Kino Lorber/Redemption's The Cinema Of Jean Rollin series, so it's great on a number of counts to now see them release one of Rollin's final films, La fiancée de Dracula, as a special edition Blu-ray and DVD. Originally released on home video here in the States as Fiancee of Dracula by Shriek Show back in 2002, La fiancée de Dracula has in long need been deserving of an upgraded re-release. Shriek Show's earlier DVD release of Rollin's late period work was among their most problematic releases with a smeary digitized look that all but destroyed the cinematography of Norbert Marfaing-Sintes, the DP who also shot Rollin's Two Orphan Vampires. This early anamorphic DVD release did contain an enlightening interview with Rollin but otherwise it was a major disappointment for fans and damaged the film's reputation. The film was then released by Redemption on DVD back in 2009 but all of the problems from the earlier release were ported over, much to the chagrin of Rollin fans Stateside hoping to see Rollin's work as it had been intended.
Thankfully this new release of Dracula's Daughter from Kino Lorber/Redemption finally presents fans with a good looking and sounding version of one of the closing chapters of Rollin's cinematic journey. No longer looking like a shot on video throwaway, Dracula's Fiancee looks quite lush and rich on this recent release and it very quickly casts the same hypnotic spell that so many of Rollins films managed throughout his career. Much like viewing their restored release of The Escapees a few years back, I was struck by just how much more I responded to Dracula's Fiancee this time around. The film has long been among my least favorite among the master's works but I was really taken with the film on this new Blu-ray and, while it is still a flawed work, I came away with a new admiration and love for the film.
While this upgraded release of Dracula's Fiancee does not contain the original Shriek Show extras it does contain a terrific and informative commentary track by Samm Deighan, the editor of Spectacular Optical's Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin. Deighan does an incredible job of placing the film as an integral part of Rollin's canon and points out a number of artistic and literary influences throughout its 94 minute running time. It's a great track that fans of Rollin and the film with relish.
Missing from this release are any new liner notes from Tim Lucas, who provided his written thoughts to the majority of the earlier Cinema of Jean Rollin release from Kino/Redemption. There is in actuality only one other extra besides the Deighan commentary but it is a doozy as Rollin's mesmerizing 1989 made-for-television feature Perdues dans New York is included as a bonus film. Billed under its English title Lost In New York, Rollin's late eighties work is among his greatest films, but fans hoping for a full HD restoration of one of his most hypnotic works are in for a disappointment as the print included here is in worse for the wear condition. While that's disappointing, it's hard to fault Kino as it is billed as a bonus feature and the HD resolution does at least give it a bit more clarity and detail than we've seen before. Hopefully, Perdues dans New York will some day get the type of major upgrade it deserves but until then its inclusion here is welcome if still a bit of a let down.
All in all, Kino/Redemption's new release of La fiancée de Dracula is recommended for casual fans while the upgraded visuals of the feature and Deighan commentary make it essential for Rollin fans.
-Jeremy Richey, 2019-
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Friday, January 4, 2019
The premiere issue of my brand new arts journal, SOLEDAD, is now available on Amazon or at Nostalgia Kinky. I’ve been working, mostly in secret, on this since my first publications, ART DECADES, mission was unexpectedly terminated earlier this year. The cover is a shot of Terence Stamp and Jeanne Moreau from the devastating 1975 film HU-MAN, which I have written about for the issue. The quote from the cover is from Stamp.
I’m incredibly blessed to have a truly stellar lineup of contributors for the first issue and I’m grateful to all of them. The near 200 page first volume features interviews I conducted with Stoya, Rocket From the Tombs founder Craig Bell and electric eels leader John D. Morton (both of whom are now in X-X). The issue also features new fiction from Robert Monell and Les Bohem, new essays by Heather Drain and Tara Hanks, poetry by Emily Clare Bryant, a book excerpt from Marcelline Block and photography by Ian Preston Cinnamon, John Levy and myself. I’m incredibly indebted to all of these fine artists and am thrilled to feature their words and work.
Follow the publication at Instagram.
Posted by Unknown at 3:39 AM
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
2019 sees the arrival of two new Jean Rollin releases. On February 19th Kino Lorber/Redemption continue their Jean Rollin series with a double feature of DRACULA'S FIANCEE and LOST IN NEW YORK. This set features an audio commentary by Samm Deighan and is a particularity welcome addition to their previous blu-ray releases. I'm especially excited for LOST IN NEW YORK, which is extraordinary. More information on this release can be found here and Samm can be followed at Twitter. Copies of the Rollin Book, LOST GIRLS, Samm edited for Spectacular Optical are still available here as well.
Another Rollin related release arrives next month in the form of another limited edition soundtrack collection from The Omega Productions Recording Company. This release features Philippe d'Aram's soundtracks to LA MORTE VIVANTE / LA FIANCÉE DE DRACULA in a limited run of just 500 copies. More information can be read here.
-Jeremy Richey, 2018-
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Here is part of the official press release on CATHODE LOVE:
"Cathode Love is a BOOK & LP focused on the fantastique, the impulse of mystery, horror and eroticism, containing essays, short stories and unreleased or exceedingly underappreciated and brilliant works of writing and music, rare soundtrack and musical materials all on the LP. It is designed to work together. Full details are below. The editions are to make the experience affordable to all. The book and LP are the same contents, but they have very different levels of intensity in terms of presentation!
Includes essays, short stories, poetry, interviews and new translations from:
Antonin Artaud, Théophile Gautier, Stephen Thrower, Marina Warner, Michel Leiris, David Tibet, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Remy de Gourmont, Count Eric Stanislaus Stenbock, Matthew Brendan Clark, Charles Baudelaire, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Saint-Pol Roux, Catherine Ribeiro and more. 248pp.
This boxed set, book and LP, is an abandoned cathedral full of little prayers to directors Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, little songs from Count Stenbock and Théophile Gautier, all with colorfully darkened windows for its light source, singing its praises through a cloud of smoke, death, beauty, and WONDER. Essays on Roger Callois’s “Writing of Stones” push language into the permanent, primal and automatic, encountering others, such as the macabre oppulence and romance of Baudelaire's "unnatural" poetry of decadence, death and lust. New Coptic translations and a lovely new and insightful essay along with lyrics to his work Birth Canal Blues are offered up by the beautiful and visionary artist David Tibet. A wonderful essay by Stephen Thrower, with his incredibly perceptive and loving reading of the under-sung and mesmerizing Lorna...The Exorcist, all these coupled again with broader, essential selections on the actual processes facilitating these arts, in the essays on the metaphysics of theater by Antonin Artaud, or a variety of other works reflective of the falling shards of some Greater Mirror, then shattered and now gathered again, all that cut to the root of visual poetics. In this way, it also functions, overall, as a diary of perception by the editor. Multiple essays and poems by editor and compiler, Matthew Brendan Clark (sometimes as Comte Computer) exist, woven in and out of the shards, helping to guide this aspect. The rare essay The Hieroglyphic Monad by Michel Leiris, an ode to the Mysteries and language at once, all for your lovey-dovey pleasure, with more poems, essays and extracts supporting the nature of this book, all making up a surprising and new, totally accidental and fully-charged aesthetics treatise, that is FULL OF SUGGESTIONS WHERE TO TAKE THIS ART FORWARD FROM without spelling it out (certainly not in all caps). Cathode Love seems to be loving "the language of aesthetics and meaning" with an open and suggestive embrace, full of black warmth, allowing all light to penetrate inside it. From the aesthetic and theatrical semiotic theory of Artaud and Michel Leiris and the poetry of renegade surrealist and true "Black Mirror", Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, to the transfigured lettering found in the work of Saint Pol Roux, or overarching symbolic curatorial aspect of Remy de Gourmont, CATHODE LOVE IS LOVING ALL WAYS NOW. Take advantage of these readings. They are here now.
The LP includes the first ever issuance of the hypnotic and elliptical soundtrack to Jess Franco's masterful Les possèdèes du diable (Lorna...The Exorcist), by Andre Bènichou, as well as the first vinyl release of Jean Rollin soundtracks to La nuit des traquèes (Night of the Hunted) and Les Raisins De La Mort! (Grapes of Death). Also, accompanying the exclusive interview with Catherine Ribeiro in the book is the epic, 25-minute Un Jour...La Mort by Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes, the first official issue of this since their 1972 album Paix. The LP is rounded out by key selections from Les deux orphelines vampires (Two Orphan Vampires), Ennio Morricone, and Goblin's work for the Suspiria soundtrack.
Many of these selections are issued for the first time ever on vinyl, and were all sourced from the best available elements and remastered for vinyl at Chicago Mastering Service by Jason Ward. LP housed in jacket featuring Parsifal by Jean Delville."
More information can be found at its official website and the book's progress can be followed at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Spectacular Optical. The book, which contains a stunning array of never before seen photos, is a must for Rollin fans and can be ordered here.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
ART DECADES is now available on Amazon. This issue features a near 40 page tribute to Jean Rollin which includes a brand new interview with Francoise Pascal, the star of THE IRON ROSE! The tribute also contains interviews with several contributors of the upcoming book on Rollin, LOST GIRLS, including Samm Deighan, Michelle Alexander, Virginie Selavy and Marcelline Block. Thanks to all who order and can help us spread the word about this special Rollin themed issue and viva independent print media!
Thursday, June 29, 2017
getting to interview the amazing Françoise Pascal, the star of my favorite Rollin film The Iron Rose, for Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience just over 7 years ago so I am very excited to announce that I recently had the chance to interview Françoise again for a follow-up chat for my print only publication Art Decades. This new interview with Françoise focuses on a number of topics including her thoughts seeing Rollin for a final time, more on The Iron Rose, her autobiography, recent work, future plans and more. This 13th issue of Art Decades also includes an exclusive sneak preview of Spectacular Optical's book on Rollin Lost Girls featuring a number of contributor interviews and an excerpt. The issue will be available to order via Amazon and eBay in July and I will be unveiling our special Francoise Pascal cover here very soon. In the meantime, head over to Francoise's official site for more information on her and her remarkable career.
Monday, May 15, 2017
I recently had the honor of being interviewed by editor, film historian and writer Marcelline Block about the career and films of Jean Rollin and that chat can now be read over at Electric Sheep.
Monday, May 1, 2017
Diabolique's excellent podcast Daughters of Darkness has just released a terrific chat focused on 3 films by Jean Rollin. Inspired by Tohill and Tombs' incredibly influential Immoral Tales, hosts Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger focus specifically on The Nude Vampire, Fascination and Living Dead Girl on this 105 minute podcast. Like all of the Daughters of Darkness episodes, this talk is an essential listen for genre and cult-film fans in general. It is highly recommended.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Indiegogo campaign for Spectacular Optical's upcoming book Lost Girls: The Cinema of Jean Rollin is now live and taking donations. Head over to the campaign to see samples from the book and read about the exciting 'perks' that are being offered to contributors. Be sure to donate if you can and please help spread the word via social media and your own sites. Here is a preview of the book, featuring editor Samm Deighan, that Spectacular Optical have just released.
Friday, April 14, 2017
The Omega Productions is preparing to release the world premiere of Daniel J. White's soundtrack for Jean Rollin's Zombie Lake.
From the press release the CD, which will be limited to just 500 copies, "will be remastered for the first time ever, with the help of Daniel Lesoeur, producer of the film and director of Eurociné. It will contain 22 (+ bonus) tracks, included sound design (the "bird's song") and quotes". While the film itself remains, arguably, the absolute lowpoint in Rollin's filmmaking career, this soundtrack is a very welcome release and the early shots of the accompanying booklet look wonderful. For ordering information on this release, please visit this page.