Milestone to Bow Silent ‘The Spanish Dancer’ on Blu-ray, Digitally on Kino Now Aug. 29

Milestone Films & Video will release the silent film The Spanish Dancer (1923), restored by Eye Filmmuseum and archivist Rob Byrne using material from archives around the world, on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 29. It will also be available digitally on Kino Now.

The romance features Pola Negri (The Wildcat), already an international star, and Antonio Moreno (The Searchers). Director Herbert Brenon (Beau Geste) was assisted by legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe (Hud). In addition to Wallace Beery and Adoph Menjou, the film features a cast of thousands. Negri, a trained dancer from her days at Warsaw’s Imperial Ballet was matched with famed choreographer Ernest Belcher (father of Marge Champion and mentor to Gwen Verdon, Cyd Charisse and Maria Tallchief) to create the dance pieces.

The composer of the new orchestral score is Bill Ware, a founding member of the Jazz Passengers and Groove Collective. During his career, he has collaborated with Steely Dan, John Zorn, JD Parran, Marc Ribot, Bobby Sanabria, Deborah Harry, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Chico Mendoza, Bobby Previte, Joe Henderson, Jerome Harris, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Minnesota Symphony, Elvis Costello, Arturo O’Farrill, Andy Summers, Marshall Crenshaw, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore and many more.

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Bonus features include audio commentaries by film historian Scott Eyman and dance historian Naima Prevots; an interview with the composer Bill Ware; and a restoration demonstration.

French Drama ‘Hold Me Tight’ Coming to Digital Retailers, DVD and Blu-ray Disc Nov. 22

The French woman-in-crisis drama Hold Me Tight, from director Mathieu Amalric, will be released to home audiences in November by Kino Lorber.

The 2021 film will be available to buy or rent digitally on Kino Now on Nov. 8 and will be released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and all major digital platforms two weeks later, on Nov. 22.

The DVD will carry a suggested retail price of $19.95, with the Blu-ray Disc retailing for $29.95.

The film is in French and German, with English subtitles.

In Hold Me Tight, Vicky Krieps stars as Clarisse, a woman on the run from her family for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. Widely renowned as one of France’s great contemporary actors but less well-known in North America for his equally impressive work behind the camera, Amalric’s sixth feature as director is considered his most ambitious to date. The film alternates between Clarisse’s adventures on the road and scenes of her abandoned husband Marc (Arieh Worthalter) as he struggles to take care of their children at home. 

Bonus features include an audio commentary by director Amalric (in French, with English subtitles); an interview with Krieps and Amalric; photo galleries; and a Q&A with Krieps and Amalric at the Angelika Film Center.

Kino Lorber Slates Digital Release for ‘The Miklós Jancsó Collection’

Kino Lorber is preparing six classic feature films from acclaimed Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó for April 12 release on digital platforms only.

The “Miklós Jancsó Collection” consists of The Round-Up, The Red and The White, The Confrontation, Winder Wind, Red Psalm, and Electra, My Love. All films have been restored in 4K from their original camera negatives by the National Film Institute Hungary — Film Archive. 

The collection will be available for digital rental or purchase through Kino Now. The Round-Up and The Red and The White also will be available on major third-party digital platforms including Vudu, Amazon, Apple TV and Google Play. 

The films will be available to own or rent early, at a premium VOD price, on March 8.

Jancsó was the creator of a unique film language centered around his mastery of the tracking shot. The first internationally recognized representative of modern Hungarian filmmaking, his  works examined oppressive authority and the mechanics of power. The Round-Up (1966) depicts a prison camp in the aftermath of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. A true classic of world cinema. The Red and The White (1967) is a haunting, powerful film about the absurdity and evil of war set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918. The Confrontation (1968) is a story of protest and rebellion set in 1947 Hungary, when the Communist Party has just taken power. Winter Wind (1969) consists of 12 fluid long takes that capture a mid-1930s group of Croatian anarchists. Red Psalm (1971) follows a group of farm workers who go on strike in 1890s Hungary, for which Jancsó won the best director prize at Cannes. And Electra, My Love (1974) is a richly inventive adaptation of the Greek myth that consists of 12 single-take, intricately choreographed set pieces.

Kino Lorber Slates February VOD Dates for Two Acclaimed International Indies

Kino Lorber’s February VOD slate includes two acclaimed international indies, the Oscar-shortlisted Hive and Bruno Dumont’s France, starring Léa Seydoux.

Both films will be available to rent or own through all major digital retailers and on VOD platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, and Kino Now.

Up first is Hive, coming Feb. 1. The drama is based on the true story of Fahrije, who, like many women in her patriarchal village, has lived with fading hope and burgeoning grief since her husband went missing during the war in Kosovo. To provide for her struggling family, she unites the other widows to launch a business selling local food product. But their will to begin living independently is met with hostility: the men in the village condemn Fahrije’s efforts to empower herself and the women around her, starting a feud that threatens their newfound sovereignty and the financial future of Fahrije’s family.

Hive was a triple award winner at the Sundance Film Festival, picking up the World Cinema Audience Award, a Directing Award, and a Grand Jury Prize.

Then, on Feb. 22, Kino Lorber will issue France, with an early premium VOD rental window beginning Feb. 8 on Kino Now only.

Set in contemporary Paris, France stars Seydoux as France de Meurs, a seemingly unflappable superstar TV journalist juggling her studio show, reporting on a distant war, and the rush of family life. Her high-profile world is turned upside down after she injures a delivery man in a traffic accident, triggering a series of self-reckonings and a strange romance that proves impossible to shake. 

Kino Lorber Launches Kino Now VOD Service

Arthouse distributor Kino Lorber is launching a transactional VOD platform, Kino Now, showcasing more than 600 new releases, classics, and award-winning international films.

Titles are available for digital rental and purchase.

An additional 600 films will be added over the next several months, according to the company.

Kino Now will also offer exclusive early access to new theatrical releases, festival hits and exclusive titles not available on other streaming platforms or not yet available on home video, according to Kino Lorber.

The platform will also include special “bundle” offerings of selected hard-to-find titles as well as collections from renowned filmmakers. Collections include themes such as “Episodic Cinema,” featuring international TV series (including “Deutschland 83,” and the Emmy Award-nominated “Bad Banks”); Documentary Series & Extended Play (including Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth); Auteur Collections built around filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Lina Wertmüller and Fritz Lang; and the Pioneers of Cinema restorations of the early works of African American filmmakers and the first women filmmakers.

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The Playlist section will soon recommend personalized, specially curated selections that will be regularly updated, tied in with major international film festivals, holidays and cultural events, according to Kino Lorber.

They will also be curated around themes such as Italian, French and German cinema, Hispanic Heritage, Festival Winners & Oscar Runs, Euro Horror, Director’s Spotlights, First Films, and Staff Picks.

The site will be annually refreshed with more than 50 new theatrical releases from Kino Lorber’s first run and repertory divisions and more than 500 yearly additional titles as “festival direct” exclusives and indie art house digital premieres, according to the company.

“We’ve been leaders in building a direct to consumer business with physical media and now is the time to assert our leadership in the direct to digital space,” said Richard Lorber, president and CEO of Kino Lorber, in a statement. “Our superb library will be continually enhanced by the coming of newly acclaimed and award winning theatrical releases. We believe a younger generation of cinema lovers will embrace our collection as a kind of art house iTunes with Kino Now putting at their fingertips cinema masterworks of the past and the classics of tomorrow.”

New titles coming soon to Kino Now include Rick Alverson’s The Mountain, starring Tye Sheridan and Jeff Goldblum; Chinese auteur Bi Gan’s box office hit Long Day’s Journey into Night; Lila Avilés’ The Chambermaid (Mexico’s current official Oscar submission); Franco Rosso’s 1980s British reggae hit Babylon; and international documentaries such as Walking on Water, an intimate portrait of the artist Christo, and the climate change film Anthropocene: The Human Epoch.

Current selections include new arthouse hits such as Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini (starring Willem Dafoe), and Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino; new restorations of repertory re-releases, such as Frank Simon’s queer drag classic The Queen; critically-acclaimed documentaries such as Alexandra Dean’s Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Matt Tyrnauer’s Studio 54, and Pamela Green’s Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché; and classics of world cinema from directors such as Jean-Luc Godard (AlphavilleThe Image Book), Jean-Pierre Melville (Bob le Flambeur), Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad), and a collection of seven films by Lina Wertmüller, the first woman nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director and upcoming recipient of the Academy Honorary Award.

The service is available on Roku and will be available soon on AppleTV, Amazon Fire, and more, according to Kino Lorber.