Occasionally, we post an additional extra article when there’s a longer gap between the 30th of a month and the 5th of the next. As this is post 404, the idea of a short movie or clip about internet error 404 looked like a good option, but then there’s sometimes news that’s too good and/or important to be shelved until the next scheduled update. Such as this…
One of the victims of the Avenue’s hyperbusy activities (Sept 2010-June 2012) was Paul Fejos. Not that he’ll mind – he’s been dead since 1963 – but we never had the time to add him to the Vault (our list of 30 movies that didn’t get enough praise). Apart from not enough time, there was another issue that delayed that post. Which movie should we put in the Vault: Marie, Légende Hongroise or Lonesome?
Good news on one of those movies: Criterion has already made their decision and will release Lonesome at the end of this month. If you’re now not jumping up with joy, it’s clear that you don’t know this movie. Personally, Fejos’s movies manage to grip in ways few movies of the 1920s and 1930s can. In a fair world, some of his movies should be next to lists which include King Kong, Der Letztste Mann or La passion de Jeanne d’Arc.
Because this is just an extra post and it’s summer time, we’ll not bore you will a long essay on why this is great news about a great movie. Instead, Criterion themselves will give you three reasons why you should be saving already.
Criterion’s release is also memorable for its extras:
- New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary featuring film historian Richard Koszarski
- The Last Performance, director Paul Fejos’s 1929 silent starring Conrad Veidt, with a new score by composer Donald Sosin
- Reconstructed sound version of Broadway, Fejos’s 1929 musical
- Fejos Memorial, a 1963 visual essay produced by Paul Falkenberg in collaboration with Fejos’s wife, Lita Binns Fejos, featuring the filmmaker narrating the story of his life and career
- Excerpt about the Broadway camera crane from an audio interview with cinematographer Hal Mohr
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Phillip Lopate and film historian Graham Petrie and an excerpt from a 1962 interview with Fejos
It’s mainly thanks to the Italian show Fuori Orario that I’ve heard of him: they occasionally show some of his movies. The only movie by Fejos that’s easily available on dvd is his Fantomas movie (not the one with de Funes, of course).