Friday, December 01, 2017

Filmstruck Over Mario Bava


Taking to the air.
A little over a month ago, I was invited down to Atlanta to visit the Turner Studios and participate in a promotional film about Mario Bava for the streaming site Filmstruck. They're the home of the Criterion Channel and its staggering catalogue of international cinema, as well as many other monthly film exclusives, online essays, and even a new podcast. I've never been overly fond of travel but they caught me between jobs and did everything but carry me there in my pajamas. They sent a car for me, picked me up at my front door, flew me down, provided first-rate lodgings, fed me, and generally treated me like a king. They have a terrific, creative team down there.

Yours truly in the Makeup room.
I was also happy to be able to take advantage of the trip to spend some quality time with long-distance amigo Bret Wood, an occasional VIDEO WATCHDOG contributor (starting his BLUE VELVET coverage in our 4th issue, way back in 1990) and currently the producer of all my Kino Lorber audio commentary assignments as well as a talented indie filmmaker in his own right. (His most recent film THE UNWANTED is given a glowing report by John-Paul Checkett in our Farewell issue.) I told the producers at Filmstruck that Bret knew a great deal about Bava himself, having played a role in the restoration of most of his work for home video, so he was also recruited for the shoot and shares the final 14-minute result with me, so capably assembled by producer Tim Reilly and his editor.

Reunited with Bret Wood in the Filmstruck studios.

Filmstruck has something like 11 different Mario Bava films in their library, all in High Definition, so it's a great way to get your feet wet if you're a newcomer to Bava or have had to be selective with your Blu-ray purchases. There is also a lot to be said for paying a low monthly rate for having near-total access to all that is Criterion (how about all the Zatoichi and Baby Cart films for starters?), not to mention some mind-boggling titles they own but have not as yet released, including the original version of BLACK LIZARD (a gender-bending crime musical!), numerous Bulldog Drummond programmers, and my favorite movie of the moment, Vadim-Malle-Fellini's Edgar Allan Poe omnibus SPIRITS OF THE DEAD. Follow the link above and find out more about it.

And here's a link to the promotional Mario Bava piece that Bret and I did. Enjoy! And if you do, let them know about it - maybe they'll have me back to talk about some other things.

(c) 2017 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.

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