Arrow Films, one of the Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival sponsors that sure knows how to spread their love of the movies, is at it again this year. We’ve already announced the presentation of their in-house gorgeous 4k presentation of Mario Bava’s seminal proto-slasher, 1964’s Blood and Black Lace (Thursday, July 26, 7PM at Cinemathèque Québécoise), but those attending screenings at Concordia University Hall Theater already noticed two wonderwomen at work behind their table (from Thursday to Sunday, same schedule next week) selling countless treasuries from the catalog of this amazing UK based company.
The variety of offerings is impressive as Art house to film genres worldwide are celebrated, although there is evidence of particular affection for Japanese and Italian ‘oldies’. Arrow is one label run by people with fine taste and great work ethics, producing Blu-rays, but also books, theatrical ‘prints’ (and now soundtrack LP’s) of pristine glory with extensive features and booklets including film analysis by top people in their field.
Some of the works, the ‘classics’ (Fellini Fassbinder, Godard, Kobayashi and their contemporary), are usually labelled under the Arrow academy classification. I’m particularly fond of the releases of (Cannes multiple winner) Elio Petri’s earlier work, L’Assassino (1961) and later work Property is No Longer a Theft (1973). UK acts include cult items Mona Lisa, The Long Good Friday and Pulp (with Michael Caine). Major director series feature several works by Cronenberg, Depalma and Gilliam.
As aforementioned, from Japan we get, among numerous others, Fantasia’s favorite, Takashi Miike, as well as Seijun Suzuki and Kenji Fukasaku (magnificient Yakuza papers!!!) early works collected in amazing box sets.
Italian genre films are celebrated through Gialli and horror from Bava, Freda, Ercoli, Fulci, Martino et al. And Spaghetti Western, with such classic titles as the Ringo Movies, The Day of Anger (starring Lee Van Cleef and Giliano Gemma), Django Prepare a Coffin (with Terence Hill), Requiescant (featuring Pasolini!), plus the recently released top of the art box of the Complete Sartana, including the 5 ‘official films in crisp conditions for the first time in decades, a lot of supplementary material and extensive liner notes, thoughts and insights. We’ll review it after Fantasia. But it is on sale NOW.