Sunday, July 21, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Madame X (1966) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Lana Turner plays the title role in MADAME X (1966), a Ross Hunter melodrama available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

Turner plays Holly, a poor girl who hits the jackpot when she marries wealthy diplomat Clay Anderson (John Forsythe). Holly is deeply in love and as time passes and she and Clay have a little boy (Teddy Quinn), her happiness seems complete.

Unfortunately Clay is away from home for long periods of time on diplomatic missions, and Holly becomes bored. She's still a bit of a stranger in her own home after several years, what with her mother-in-law Estelle (Constance Bennett) there guiding everything from household management to Christmas tree decorating.

Estelle makes a good show of welcoming Holly, but deep down she resents her and feels she was the wrong choice for Clay, whose immediate political aspirations include running for the Senate.

During Clay's protracted absence Holly becomes too close to playboy Phil (Ricardo Montalban, Lana's costar in 1953's LATIN LOVERS). When Clay returns, ready to finally commit to ending his globe-trotting and buying Holly their very own home in Washington, D.C., Holly is overjoyed and breaks things off with Phil. Phil is none too happy and in an ensuing tussle he suffers an accidental fall to his death.

Estelle finds out and sees this as her chance to remove Holly from their lives while also protecting Clay's reputation. Holly will be "lost at sea," while actually living a new life -- with a new hair color! -- in Europe. Holly agrees to leave her beloved husband and son only because she believes that she's doing the best thing for them, including her husband's all-important political future.

Holly's new life is completely empty; she becomes fond of a pianist (John Van Dreelen) but cannot stay with him and risk disclosing her true identity. As she sinks lower and lower, she meets a con artist (Burgess Meredith) who suspects the truth and tries to involve her in a black mail scheme; she shoots the man and ends up on trial -- where her public defender is her own grown son (Keir Dullea), who has no idea who she is.

This is a gorgeous Ross Hunter production with a great cast and a marvelous performance by Turner, but honestly I found it too sad to really enjoy. As Holly's life spiraled further and further out of control it felt a bit like "torture by movie," and I was relieved when the 100 minutes finally came to an end.

I appreciated Turner immensely and enjoyed individual bits, such as Bennett's phony warmth as the mother-in-law, later replaced by utter iciness; however, the sum total of everything put together was simply too overwhelmingly tragic for it to be relaxing entertainment.

I did find it fun that yesterday I saw Constance Bennett and Gilbert Roland, who were married for five years in the '40s, in the pre-Code OUR BETTERS (1933). Earlier today I also saw Roland in the 1953 film THUNDER BAY, which coincidentally was followed by Bennett in this movie. Sadly this was Bennett's last film; she died before it was released.

As was often the case, Lana made sure that Virginia Grey, her old pal from MGM, had a part. It's not a very big role but she has a few scenes as a socialite; she's seen here in a party photo with four of the film's lead actors. Grey also appeared in Turner's '60s films PORTRAIT IN BLACK (1960), BACHELOR IN PARADISE (1961), and LOVE HAS MANY FACES (1965). PORTRAIT IN BLACK, reviewed here last month, is also available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

MADAME X was directed by David Lowell Rich and filmed in Technicolor by Russell Metty.

The Kino Lorber print is beautiful. Extras include a commentary track by Lee Gambin and Eloise Ross, the trailer, and a trailer gallery of four additional movies available from Kino Lorber.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Tonight's Movie: Thunder Bay (1953) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

James Stewart stars in director Anthony Mann's THUNDER BAY (1953), released on Blu-ray this month by Kino Lorber.

I first saw THUNDER BAY in 2007 and wasn't particularly impressed, but when I went back to it in 2014 I was much more enthused. Revisiting it then in the context of having seen many additional Mann/Stewart films, as well as becoming more familiar with the work of Dan Duryea, found me feeling quite differently about the film.

Now, five years beyond that, I really love it. The movie does have some plot deficiencies, but there's so much that I like about it I'm willing to let those issues go.

In some ways, I feel like THUNDER BAY is the DONOVAN'S REEF (1963) of the Mann/Stewart films. To be sure, THUNDER BAY has more substance than John Ford and John Wayne's DONOVAN'S REEF, but in the end what feels similar to me about the films is the raucous, good-natured atmosphere and that I simply like "hanging out" with the cast at their remote "island" locations, if you want to think of an oil rig as a man-made island! I find THUNDER BAY a very enjoyable 103 minutes.

Stewart plays Steve, who in 1946 dreams of hitting oil off the shores of Louisiana. He and his partner Gambi (Duryea) run up against some local opposition from fishermen but with funding from Kermit MacDonald (Jay C. Flippen), the project is a go, and the only question is whether they'll hit oil before the money runs out.

Steve falls in love with a fisherman's daughter named Stella (Joanne Dru), which continues to be the most poorly developed aspect of the film. Dru is lovely, though, and by this point I know the movie falls short in this area and just let it go. Individually Stewart and Dru are good as always, the script just doesn't give them much to work with as far as their romance.

As I noted last time I saw the film, seeing this movie in the context of the Mann Westerns was something of a revelation, as I realized that Stewart's occasionally wild-eyed oilman was a variation on his intense Western characters. Stewart's Steve can be more than a little scary when crossed!

In contrast to the Stewart-Dru romance, the relationship which develops between Gambi and Stella's younger sister Francesca (Marcia Henderson) is charming. It's refreshing to see Duryea play a genuine good guy instead of a villain, whose sincere love for Francesca has him thinking of wedding bells -- and loving it.

Having seen Gilbert Roland yesterday in OUR BETTERS (1933), it was fun to jump ahead two decades and see him in this. I especially enjoy the older, more rugged Roland in films such as this one.

Flippen is particularly outstanding as the one-time wildcatter who backs Stewart and Duryea. Harry Morgan, who like Flippen was a regular in the Mann-Stewart films, is also in this one. The cast also includes Antonio Moreno, Fortunio Bonanova, Robert Monet, and Mario Siletti.

In addition to the previously mentioned DONOVAN'S REEF, THUNDER BAY also makes me think, curiously enough, of Howard Hawks' THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951). I think it's the aspect of a team of men working on a tough project in a remote, difficult environment. Perhaps it's a bit of a stretch, but I enjoy how various past film experiences criss-cross my brain when I watch movies, and I suspect that's familiar to many of my readers as well.

THUNDER BAY was shot by in Technicolor by William H. Daniels, with location filming in Louisiana.

It should be noted that like some other films of its era, THUNDER BAY was shot in 1.37 "Academy ratio," then masked for "widescreen" theatrical screening in 1.85. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray is framed in widescreen as it was exhibited upon its initial release.

Every time I've seen this film the format has improved; my first viewing a dozen years ago was VHS, then five years ago I saw a much better DVD print. Kino Lorber's Blu-ray is the best of them all, a lovely, crisp print I really enjoyed watching.

Extras include the trailer, a gallery of five addition trailers of James Stewart films available from Kino Lorber, and a strong commentary track by Toby Roan. In addition to going into the backgrounds and credits of just about every face on the screen, Toby provides information on everything from the history of offshore oil drilling as well as the earliest depiction of offshore drilling on film; the industry transition to widescreen film; the movie's stuntmen; and censorship (the censors thought Joanne Dru's jeans were too tight!).

Full disclosure, as I've periodically reminded viewers, Toby is a longtime good friend of this blog, but I am always excited to see his name listed in disc extras as I know I can expect a high-quality job.

THUNDER BAY is a recommended release.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Our Betters (1933) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Constance Bennett stars in OUR BETTERS (1933), a pre-Code comedy about life among the British upper crust, available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

I was vaguely expecting OUR BETTERS to be a melodrama, but it turned out to be a comedy of manners, based on a play by W. Somerset Maugham. Bennett plays Pearl, an American hardware heiress who as the movie opens weds Lord George Greyston (Alan Mowbray).

Pearl is moved by the ceremony and pledges to George that she'll be a fine wife, but she's still wearing her wedding gown when she discovers George loves a woman named Diana (Finis Barton). Pearl has the title, George has her money, and that is sadly the end of their relationship; they're married in name only, leading separate lives.

Pearl covers her hurt by morphing into a bit of a wild woman in British society; her behavior is sometimes shocking but she's accepted because she's also entertaining. As George depletes her income she begins a relationship of sorts with another American, Arthur (Minor Watson), who supports her with an allowance.

Pearl's young sister Bessie (Anita Louise) comes to visit, followed a few months later by her sweetheart, Fleming (Charles Starrett). Bessie's head is turned by society life and she accepts a proposal from Lord Bleane (Hugh Sinclair), to Fleming's great disappointment.

Though Pearl encouraged the match with Lord Bleane, ultimately she realizes she doesn't want her own shallow life for Bessie and works to set Bessie on a different path.

This was an interesting and enjoyable 83-minute film, with Bennett in fine form as the sarcastic, manipulative Pearl, who carries on with a gigolo named Pepi (Gilbert Roland) behind the backs of both Arthur and Pepi's companion, Minnie (Violet Kemble Cooper). She puts on performances as a coy, weak woman for Arthur's benefit, reaping in his checks, while offering razor-sharp commentary on other characters and slyly encouraging Pepi.

While the film is amusing and holds the attention thanks to all the snark and some good lines ("If I leave you, you'll have no one but your husband!"), in the end it's also a bit sad; the only characters with redeeming qualities are Bessie and her two suitors. Most of the characters are unhappy, living lives of futility despite being blessed with luxurious lifestyles. One might say it's a tragedy overlaid with comedy, though it ends on a hopeful note as Pearl frees Bessie from British society's clutches and sends her back to a more wholesome life in America.

The supporting players, who also include Grant Mitchell and Phoebe Foster, are all very good. It was fun to see another early film with Anita Louise, recently reviewed here in MILLIE (1931) and GLAMOUR FOR SALE (1940).

Eight years after OUR BETTERS, Bennett would marry Roland, but they were divorced after half a decade and two children together. She married John Theron Coulter two days after her divorce from Roland, a union which lasted until her passing in 1965. She is buried with Brigadier General Coulter, who survived her by three decades, at Arlington National Cemetery.

OUR BETTERS was directed by George Cukor and filmed by Charles Rosher.

The Warner Archive print is somewhat soft, as is often the case for films of this age, but it doesn't have any major defects. The soundtrack is occasionally a bit muffled, which is slightly problematic at times given all the British accents, but for the most part it was understandable.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Tonight's Movie: The Man Who Found Himself (1937) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

John Beal and Joan Fontaine star in THE MAN WHO FOUND HIMSELF (1937), an RKO "B" movie recently released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

John Beal plays James Stanton Jr., a doctor who's a little too fast and loose when it comes to piloting his private plane. When Jim flies in poor weather and an accident causes the death of a friend (Diana Gibson), Jim is unfairly accused of having been involved in an affair with the dead woman.

Jim is disciplined by the medical board for his supposed lapse in ethics and judgment, but perhaps even worse for Jim is realizing that his father (George Irving) believes the worst of him. When Jim's fiancee Barbara (Jane Walsh) rejects Jim's plan to leave Park Avenue medicine to become a country doctor, Jim turns his back on medicine and hops a train for California, where an old friend (Phillip Huston) gets him a job as an airplane mechanic.

Jim meets Doris (Joan Fontaine), a nurse who works on an air ambulance at Jim's company, and she's intrigued by the untalkative man with a mysterious past. In short order Doris realizes that Jim is a pilot, and shortly after that he inadvertently discloses his medical skills during a crisis situation. Doris, who's increasingly interested in Jim, becomes determined to restore him to his work as a physician.

I first saw this film in 2012 and quite enjoyed revisiting it. It's a fast-paced 67 minutes, and any tendency the film has toward the improbable -- plane and train crashes! doctor turned hobo! -- is overcome by the sincere performances of Beal and Fontaine.

Once Fontaine enters the film she has a large role and she's really quite good, upbeat, fun, and also cagey when she needs to be. I loved small lighthearted moments such as Doris sharing coffee and donuts with Jim. This was just Fontaine's fourth film, and she quickly moved onward and upward, winning the Best Actress Oscar just four years later for SUSPICION (1941).

Beal is likewise very good. In the wrong hands the viewer could easily lose interest in his character, finding his reactions childish, but Beal skillfully shapes his performance so that the audience feels the regret underlying his actions. As a side note, over a decade later Beal did a wonderful job narrating some classic Disney Americana, SO DEAR TO MY HEART (1948).

I also enjoyed Jane Walsh as Jim's fiancee. Walsh had been a child actress in a couple of silent films, and this was her first adult role; she appeared in three features and a short in 1937 and left the screen for good. I liked the way she was brought back in late in the film and, now engaged to someone else (George Meeker), she agrees to do what she can to help Doris in her quest to turn Jim's life around.

Look for a number of familiar character faces in supporting roles, including Jonathan Hale, Stanley Andrews, Frank M. Thomas, Billy Gilbert, and Edward Gargan.

The staging and the personalities make the film sing, even if the script (the combined work of four writers) isn't much more than ordinary. The movie was directed by Lew Landers, whom I've found particularly skilled at turning "B" films into better-than-average entertainment.

I've reviewed more than two dozen films directed by Landers, many of which are linked at the end of my review of BLIND ALIBI (1938). One of Landers' best was FLIGHT FROM GLORY (1937), a Warner Archive release I reviewed last year, and I'm thrilled that another favorite, DOUBLE DANGER (1938), will be released on DVD by the Warner Archive at the end of this month.

THE MAN WHO FOUND HIMSELF was photographed by J. Roy Hunt.

The Warner Archive print is very good, with some scenes looking especially sharp. I was quite happy with the quality of this print.

There are no extras on the disc.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Apollo 11 (2019)

This week is the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, so it was great timing for me to watch this year's amazing APOLLO 11 (2019) documentary, recently released on Blu-ray.

The documentary utilizes newly discovered 65mm footage of the mission which sent astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to outer space, culminating in Armstrong and Aldrin traveling onward to the surface of the moon. The footage was remastered, and the crispness and clarity of the images on the Blu-ray is nothing less than stunning.

I particularly loved that the documentary does not have a traditional narrator. The nine-day mission unfolds with the visuals accompanied by contemporaneous NASA voice recordings, along with some occasional TV commentary. The audio tracks were chosen from among thousands of previously uncatalogued NASA recordings.

I really liked the "just the facts" approach; the narrative doesn't require anything additional for either clarity or drama. My only criticism in this regard is that brief notes of explanation, which were probably easy to read on an IMAX theater screen, were sometimes too small to be easily read on the Blu-ray.

Remarkably, this straightforward account plays like a suspense thriller; even knowing well what would happen, I found myself almost holding my breath at the moments of greatest peril, especially taking off from the moon and re-entry to earth's atmosphere.

I think what was accomplished may possibly be even more mind-blowing in hindsight than it was at the time, recognizing how relatively primitive our technology and computers were then compared to half a century later. Watching the countless faces at monitors exclaiming "Go!" "Go!" brings home how the skills of so many people contributed to successfully pulling it off.

In terms of the danger involved, I've sometimes wondered if an astronaut ever had second thoughts after the hatch was shut or if they were so well screened and tightly focused on their jobs that nothing like "Gee, maybe I'd rather not" ever crossed their minds. The shots of the astronauts' faces suiting up were remarkable. Collins looks serious, Aldrin has a slightly cocky half-smile, and the weight of the world is in Armstrong's eyes.

In a following scene, Mission Control reports the flight surgeon's data regarding the astronauts' heart rates during liftoff. Especially coming after looking at the men's faces just before they boarded the spaceship, it's fascinating to note Aldrin's heart rate on liftoff was only 88. How is it even possible to be that calm blasting off the earth on top of all that fuel?! He seemed to have nerves of steel. For the record, Collins clocked at 99 and Armstrong's heart rate at that moment was 110.

APOLLO 11 was edited and directed by Todd Douglas Miller.

The Blu-ray includes the trailer and a short featurette in which the filmmakers discuss seeing the 65mm footage for the first time, as well as "70mm perf" footage, and the huge project of organizing all the footage and sound recordings into a cohesive narrative.

For those interested in learning more, here are links to additional reviews by Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times, Leonard Maltin, and Owen Gleiberman at Variety.

APOLLO 11 should be an excellent companion to the documentary FOR ALL MANKIND (1989), which I ordered in this summer's Criterion Collection sale at Barnes & Noble.

APOLLO 11 is recommended viewing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Happy Birthday, Disneyland!

64 years ago today, on July 17, 1955, magic happened: Disneyland opened!


As I wrote here a couple of years ago: "I'm fortunate to have spent my entire life living close enough to Disneyland to tell time by the sound of the fireworks each evening. Most importantly, I have Walt Disney and Disneyland to thank for my husband and family, as my husband and I met while working there during our college years."


A favorite shot from a visit last month:


Happy Birthday to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Previous Disneyland Birthday Posts: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 (and more here), 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

14th Blog Anniversary!

Today I'm thrilled to mark another anniversary here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings.

It's hard to believe, but this blog started 14 years ago today!

Blogging continues to be one of the most rewarding things in my life. It's led to countless special experiences and getting to know many wonderful people. I don't ever take any of it for granted.

It's also a particular thrill when I learn that someone has enjoyed a film or book after reading about it here. I love helping others find "good stuff" to enjoy.

My most sincere thanks to all my readers for your continuing friendship and support.

Previous blog anniversaries: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Runaway Hollywood: Global Production in the Postwar World Opens Friday at UCLA

A summer series, Runaway Hollywood: Global Production in the Postwar World, opens at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater this Friday evening, July 19th.

14 movies filmed overseas will be screened between July 19th and August 24th.

The series was inspired by the book RUNAWAY HOLLYWOOD by Daniel Steinhart. Steinhart will be present to sign the book on the 19th and 20th.

The series opens with a wonderful double bill filmed in Italy, ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) and THREE COINS IN A FOUNTAIN (1954).

Other films in the series include BERLIN EXPRESS (1948), HOUSE OF BAMBOO (1955), GRAND PRIX (1966), and THE FUGITIVE (1947).

I had planned to see THE LONGEST DAY (1962) on the final night of the series, August 24th, until I suddenly realized that I'll be at Disney's D23 Expo that weekend! I'd really love to see that film on a big screen...but I'll be doing something else wonderful instead. We are fortunate to have so many great film-related options here in Southern California.

Please visit the UCLA Film & Television Archive website for the complete schedule.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Bridal Suite (1939) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Robert Young and Annabella star in BRIDAL SUITE (1939) a romantic comedy recently released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

Young plays Neil McGill, the ne'er-do-well son of wealthy businessman Cornelius McGill (Gene Lockhart). Neil twice conveniently "forgets" to marry Abbie (Virginia Field) -- who in actuality is only marrying him for his money.

Neil's flighty mother (Billie Burke) takes him to the Alps to visit a psychiatrist (Walter Connolly) about his memory issues, and while there he falls hard for Luise (Annabella), who works at their hotel.

If Neil is going to get out of a third try at marrying Abbie and marry Luise instead, he's first going to have to do some serious growing up, including getting a job for the very first time in his life.

This is reasonably entertaining, thanks to a great cast and a brisk 70-minute running time, although it's somewhat problematic in that Young's central character is a bit of a jerk for much of the movie.

I like Young a lot, but having seen him in a number of romantic comedies, including MARRIED BEFORE BREAKFAST (1937), reviewed here last week, I've come to feel he was better suited for drama. He simply doesn't have a light enough touch to pull off silly (or stupid) behavior and make it seem charming. This type of part was better suited for Robert Montgomery, who some sources say was originally slated for the role.

On the other hand, Young was perfectly suited for sincere dramatic roles in films like JOURNEY FOR MARGARET (1942) or CLAUDIA (1943), two of my favorite Young performances.

French-born Annabella, who married Tyrone Power around the time this movie was made, does well as the leading lady. (She's notably more charming than Franciska Gaal, another European import MGM used around this time.) The excellent supporting cast also includes Reginald Owen, Arthur Treacher, and Felix Bressart. Look for little Bobby Blake early in the film.

All in all, the film could have been better yet it's a pleasant enough time spent with the cast in MGM's typically polished setting -- love the Art Deco ship's lobby! -- and it builds to a nice conclusion.

BRIDAL SUITE was directed by William Thiele and filmed by Clyde De Vinna.

The Warner Archive print is very good. The disc includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

Tonight's Movie: Cinevangelist: A Life in Revival Film (2018)

As I've recounted here in the past, I grew up watching classic films in a variety of Los Angeles revival houses. These screenings fed my existing love for classic films and deepened it to an even greater extent, playing a huge role in my developing into the classic film lover I continue to be today.

I was thus interested when Matt Barry let me know about a short documentary he directed, CINEVANGELIST: A LIFE IN REVIVAL FILM (2018).

It's a 25-minute movie about George Figgs, a Baltimore film historian and revival theater owner. Matt was a young film buff in the '90s when he first got to know George, and now years later this documentary pays tribute to his friend.

CINEVANGELIST is essentially a one-person interview, as Figgs discusses his lifelong love affair with films. He describes how he first came to love movies as a very young child at neighborhood theaters, moving on to art films and films shown on TV in the '50s and '60s.

His discussion of the "nostalgia craze" of the '70s especially resonated with me as that was the era when I first attended classic movies as a child in L.A. revival theaters.

He also talks about his work screening films in various venues, including his Orpheum Cinema in Baltimore.

I especially love this quote by Figgs about theater screens: "In my mind it has a memory...screens remember the ghosts of all the films that have run on them." A beautiful thought.

I knew nothing about Figgs prior to watching this film and enjoyed learning about his life and work. I suspect my fellow classic film fans would enjoy this short look at one man's life in the world of classic films.

CINEVANGELIST is available for digital rental or purchase at Vimeo On Demand.

A trailer is available here.

Thanks to Matt Barry for providing an online screener of this film for review.

Tonight's Movie: The Goddesses of Food (2016) - A Kino Lorber DVD Review

THE GODDESSES OF FOOD (2016) is a documentary being released on DVD this coming week by Kino Lorber.

This 94-minute film, also known by the French title À LA RECHERCHE DES FEMMES CHEFS, was written and directed by Verane Frediani.

Frediani explores the role of female chefs in the world of international fine cooking, where women are still often outnumbered by men in the kitchen and where female chefs also receive far less publicity. The documentary was inspired by a 2013 Time Magazine cover story, "The Gods of Food," which focused heavily on male chefs. Frediani set out to find the goddesses.

Along with identifying great current and up-and-coming female chefs, the documentary examines the history of female French chefs, which was one of my favorite aspects of the film. It also discusses perceptions about men and women in the cooking world, including how they approach careers and why men seem to be better known.

The film explores various thoughts and ideas along these lines, though it doesn't seem to draw firm conclusions other than that excellent female chefs are out there working and seeking equal opportunity in the profession. Unsurprisingly, given what inspired the film, the point is also made that the media should do a more thorough job approaching their coverage.

A variety of people are interviewed, from famed American chef Alice Waters to multiple European chefs with Michelin stars. Frediani also looks at culinary students, including young female chefs from developing countries.

I felt the documentary was petering out toward the end and would have benefited from tighter editing and a somewhat shorter running time. (As it is, two sequences didn't make the final film and are included in the extras.) Overall, though, I found it worthwhile; I always enjoy "foodie" films and documentaries, and this is an interesting look at the world of haute cuisine.

A note on the release year: The Kino Lorber site lists the release year as 2018, while IMDb gives the year as 2016, when it was screened at a film festival. I have made it a consistent practice at my site to use the earliest date of a public screening, as noted at IMDb.

The Kino Lorber DVD, available July 16th, includes deleted scenes and the trailer. The trailer can also be found on Vimeo.

I give Kino Lorber high marks for releasing consistently interesting documentaries. I'd love it if by chance they released another new "foodie" documentary, DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY (2019), for home viewing.

Previous reviews of documentaries released by Kino Lorber: OBIT: LIFE ON DEADLINE (2016), HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY (2015), DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME (2016), BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY (2017), and CHEF FLYNN (2018).

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this DVD.

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