

Sat 2 June at 9.00pm - Alien Quadrilogy all-nighter - all four films showing back to back, with a 30-minute break between each

9.00pm - Alien 70mm (15)

12 midnight - Aliens 70mm (18)

2.30am - Alien 3 70mm (18)

5.00am - Alien: Resurrection (18)

Fri 8 - Thurs 14 June at 8.45pm - 28 Weeks Later (18)

Fri 15 - Thurs 21 June at 8.45pm - Curse of the Golden Flower (15)

During the all-night event teas and coffees will be provided FREE, with snacks, sweets and soft drinks available to buy and a range of alcoholic drinks on sale at the bar.

All films with the exception of Alien, Aliens and Alien 3 which are the original 70mm versions, will be shown in their original theatrical 35mm versions (NB. not IMAX or IMAX DMR); the image will fill approximately one third of the giant screen.

Cinema information

The BFI IMAX is located at South Bank, London SE1. Nearest tube is Waterloo (2 minutes walk). Tickets for the Alien all-nighter are £25.00 for Adults and £18 for Concessions and can be bought either online from from the ticket desk in person or by telephoning the box office on 0870 787 2525. Tickets for the other films showing in May and June are £8.50 Adults and £6.25 Concessions.

About After Dark at the BFI IMAX

Created to offer an alternative during the evening to the mainly family-friendly titles that generally comprise our programme, After Dark is an opportunity for local residents south of the River to see new releases on the big screen. Films are screened in their original theatrical 35mm formats, unless otherwise indicated, using standard projection (i.e. not IMAX or IMAX digital re-mastering); the image fills approximately one third of the screen, making it one of the biggest pictures in London. As the auditorium is designed as a sound studio, sound quality is excellent. The BFI IMAX, two minutes from Waterloo station, offers a perfect view from steeply raked seats. Alcoholic drinks along with snacks, sweets and soft drinks are available to buy. The After Dark programme changes regularly and customers are advised to check our website or local listings for details.

Last week's Zeta Minor News can be viewed here.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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