Arrow Academy’s marvellous May releases are a classic Hollywood film noir hit, and a frighteningly prescient thriller ripe for rediscovery. As ever, the Blu-ray releases feature pristine prints, revealing documentaries and brand new commentaries.
First out of the gate in May is The Big Clock, a superior suspense film featuring The Lost Weekend’s Ray Milland, in one of his best roles, as a magazine editor who finds himself in the frame for a murder committed by his boss (played by the magnificent Charles Laughton). Scripted by pulp legend Jonathan Latimer, based on Kenneth Fearing’s classic nailbiter novel, The Big Clock is a classy combination of screwball comedy and heady thrills, directed with panache by John Farrow (Around the World in 80 Days).
Also in May is Demonlover, Olivier Assayas’ extraordinary French techno-thriller, presented here in a brand new 2K restoration of the 121-minute director’s cut. Echoing David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, this is the story of a ruthless executive (Connie Nielsen) who will stop at nothing to get hold of a ground-breaking American Internet porn company called Demonlover; but as she delves deeper into its twisted world, reality slips away and the stakes of the game are raised to the point of no return.
The Big Clock |Blu-ray |13 May 2019
Overworked true crime magazine editor George Stroud (Ray Milland, The Lost Weekend, The Pyjama Girl Case) has been planning a vacation for months. However, when his boss, the tyrannical media tycoon Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton, Witness for the Prosecution), insists he skips his hols, Stroud resigns in disgust before embarking on an impromptu drunken night out with his boss’s mistress, Pauline York (Rita Johnson, The Major and the Minor). When Janoth kills Pauline in a fit of rage, Stroud finds himself to have been the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time: his staff have been tasked with finding a suspect with an all too familiar description… Stroud’s very own!
SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation transferred from original film elements
• Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
• Turning Back the Clock, a newly filmed analysis of the film by the critic and chief executive of Film London, Adrian Wootton
• A Difficult Actor, a newly filmed appreciation of Charles Laughton and his performance in The Big Clock by the actor, writer, and theatre director Simon Callow
• Rare hour-long 1948 radio dramatization of The Big Clock by the Lux Radio Theatre, starring Ray Milland
• Original theatrical trailer
• Gallery of original stills and promotional materials
• Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Christina Newland
USA | 1948 | PG | 96 Mins | 1.37:1 | Drama | English
Demonlover| Blu-ray | 27 May 2019
Up-and-coming executive Diane (Connie Nielsen, One Hour Photo) lets nothing stand in her way when it comes to landing the lucrative Tokyo Anime contract for the Volf Corporation, guaranteeing worldwide exclusive rights to the latest in cutting-edge hentai. Despised by her assistant (Chloe Sevigny, American Psycho) and engaged in a risky game of corporate espionage, her ruthless ambition meets its match in Elaine (Gina Gershon, Bound), the charismatic representative of an American Internet porn company called Demonlover. However, the company is only the front for an online portal to the Hellfire Club, which gives its users control over the next big thing in interactive extreme pornography: real women, tortured according to subscribers’ whims, in real time. Diane wants a piece of the action, and will stop at nothing to get it; but as she delves deeper into the twisted world of the Hellfire Club, reality slips away and the stakes of the game are raised to the point of no return.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand new 2K restoration of the 121-minute director’s cut, approved by Olivier Assayas
• High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
• Original 5.1 DTS-HD master audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Audio commentary by writer/director Olivier Assayas
• New visual essay written and narrated by critic Jonathan Romney
• Peripherie de Demonlover, an hour-long behind-the-scenes documentary directed by Yorick Le Saux
• Archive interviews with Olivier Assayas, Connie Nielsen, Chloe Sevigny and Charles Berling
• SY NYC 12/12/01: The Demonlover Sessions, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the recording of the music score by Sonic Youth
• Q&A with Olivier Assayas filmed at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2003
• Extended version of the Hellfire Club sequence
• Original theatrical trailers
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson
France | 2002 | 18 | 121 Mins | 2.35:1 | Neo Noir, Thriller | SubtitlesPowered by Sidelines