16 April 2024

Mario Van Peebles To Robin Williams Make Up Indicator May Slate

Soon the sun will be shinning so will be Powerhouse Films with their Indicator Series. Today we have their  Indicator series May slate, that shines on four uncompromising, under-the-radar gems of American cinema.

First is the UK Blu-ray premiere of Joseph L Anderson’s exquisite feature-film debut SPRING NIGHT SUMMER NIGHT (1967). With its non-professional cast, this sensitive drama, which explores the intimate relationship between a coal-miner’s daughter and her half-brother, is American independent cinema’s closest relation to Italian Neorealism. Presented by Nicolas Winding Refn in a beautiful new restoration, Anderson’s film played international festivals in 2019 to great acclaim.

Next, are the world Blu-ray premieres of two counter-cultural offerings: Melvin Van PeeblesWATERMELON MAN (1970) tells the story of a bigoted, white salesman (played by stand-up comedian Godfrey Cambridge) who wakes one morning to find he has become black, and, although it was somewhat overshadowed by Van Peebles’ next film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, it has never felt more relevant than it does today, and; Bill L Norton’s CISCO PIKE (1972), which stars Kris Kristofferson (The Last Movie) in his first leading role, and boasts an impressive supporting cast – including Gene Hackman (The Conversation), Karen Black (Five Easy Pieces), Harry Dean Stanton (Christine) and Warhol superstar Viva (Necropolis) – follows the fortunes of a musician who turns to drug dealing to make ends meet.

Concluding the round-up of May’s new releases, we present the UK Blu-ray premiere of Paul Mazursky’s MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON (1984). In preparation for this early dramatic role, the film’s star Robin Williams did a crash course in Russian and learned to play the saxophone in order to portray Vladimir, a musician with the Moscow circus who defects to the US and must navigate a new life in New York.

SPRING NIGHT  SUMMER NIGHT (1967) DRAMA

  • New 4K restoration
  • Original mono audio
  • ‘Spring Night Summer Night’: 50 Years Later (2020): retrospective documentary by Glenn Litton featuring interviews with writer-director Joseph L Anderson, writer-producer Franklin Miller, actors John Crawford, Ted Heimerdinger and Larue Hall, and sound editor Tom Peterson
  • I’m Goin’ to Straitsville (2020): documentary revisiting the Columbus, Ohio locations with Franklin and Judy Miller, and archivist and restoration supervisor Peter Conheim
  • Cleveland Cinematheque Q&A (2016): cast and crew panel discussion
  • 16mm On-set Footage (1967, silent): rare and previously unseen material from the film’s production
  • In the Middle of the Nights (2020): video essay by restoration supervisor Ross Lipman comparing Spring Night Summer Night to its ‘sexploitation’ recut, Miss 
  • essica Is Pregnant
  • Three short films by Anderson, comprising the ‘Bluegrass Trilogy’: Football as It Is Played Today (1961), How Swived (1962), and Cheers (1963)
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Ian Mantgani, Glenn Litton’s memories of director Joseph L Anderson, Peter Conheim on the film’s restoration, a look at the career of distributor Joseph L Brenner, an overview of critical responses, and film credits
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies

WATERMELON MAN (1970) COMEDY

  • High Definition presentation
  • Introduction by Melvin Van Peebles (2004)
  • The Guardian Interview with Melvin Van Peebles (1996): archival audio recording of the filmmaker and actor in conversation with broadcaster Darcus Howe at London’s National Film Theatre
  • Racquel Gates on ‘Watermelon Man’ (2020): appreciation by the academic and author of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture
  • Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Sergio Mims, a 1970 profile of director Melvin Van Peebles, archival interviews with Van Peebles, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
  • World premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies

CISCO PIKE (1972) DRAMA

  • High Definition presentation
  • Audio commentary with writer-director Bill L Norton and film historian Elijah Drenner (2020)
  • ‘Cisco Pike’: Then and Now (2020): documentary revisiting the film’s Los Angeles locations
  • Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • TV spot
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Christina Newland, the original soundtrack EP liner notes, an archival interview with Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Farber’s 1972 article on Cisco Pike, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
  • World premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies

MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON (1984) COMEDY, ROMANCE, DRAMA

  • 4K restoration
  • Audio commentary with director Paul Mazursky (2001)
  • The Guardian Interview with Paul Mazursky (1984): the filmmaker in conversation at London’s National Film Theatre
  • Maria Conchita Alonso on ‘Moscow on the Hudson’ (2020): new interview with the actor
  • Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Monica Castillo, a contemporary account of the making of the film, Paul Mazursky’s research visit to Moscow, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies

 

 


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