Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jules Raucourt, George Voya, Kiki of Montparnasse, Jacques Rigaut, André de la Rivière, Robert Desnos, Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, Melville Webber, Nadia Sibirskaïa, Fernand Leger, Dudley Murphy, Katherine Murphy, Katrin Murphy
Written by: Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich, Man Ray, Robert Desnos, Edgar Allan Poe, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Fernand Leger
Directed by: Man Ray, Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich, James Sibley Wilson, Melville Webber, Hans Richter, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Fernand Leger, Dudley Murphy
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 78
Date: 03/18/2013

Tom Verlaine and Jimmy Rip: Music for Experimental Film (2007)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Marquee Swoon

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I saw this program live at the 2000 San Francisco International Film Festival, and it was one of the great movie nights of my life. Tom Verlaine's guitar work ranges from exciting to mystifyingly beautiful; his classic 1977 album Marquee Moon with the band Television is on my personal ten best list. The only major drawback to this new DVD from Kino Video is that the unquestionable highlight of the live show, Carl Theodor Dreyer's They Caught the Ferry (1948), has been replaced with Hans Richter's Rhythmus 21 (1921). I have no idea why this is: perhaps it was a rights issue, or perhaps it's because Dreyer's film is from the sound era and mixing the new score proved too difficult. In any case, the seven films that remain are very much worth looking into. Man Ray's L'Etoile de mer (Star of the Sea) (1928) has never sounded so beautiful, James Sibley Wilson and Melville Webber's early, unforgettable expressionistic horror short The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) is far creepier, and Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapich's The Life and Death of 9413 -- a Hollywood Extra (1927) is far more affecting. The other films include Man Ray's Emak-Bakia (1926), Dimitri Kirsanoff's Brumes d'automne (Autumn Mists) (1928) and Fernand Leger's Ballet Mecanique (1924). Extras include bios for Verlaine and producer Jimmy Rip.

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