Rebels, Mavericks, Naughtiness, and Deep Dark Celluloid Secrets

Just uploaded is a quartet of reviews on filmmakers, British bawdiness, and a dark Hollywood secret:

- Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered (2008) is an affectionate tribute to the infamous filmmaker by Mike Baronas, who asked almost 90 actors, technicians, and colleagues ‘What is your fondest memory of Fulci?’ The responses are much broader than expected, and not everyone has nice things to say about a director known for pioneering superior gore films like Zombie, and took painful eye trauma to new heights.

- Gary Leva’s Fog City Mavericks (Anchor Bay / Starz Home Entertainment) profiles three generations of independent-minded filmmakers who settled in and around San Francisco, and adore the city’s lifestyle and long distance from smoggy L.A.

- Shepperton Babylon (2005) is still unavailable on home video, but this BBC Four doc provides a fun, seriously lurid profile of Britain’s esteemed studio which flourished after talking pictures made stars of some unique and unexpected performers. Directed by Ben McPherson, written by Matthew Sweet, and narrated by the inimitable Charlie Higson, one gets some history factoids, but it’s really the smut that makes the doc such a fun, guilt-free ride.

- David Stenn’s decision to include himself in his documentary about a long-buried rape case from 1937 may seem to some like an act of supreme ego gratification, but he was the researcher who stumbled upon the case of Patricia Douglas, a dancer who launched a human rights case against MGM when she was raped at a salesman convention. If you can accept Stenn as director, writer, host, co-star, and historian, then Girl 27 (Westlake Entertainment) is a chilling snapshot of what young girls had to fear when the old studio system groomed banks of talent for stardom, and a few scumbags could do dastardly deeds with impunity.

Coming next: Tangerine Dream: Live at Coventry Cathedral on DVD, plus more soundtrack reviews.

And imminent: Samuel Bronston’s Fall of the Roman Empire.


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