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.
THE BIG CLOCK – on UK Blu-ray 13th May
Adapted by acclaimed screenwriter Jonathan Latimer from a novel by the equally renowned crime author Kenneth Fearing, The Big Clock is a superior suspense film which classily combines screwball comedy with heady thrills.
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!
Directed with panache by John Farrow (Around the World in 80 Days), who stylishly renders the film’s towering central set, the Janoth Building, The Big Clock benefits from exuberant performances by Ray Milland and Charles Laughton, who make hay with the script’s snappy dialogue. A huge success on its release, it is no wonder this fast-moving noir was remade years later as the Kevin Costner vehicle No Way Out.
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
Pre-order the UK BD from Amazon.co.uk
DEMON LOVER – on UK Blu-ray 27th May
Twenty years after David Cronenberg prophesied the dark side of the Internet age in Videodrome, acclaimed French filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep) updated it for the New Millennium in his startlingly prescient Demonlover, a chilling exploration of the nexus between sex and violence available at the click of a button.
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.
Armed with an iconic score by art-rock pioneers Sonic Youth, Assayas’ neo-noir/cyber horror masterpiece is finally unleashed for the first time on Blu-Ray, with revealing extras and a new director-approved restoration.
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
Pre-order the UK BD from Amazon.co.uk