Eyes Without a Face

Criterion Files

The Criterion Collection is full of great movies, all carefully tabulated and accounted for with spine numbers and easily made accessible through various search means on their website. But besides the 600+ titles (out of print and not) included in The Collection, the extensive variety of special features attended in Criterion discs occasionally incorporate other feature-length and short films not officially enumerated as part of the collection itself. However, several of these films, while “hidden” in special features sections and second discs and placed subserviently to the ostensibly more “significant” featured title, are absolute gems arguably worthy of their own releases. Of course, short films are by no means uncommon in Criterion discs. You can see David Cronenberg’s contemplative short piece Camera (2000) in the annals of Videodrome, or the original short-form Bottle Rocket in Criterion’s release of Wes Anderson’s first feature. But Criterion (a company that has sometimes released short films on their own) also has several notable short and feature-length films in their special features that stand alone as cinematic accomplishments, and serve more a interesting and important purpose than as a supplement of a director’s other, briefer work. Here are four solid films hidden in the supplements of Criterion’s titles…

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For what’s looking to be the last official programming announcement from this year’s AFI FEST presented by Audi, the fest has revealed their special film retrospective as curated by Guest Artistic Director Pedro Almodóvar. The filmmaker has put together a program of five films (including one of his own) to form an essential cross-section of horror films and thrillers. Almodóvar’s picks include his own Law of Desire, saying that the film is “a fundamental title in my career…I don’t think I’d change a single shot, and not because it’s perfect but because I recognize myself in all of them…It’s true that my palette has darkened and, in the case of the latest film, the humor has almost disappeared. Fortunately I’ve changed sufficiently so that no one can accuse me of repeating myself, but I’m still the same.” The film’s screening will take place on Monday, November 7, and Almodóvar and star Antonio Banderas (also the star of that “latest film” Almodóvar mentions, the magnetic The Skin I Live In) will introduce the film, and it will be followed by a “conversation” about the auteur’s career. AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. The best part? Tickets for all screenings are free (and available starting this Thursday, October 27). Even with parking fees in Hollywood, that’s still cheaper than a movie ticket. The complete schedule grid is now online for […]

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. A Texas man was the recipient of the first face transplant done in the United States last week. Of course, the first face transplant done took place, appropriately, in France. It seems for years the French have been fascinated by removing and transmuting faces, and this trailer for the 1960 classic dark mystery film is the proof. If you thought modern day horror movies were twisted, you should see what they were up to fifty years ago. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Criterion Files

I don’t know if you knew this, but it turns out the French have balls. Yes, they’re historically notorious for being risk-takers and innovators in the world of high art, but who knew they could beat Hollywood at its own game? Sure, France has had a great tradition of imitating and building off American genre cinema (look at Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows or Jean-Pierre Melville’s many films noirs), but what was truly surprising was when they proved they could dance toe-to-toe with us on our “lower” genres, that they could make their own B-horror flicks.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Luke Mullen and Brian Salisbury stop by to dig into the problems of the MPAA, review three terrible awful no-good very bad films, and share with us 6 things they’ve seen on film that they can’t un-see. It’s incredibly effective, and you’ll be moved. Plus, we make jokes about Pepe Le Pew. En Francais.

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culturewarrior-horror60

1960 changed horror filmmaking forever. Don’t believe me? Read on.

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