Blu-ray: Gloria Swanson is ‘Zaza’ and Rudolph Valentino is ‘The Sheik’ and ‘Son of the Sheik’

Zaza (Kino Lorber) Gloria Swanson plays the music hall star Zaza (1923), Allan Dwan’s spirited silent film adaptation of the 19th century play by Pierre Berton and Charles Simon. This is “the Zaza of today,” reads the introduction, a 20th century version with Swanson as the temperamental star attraction of the top music hall in […]

Emmy-winning drama ‘Playing for Time’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Playing for Time (1980), based on the memoir by Holocaust survivor Fania Fénelon and scripted for television by Arthur Miller, arrived a couple years after the excellent 1978 mini-series Holocaust to present a far more intimate drama and one of the most powerful TV events of its era. Vanessa Redgrave was a controversial choice to […]

Peter Sellers is Inspector Clouseau in six Pink Panther comedies directed by Blake Edwards

Blu-ray: ‘The Pink Panther Film Collection’ on Shout! Factory

All six Pink Panther features directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau are featured in this six-disc Blu-ray collection, four of them making their respective Blu-ray debuts. Clouseau was but a supporting character in The Pink Panther (1963), a comic heist film with David Niven as the legendary jewel thief “the […]

Chhabi Biswas stars in Satyajit Ray's masterpiece from India

Satyajit Ray’s ‘The Music Room’ on The Criterion Channel

In his first films, the acclaimed Pather Panchali and Aparajito, the great East Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray eschewed the song and dance interludes that were part of the conventions of domestic Indian cinema. The Music Room (1959) features both song and dance but not in the way of popular cinema. They are integral parts of […]