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.
My second pick is Walter Hill’s The Driver (1978), which opened up a new world of Bruce Dern.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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Until next month–