Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Now available from the Criterion Collection: THE WAR ROOM

* New, restored high-definition digital transfer from the original 16mm camera negative, approved by directors Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

* Return of the War Room, a 2008 Sundance Channel documentary by Hegedus and Pennebaker in which advisers James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Paul Begala, and others reflect on the effect that the Clinton war room had on the way campaigns are run

* New pieces in which the filmmakers discuss the difficulties of shooting in the campaign’s fast-paced environment

* Panel discussion hosted by the William J. Clinton Foundation, featuring Carville, Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, journalist Ron Brownstein, and surprise guest Bill Clinton

* Interview with strategist Stanley Greenberg on the evolution of polling

* PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by writer Louis Menand

"The film looks like new thanks to a fantastic high-digital transfer courtesy of The Criterion Collection...great supplements." - Nigel Smith, IndieWire

"The film’s transfer looks about as good as it can look...it’s remarkable that it looks even this good. A terrific series of follow-up bonus material greatly increases the value of the package particularly for fans of the film. Highly recommended!" - Matt Hough, Home Theater Forum

"Hegedus and Pennebaker's film captures the turning of a page in how politics are conducted, and Criterion's excellent edition gives the film its best imaginable presentation, with a slew of fine bonus features." - Jason Bailey, DVDTalk

"Criterion has delivered an excellent edition for the film...the audio was actually quite stunning and the supplements were all incredibly fascinating, offering some context to the film by taking a deeper look at the campaign while also going over the nuances and difficulties in making a documentary of this nature. A great job overall and for those that enjoy the film or are fascinated by politics in general this release comes with a high recommendation." - Chris Galloway, CriterionForum.org

Order the Blu-Ray edition or the standard DVD edition from the Criterion Collection.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

THE FEELING OF BEING THERE: a filmmaker's memoir

"I made my first film, aged 14, in 1935 and I have been at it ever since, striving to give my viewers a sense of 'being there.'

"There have been years of frustration on one level and the joys of achievement on another.

"Writing about film has much in common with writing about wine: you can't taste the wine by reading. Well, I think you have a similar problem when you write about films: you can't see the movies on the printed page. So it occurred to me that if I embed excerpts, and often entire films, within the book, then you, the reader, could actually experience what I am talking about." (excerpt from Introduction)

The Feeling of Being There is a riveting autobiographical epic spanning almost the entire history of cinema as seen through the eyes of one of its leading players.

From Canary Bananas, his first movie in 1935, to a musical production in post Soviet Siberia, Richard Leacock's memoir follows history through the eyes of a man who was present at so many key moments of the 20th century, among them, the battle for Burma, the Japanese surrender at Nanking, John F. Kennedy's primary campaign, the Kenyan leap towards independence, and the enrollment of the first African American students at the University of Alabama.

The Feeling of Being There will be both a bound paper book and a Digital Video Book (or DVB) viewable on computer. In the limited special edition, or "Collector's box," the numbered and signed hardcover book comes with an embedded video player containing close to 100 film clips which intertwine richly with the gripping storyline.

Leacock has worked in documentary since its inception. This book, with its many original photos and films, is a cornerstone in the legacy of cinema.

Order the memoir via PayPal or through Amazon.com