101 Films the UK genre label we last talked about when they released their wonderful version of Black Christmas are launching a brand new series that they’ve dubbed the Black Label. In their own words, the Black Label will be “curating a numbered series of dual format limited editions, complete with original artwork and newly-commissioned extras. The Black Label is dedicated to fully doing justice to the very best cult and classic films from some of cinema’s most renowned directors, and unearthing hidden gems in luxury packages for the first time. The first 3,000 copies of each title will come complete with a slipcase, and include a booklet featuring newly written material.”
Ok, 101 Films, you have got my attention.
The Black Label will launch on May 21st, 2018 with the releases of Stephen Frears’ The Grifters and David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ. Not a bad pair to kick start things with. I’m all in on the Black Label. The more distribution companies that specialize in genre films, the better it is for us genre fans. And with this new branch of 101 Films tackling more modern films we should see a lot of releases we haven’t seen elsewhere. I’m excited.
To help celebrate the launch, 101 Films will be presenting a 35mm screening of The Grifters with a Q&A after with Frears, DP Oliver Stapleton and editor Mick Audsley. The screening will be May 15th at the Prince Charles Cinema in London. If you’re in London, go buy tickets! For everyone else you can just pre-order your copies of The Grifters and eXistenZ today!
THE GRIFTERS (Stephen Frears, 1990)
From director Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons) and producer Martin Scorsese, comes The Grifters, a taut thriller in which seduction and betrayal could lead to murder. When small-time cheat Roy Dillon winds up in hospital following an unsuccessful scam, it sets up a confrontation between his estranged mother Lilly and alluring girlfriend Myra. Both Lilly and Myra are con artists playing the game in a league far above Roy, and always looking for their next victim. As Roy finds himself caught in a complicated web of passion and mistrust, the question is who’s conning who?
The Grifters features a stellar cast including John Cusack (Grosse Pointe Blank), Anjelica Huston (Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Addams Family) and Annette Bening (American Beauty, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool).
Brand New Extras
• Seduction. Betrayal. Murder: The Making of The Grifters: A brand new feature length documentary on the film’s production, including new interviews with director Stephen Frears, cinematographer Oliver Stapleton, editor Mick Audsley, executive producer Barbara De Fina and co-producer Peggy Rajski
• Limited edition booklet includes: ‘Jim Thompson, Noir, and the Popular Front’, an essay by David Cochran, and ‘Elmer Bernstein: Grit not Grift’, a review of the legendary composer’s career by Charlie Brigden
EXISTENZ (David Cronenberg, 1999) UK Blu-ray debut
Visionary director David Cronenberg (Videodrome) challenges the boundaries of reality in sci-fi thriller eXistenZ. During a closed-door demonstration of her new virtual reality video game, brilliant game designer Allegra Geller survives an attempt on her life by a crazed assassin. On the run with Ted Pikul, a young marketing trainee who falls into the role of bodyguard, Allegra convinces Ted to join her in her game, eXistenZ. As the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur, the real-life dangers they sought to escape start to merge with their virtual world.
eXistenZ stars Jennifer Jason Leigh (Annihilation), Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley), and a stellar supporting cast including Ian Holm (Alien), Willem Dafoe (Platoon), Christopher Eccleston (28 Days Later) and Sarah Polley (Splice).
Brand New Extras
• The Leader: An interview with Christopher Eccleston
• Commentary with Kim Newman and Ryan Lambie
• Commentary with Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson
• Limited edition booklet includes: ‘Enemy of Reality: David Cronenberg’s
eXistenZ’ by Alex Morris, and ‘Of Fabrics and Flesh: An interview with Denise
Cronenberg’ by Phillip Escott.
• Audio commentary by David Cronenberg
• Making-of documentary
• Promo Featurette
• Special Effects Featurette
• Backstage interviews with Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Willem Dafoe, Jim Isaac (visual effects) and David Cronenberg