June Prompt: Twilight Time Goodbye….Hello

In May it was announced that Twilight Time would no longer be in business (though some of this remains hazy after ScreenArchives.com announced it will be purchasing the distributor and continuing operations — to what extent? We’ll find out in July).

Twilight Time was a boutique physical media label started in 2011 by Nick Redman and Brian Jamieson with the intent of releasing classic films unavailable on Blu-ray. They teased open studio catalogs with the promise that each disc would be limited to 3000 units, after which the rights would revert back to the original holder.

The announcement of the label’s closing proved disappointing for physical media collectors, although not entirely unexpected. After the unfortunate passing of Nick Redman last year and Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox (a studio upon which TT had relied for many of its releases), Twilight Time’s fate appeared sealed.

Twilight Time was my first deep dive into the world of collecting physical media. It introduced me to a lot of classic films, some of which have become my all time favorites. The company — based on its distribution model — also caused me learn more about the business side of physical media and branch out into other boutique labels. If it wasn’t for Twilight Time, I would have never discovered other labels such as Arrow, Indicator or even learned about the nefarious practice of region-locking (and how to overcome it). 

While my wife would have been happy for me not discovering this world, it has brought me a lot of joy and entertainment. While my bank account has not necessarily benefited, I’ve brought new ammunition into the debates over the future and utility of physical media. Twilight Time’s education has been well worth the dent in my wallet. 

At Cinema Shame we wanted to send some love to the Twilight Time label. For the month of June, Cinema Shame’s moviewatching prompt focuses on releases from Twilight Time. With a catalog of 380 films, spanning a large variety of genres, there are certainly some classics waiting for your first-time watch. To give you a starting point from my own Twilight Time adventures, my highest recommendations would be: Sam Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) featuring a career-defining performance from Warren Oates.

Warren

My second pick is Walter Hill’s The Driver (1978), which opened up a new world of Bruce Dern.

the drive

What will be my first selection for Cinema Shame from the Twilight Time catalog? An easy question with an embarrassing answer. I will be selecting a film that was actually part of my first order of Twilight Time releases from way back in 2013: the 1964 film Zulu. Michael Caine’s first major film role.

michael

Next will be Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) which I picked up two years ago from Amoeba Music in San Francisco because of its appearance in Danny Peary’s “Guide for the Film Fanatic.” Next, John Boorman’s Zardoz (1974), which will hopefully provide some context for Sean Connery’s amazing fashion in this film.

Zardoz

If you haven’t ever purchased a Twilight Time release, check out their current sale. Titles are growing more limited by the way, but fantastic films remain with amazing prices. I’m sure I will probably place another order before it is over as I discovered they have a giallo with Barbara Bach called Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971) that clearly deserves a watch.

Share your selections this month by emailing us at cinemashame@gmail.com or on twitter @Cinemashame.

Don’t forget to check out the recent podcast episodes of Cinema Shame, where James David Patrick (@007hertzrumble) and Trey Lawson (@T_Lawson) discuss Quarantine Comfort films.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts / Stitcher Radio / Spotify / Google Podcasts

Direct download (right click, save as): https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/cinemashame/CinemaShame_GodzillaGigan.mp3

Until next month–

@campbelldropout

Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” Makes History and Our February Prompt

BongJoonHo
Happiness

 

History was made on Sunday night at the 92nd annual Academy Awards when Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” became the first non-English film to win the coveted Best Picture award. It was an exciting event to watch, especially for me who thought that the front runner would fall short when it came to the Academy voters. I was wrong and in order to celebrate this milestone, for the month of February we will be focusing on films that have won or been nominated for Best Foreign Language film. I’m not saying the Academy is the end all and be all of selecting foreign cinema but as with the other Oscars categories, I believe they can be a good starting point when diving into the vast world of cinema. Prior to 1956, the 29th Academy Awards, there was no official Foreign Language award, only some honorary/special awards had been giving out in the past, this included classics such as “Rashomon” and “Bicycle Thieves,” two previously conquered Cinema Shames. 

Below are my selections for the month of February.

  1. Roma – 2018 (91st Academy Award Winner)
  2. 8 ½ – 1963 (36th Academy Award Winner)
  3. The Battle of Algiers 1966 (39th Academy Award Nominee)

BattleofAlgiers

     4. Betty Blue – 1986 (59th Academy Award Nominee)

     5. Cinema Paradiso – 1989 (62nd Academy Award Nominee)

 

CinemaParadiso

Let us know your selections this month by emailing us at cinemashame@gmail.com or on twitter @Cinemashame.

2020 Shame Statement

Will I ever get to the point of not having some Cinema Shames to discuss? Probably not, too many films, too many distractions and too little time. It is still fun to prioritize a list of films to watch over the next year. Even as I’m writing this, Martin Sheen is staring me down from the cover of “Apocalypse Now,” daring me to watch. I’ve decided to cast aside previous entries and start fresh, you know the whole “new decade, new me” process. 

 

  1. Apocalypse Now – Picked up the 4K release last year. 
  2. Philadelphia – Watched the “Silence of the Lambs” Criterion release two times last year and then saw “Something Wild” last month. I’m looking forward to those Demme’s close-ups.
  3. Inherent Vice – PTA release that I’ve had since it’s release on blu-ray but have failed to watch. 
  4. The More the Merrier – Jean Arthur
  5. A Foreign Affair – I need more Jean Arthur in my life and throwing Billy Wilder begins the camera cannot be a bad mixture 
  6. Danger Diabolik – two film opinions I trust on the interwebs  James Patrick and Jay Cheel speak highly and with the upcoming blu-ray release sounds like a perfect addition to this list
  7. Fail Safe – finished Sidney Luke’s Biogeapby by in January, a strong director where I have a  large gap in his filmography
  8. Serpico – Sidney Lumet film
  9. Dog Day Afternoon – Sidney Lumet film
  10. Cinema Paradiso 
  11. Zardoz – Sean Connery in red suspenders has been around in my mind too long without context
  12. The Hospital – I got this signed by Diana Rigg over a year ago and have yet to watch the movie
  13. Lone Wolf and Cub series
  14. Lady Snowblood
  15. Any film by Akira Kurosawa