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Home Movies/Out on Digital 12.22

Dec. 20, 2016
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thelodger

Bad Girl

Despite some creaky plot points, Bad Girl (1931) holds up well. Filmed before Hollywood imposed a self-censorship code on its productions, Bad Girl is an emotionally, socially, sexually frank glimpse of working-class life and gender mores at the dawn of the Great Depression. With sly humor that remains funny after all these years, Bad Girl lays bare the cruel misogyny of its time and poses the still relevant question of balancing childrearing and professional success.

 

Depeche Mode: Video Singles Collection

Depeche Mode made good use of the nascent music video medium during the ’80s-MTV era. The three-DVD Video Singles Collection amasses more than 50 videos, many directed by respected filmmakers-videographers such as Julien Temple and Anton Corbijn. The best of Depeche Mode’s songs were melodic, compact gems built on post-Kraftwerk electronics; the best of their videos presented visual stories that alluded vaguely to the lyrics. The hits are here, including “See You” and “People are People.”

 

Man of the World: The Peter Green Story

The Fleetwood Mac that went platinum in the ’70s had almost no connection with the Fleetwood Mac that emerged in the ’60s. The first incarnation, led by the brilliant guitarist Peter Green, is the focus of this documentary. Steeped in blues, Green retained a blues feeling as his creativity expanded into less charted fields. Unfortunately, he left the band after being damaged by too much LSD. He is interviewed here, along with family and band members.

 

The Lodger

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927) was among the most memorable Jack the Ripper films. Out on Blu-ray, director John Brahm’s 1944 remake starred Laird Cregar as an unsubtly disturbed prowler on the foggy gas-lit London streets who takes rooms in a respectable house. The sight of beautiful women unhinges him, especially his landlord’s lovely niece (Merle Oberon). No mystery that Cregar is the Ripper: The suspense lies in whether he’ll get caught before he kills again.

 

“The Red Skelton Hour: in Color”

Red Skelton is remembered as a creature of the black-and-white era, but this three-DVD set culls from his final years, the 1960s, when color television entered middle-class homes. Skelton was a gifted performer—clown, elf, mime and stand-up comic whose barrage of one-liners sometimes looked improvised. The programs followed the era’s variety show format with a live orchestra, song and dance routines and a bevy of guest stars including Vincent Price, Phyllis Diller and Boris Karloff.

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