As 2021 comes near to a close, we are excited to share with you some new films that are now available to enjoy on DVD, on-demand, or however you enjoy watching movies in the comfort of your home. We will also be having a special holiday sale on our library titles of up to 50% off, so be sure to visit our vendor site to take advantage: https://filmmovement.com/corinth
The highlight of this e-newsletter is our biopic on Michelangelo, Sin, directed by the legendary Andrei Konchalovsky. If you’ve ever had the slightest inkling of curiosity on what this esteemed Renaissance artist might have been like in real life, you will find this film fascinating. Lead actor Alberto Testone shines as a spitting image of the real Michelangelo.
Another Italian addition is Beate, a timely story about true entrepreneurial spirit and determination to keep a glorious vision alive. After getting laid off in a cold-hearted and unexpected manner by their employer, a group of lingerie factory workers in Rome decide to take matters into their own hands. Lead by Armida, the plucky production manager at the factory, the women start their own lingerie business, and must team up with nuns at a local convent to contend with the hurdles and challenges that come with running a start-up.
On the classic side is a limited run of a Sergei Eisenstein two-pack featuring October: 10 Days That Shook The World and Alexander Nevsky, both films hailing from the early days of the Soviet Union and among Eisenstein’s finest works. We are also proud to give new life to The New Deal For Artists, a 1979 documentary remastered from an archival 16mm negative. Narrated by Orson Welles, this film dives into the lively arts program created by FDR’s New Deal, and shows not only how it helped countless artists survive during the Great Depression, but also how it catalyzed their formative years.
Rounding out this group of new releases is music documentary Far Western, a fascinating story of the imprint of Country music on young Japanese after the war. As Allied and US troops occupied and rebuilt the Japanese state, they brought with them the sounds of Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, The Blue Sky Boys, Eddy Arnold, Hank Thompson and Bill Monroe, and ignited a curiosity among young Japanese musicians to play for themselves what they heard on the airwaves. Decades later, Japan would see its very own Country music bands come to fruition, the most famous of which being Charlie and the Cannonballs. The story of Far Western is told mostly from the point of view of the band’s founder, Charlie Nagatani, to great effect.
More information on these films can be found by scrolling through this newsletter, including trailers, reviews, and synopsises.
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NEW TITLES AVAILABLE
2019 | 134 min | Italy | Drama/Biopic | Italian w/English Subtitles
Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky
Florence, early XVI century. Although widely considered a genius by his contemporaries, Michelangelo Buonarroti (Alberto Testone) is reduced to poverty and depleted by his struggle to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When his commissioner and head of the Della Rovere nobility Pope Julius II dies, Michelangelo becomes obsessed with sourcing the finest marble to complete his tomb. The artist’s loyalty is tested when Leo X, of the rival Medici family, ascends to the papacy and charges him with a lucrative new commission – the façade of the San Lorenzo basilica. Forced to lie to maintain favor with both families, Michelangelo is progressively tormented by suspicion and hallucinations, leading him to ruthlessly examine his own moral and artistic failings. Written and directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, SIN is a gripping reflection on the agony and ecstasy of individual greatness, and the profound humanity behind the legend of the Renaissance.
Available on Amazon Video, iTunes, Comcast, InDemand, Vimeo On-Demand, and Mubi.
Available on Amazon Video, Comcast, InDemand, and Vimeo On-Demand.
2018 | 90 mins | Italy | Drama/Comedy | Italian w/English subtitles
Directed by Samad Zarmandili
A timely and relevant story of revolt against greed and apathy for the working class, Beate shows how different walks of life can come together and unite against a common enemy. After receiving notification via group text message that they are being laid off, the hardworking female employees of the Veronica garment factory decide to“borrow” some of the factory’s equipment to produce their own line of lingerie. Lead by factory forewoman Armida, the group is determined to overcome the odds and make their business a success, despite their lack of resources. Armida enlists the help of nuns from a nearby convent in the cross hairs of a greedy developer who wants to turn it into a resort, devising a plan for both the nuns and factory workers to work together to save the convent and grow the new lingerie business. However, the team soon comes under attack from the owner of Veronica, the developer, and the convent’s Mother Superior, from whom the whole operation had to be kept secret.
THE NEW DEAL FOR ARTISTS
1979 | 90 mins | USA | Documentary | Italian w/English subtitles
Directed by Wieland Schulz-Keil
With the failure of President Herbert Hoover’s policies and ensuing Great Depression, Americans were desperate for help. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s pragmatic New Deal Program aimed to put US citizens back on their feet and back to work, and also included an innovative and lively public arts program designed to provide economic relief and jobs for artists of all walks. Nearly every artist born between 1900-1915 spent their formative years under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration. Unfortunately, with the arrival of Martin Dies’ House Un-American Activities Committee, theatre actors, directors, writers and painters soon found themselves the target of Republicans’ aggressive anti-communist agendas and the W.P.A. was under full-blown political attack.
A warm look back at the W.P.A. and the most ambitious government-supported arts program since the Italian Renaissance, THE NEW DEAL FOR ARTISTS was originally made for German television as a 90-minute documentary by director/writer/producer Wieland Schulz-Keil. It premiered in the US on PBS in April 1981, and garnered critical acclaim and today, 40 years after its premiere, Corinth Films proudly presents the fascinating documentary digitally remastered from the 16MM negative.
Narrated by the iconic Orson Welles, THE NEW DEAL FOR ARTISTS, also features a who’s who of 20th Century luminaries including Studs Terkel, Norman Lloyd, John Houseman, Arthur Rothstein, Howard Da Silva, James Brooks, Nelson Algren and more.
Available on Vimeo On-Demand, Comcast, and InDemand.
Available on Amazon Video, Comcast, and Vimeo On-Demand.
2016 | 84 mins | USA & Japan | Documentary | English & Japanese w/English subtitles
Directed by James Payne
It was in the early years immediately following World War II, during the occupation of Japan by the U.S. forces, that Western influences began to dramatically change Japanese popular culture. The Far East Network (FEN), established just after WWII to broadcast American content to soldiers, played a big part. The simple, curious sounds of the West drew in a Japanese audience, disillusioned with their parents’ culture and the restrictions of the old Japanese society.
FAR WESTERN is a feature-length documentary from filmmaker James Payne (Okie Noodling) telling the phenomenal story of the transplant of American country music to post-World War II Japan. Nearly 70 years later, for a devoted group, the music has become a lifelong obsession. Part music history and part character portrait, the fascinating story is told through the lives of musicians, fans, and live-music venue owners. Set both in modern Japan and the American South, FAR WESTERN explores the uncanny ability of a simple form of music to cross geographic and language barriers, forming a strange cultural bridge between the two countries. Now, these Japanese musicians have made their own pilgrimages back to America, to the birthplace of the music, playing in honky-tonks and festivals in America.
Musicians featured in the doc include Japan’s unofficial ambassador of County Music, Charlie Nagatani, an 80-year-old owner of a honky-tonk in Kumomoto who plays over 300 shows a year with his house band, The Cannonballs and has played the Grand Ole Opry more than 20 times; Hisashi and Yasushi Ozaki, who are are credited for forming the first bluegrass band in Japan and were the first Japanese to be inducted to the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame; Masuo Sasabe and Blueside of Lonesome, now one of the most popular traditional Americana acts in Japan; Juta Sagai, a devotee of Jimmie Rodgers and Woody Guthrie and a key figure in Japan’s bluegrass history, Toru Mitsui, the foremost musicologist on American country music in Japan and more.
TWO FILMS BY SERGEI EISENSTEIN: OCTOBER & ALEXANDER NEVSKY
1928 & 1938 | 103 min & 108 min | USSR | Historical Drama | Russian w/English subtitles
Directed by Sergei Eisentein