Film Can any film truly be regarded as “forgotten” even in these slender five years since this blog dedicated an entire month to the form? Surely with thousands of films available to stream through Lovefilm and Netflix and the global accessibility of shiny discs through Amazon and the like, what seems like everything available, nothing can fall through the cracks, the long tail won’t allow for it.
Well, there are two issues here. Many, many films may be available now, but it’s still up to the consumer to discover them if their relative media companies aren’t advertising their existence. We still need word of mouth recommendations, behavioural engines and expert lists to point us in the direction of some classic piece of cinema which hasn’t yet joined the typical canons, academic or otherwise.
Before recommending one of the forgotten films I’ve enjoyed this year, I thought I’d look back over the films that were sprung on you that month and see how many have either fallen from accessibility or become newly available in the five years since that feature first appeared. Find them all listed below with links back to the original reviews for to aid new readers. Hello.
I'm With Lucy (2002)
Still some availability on dvd, though it looks to have been deleted. Are some copies from between £2.98 to £9.99 depending on where you're looking. Available on Lovefilm on dvd.
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
On dvd. On Lovefilm, for rental and streaming.
Magic Town (1947)
Actually making a rare appearance on television as part of BBC Two's new wildly archival schedule on Thursday 10th Jan 2013 (so perhaps iPlayer for the week afterwards depending upon rights issues). Meanwhile on dvd to buy and rent.
The Hour of the Pig (1993)
Only available on dvd via an expensive R1 copy under the rubbish title The Advocate. Otherwise its still only available in the UK on a Curzon Video. Sometimes turns up on BBC Four in a terrible cropped print.
The Red Violin (1998)
Available amazingly cheaply now on dvd at Amazon. Reached BD in the US. Dvd to rent at Lovefilm.
A Thousand Acres (1997)
Budget dvd at Amazon which is rentable at Lovefilm.
Apparently still unreleased in the UK. There is an R2 dvd import available.
Late Night Shopping (2001)
Available on dvd in various flavours. Also at Lovefilm.
Second hand dvds plentiful. Streamable at Lovefilm but curiously not viewable by post.
All World Cinema (1895 - present)
Link included here for completion sake. But I'd still recommend all the films listed.
The Core (2003)
Of all the films on this list to be available on region-free BD it had to be this. Dvd too and in a double bill with Deep Impact which is practically a tragedy remake. Lovefilm link.
Hostile Hostages (1994)
DVD under its UK title, The Ref. Lovefilm on shiny disc.
Quinceanera (Echo Park LA) (2006)
Amazon, Lovefilm (streaming and by post)
The Tribe (1996)
Still only available on R1 dvd, and even more expensive now than in 2007.
Stealing Beauty (1996)
Visions of Light (1992)
Some dvd copies still floating around for sale and available at Lovefilm.
View From The Top (2003)
The worst film on the list is still one of the most available. Amazon, and on Lovefilm by post and streaming (so you can skip directly to the scene I'm writing about).
Life Story (1987)
One of the best films on the list is the least available. The BBC Education VHS copy doesn't look likely now though there is a low grade copy on YouTube.
Nina Takes A Lover (1994)
Status hasn't changed in five years. R1 only.
Love and Other Catastrophes (1996)
Status hasn't changed in five years. VHS only, despite that cast. I mean look at that cast.
Chacun cherche son chat (1996)
Available on R2 import for £20.
Memento: The Beginning of the End
Is an Easter egg on the special dvd edition of the film.
The Red Siren (2002)
One Night Stand (1984)
Not available. Not even the VHS version I bought ex-rental in the mid-90s.
The Family Stone (2005)
Of course it is. It's The Family Stone. Happy Christmas. Amazon. Lovefilm.
Happy Endings (2005)
No, not the sitcom. It's a Don Roos film. Was available on R2 for about three seconds so there are copies floating around. Lovefilm also have it. Along with the sitcom.
The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968)
In reality, despite everything, the availability of titles hasn't changed much. If it wasn't available five years ago, it still isn't and indeed some titles have since been deleted, with YouTube and Lovefilm only coming to the rescue on a couple of occasions. As such, there isn't a film version of Spotify, a celestial cinema in which seemingly everything ever is available however obscure. A studio still has to choose to make it so.
What about a new recommendation? In short, The Whistleblower (pictured), in which a typically compelling Rachel Weisz is Kathryn Bolkovac, the real life U.N. International Police Force monitor who uncovered sexual abuse amongst her fellow officers serving in Bosnia. Like Green Zone, Blood Diamond and The Kingdom, it utilises fairly typical Hollywood thriller tropes to elucidate subject matter which might otherwise be illuminated via documentary.
Which isn't to say it isn't tough. The parallel storyline following a Ukrainian woman who's sold into the sex trade which ultimately leads to Bolkovac's involvement is horrific and enough to make the viewer hate their fellow person, especially when it seems that she'll be saved and is inevitably let down by bureaucracy at its most blandly mechanical and inhuman.
Despite being a film of unique quality, The Whistleblower toured the film festivals of the world but only received a limited cinema release in the US and did not go theatrical in the UK where it went straight to dvd this year and for ages exclusively to Blockbuster which is where I bumped into it for the first time having overlooked its existence until then. I eventually rented it from Lovefilm, but it is also available for a fiver on dvd and blu-ray.