On The Download
Wisely following the prints of the Warner Brothers Archive, Sony/Columbia have unveiled their own line of overdue library titles with their SCREEN CLASSICS BY REQUEST. There are some fantastic films on this list and more to come I hope — NEIGHBORS! I’m most excited about the release here of MICKEY ONE (1965) and DUFFY (1968), two disparate yet vital cult films. Arthur Penn’s existential nouvelle vogue MICKEY ONE starring Warren Beatty as a bad comedian on the run from mob bosses — and himself — might be the most pretentious studio film of the 60’s, possibly the 70’s and 80’s as well. Which is all to its benefit as far as I’m concerned. MICKEY ONE is one of the first cinematic salvos for what would become The New Hollywood Cinema, a perfect prelude to BONNIE & CLYDE, except Penn’s film is wildly abstract and experimental, shot by Ghislain Cloquet in glorious Kafka noir black and white (with jazz score by Stan Getz!). Beatty is terrific, certainly mannered, but brazen and I like the ideas of these two stubborn artists trying to buck the system. MICKEY ONE deserves a full-blown DVD release with commentary, etc. but at least we can finally have a remastered version of this cult curio. I still have never seen DUFFY (1968) but any late 60’s film with James Coburn as the leader of a thief gang in Swinging London who hijack a yacht is one for the pop-art movie vaults. This is a healthy trend and hopefully other studios follow suit to keep film history unreeling.