Monday, May 25, 2015

A Look At Jean Rollin's THE ESCAPEES on Blu-ray

When Redemption released Jean Rollin's Les Paumees Du Petit Matin (The Escapees) back in 2009 on DVD the disc felt a bit like of a Godsend for fans. After all, The Escapees had long been one of the hardest of Rollin's features to see, so finally having an official release was in itself a cause to celebrate. Sadly that 2009 DVD was mired by a number of technical issues. The non-anamorphic disc offered up a flat smeary looking print with drab colors and a generally inconsistent look. Add on to the visual problems present, Redemption's original DVD offered up the soundtrack in a muffled and static mix that did the film no favors. In other words, despite how welcome it was for Rollin's fans, the original DVD for The Escapees was a bit of a mess.
Flash forward nearly six years later and Redemption (partnered with Kino Lorber) has re-released The Escapees on Blu-ray in a terrific new HD print remastered from the original 35 mm negative that trumps that original DVD in every way. Finally we can see one of Rollin's most distinctive and unique films the way it was intended and the results are, at times, startling.
Few filmmakers used colors the way Jean Rollin did, and now with this new HD print we can see that this fact carried through with The Escapees. Whereas Redemption's original DVD had a flat and greyish look about it, with this new disc the colors really pop the way we know that Rollin intended. The improvement is apparent from the get-go (look at the way the dewy green grass present in the opening moments draws the viewer in immediately) and the disc's color palette stays wonderfully consistent throughout. The film's haunting and marvelous ice-skating sequence feels especially alive and vibrant now on this new disc. While I still have issues with the film and don't consider it among Rollin's finest works, I enjoyed it much more via Redemption's new Blu-ray than I ever have before. Back in 2009 I wrote that it is, "Stylistically as far away from his early dazzling Jean-Jacques Renon lighted works as possible, The Escapees is a cold and somber film" and, while I still agree partially with that, this new release shows that The Escapees is a much more electrifying and vibrant work than I had previously realized. There are still major problems with the film's final act, that not even this sharp print can help, but it isn't the "disaster" that Rollin once called it all. He was much more on point when he noted in Virgins and Vampires that “certain scenes emerged” amidst the flaws as there is an undeniably hypnotic and haunting quality about the film that is unique to Rollin’s work.
The problem's with the films soundtrack have no also been corrected in this new HD version and this greatly benefits the fine if spare piano based score from frequent Rollin composer Philippe D’Aram. The Escapees remains a frustratingly inconsistent picture but it has moments of greatness. As Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs noted in their wonderful Immoral Tales, "what is good in (The Escapees) is very good."
This exciting new Blu-ray of The Escapees (which thankfully ports over the wonderful "One Day In Paris: An Interview With Jean Rollin" from the older DVD) can be ordered at Amazon. More information can also be found here.

-Jeremy Richey, 2015-

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Podcast Dedicated to Jean Rollin From The Human Centipod

The new episode of Jason Meredith and Fred Anderson's The Human Centipod is an hour and half long look at the cinema of Jean Rollin. It can be listened to and downloaded here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The New Documentary JEAN ROLLIN: THE STRAY DREAMER Hits DVD this July!

The much anticipated new documentary from Damien Dupont on Jean Rollin, The Stray Dreamer, is hitting DVD this July. More information on this all region English subtitled disc can be found here. Also, here is an interview I conducted with Damien awhile back.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jean Rollin's THE ESCAPEES is Coming to Blu-ray!

Redemption and Kino Lorber's excellent The Cinema of Jean Rollin line finally has a new title coming out! The Escapees (Les paumées du petit matin) will be hitting Blu on May 26th and here are the specs:

Mastered in HD from the original 35mm negative
French audio track with optional English subtitles
One Day in Paris: An Interview with Jean Rollin (2008, 28 min.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ART DECADES (Issue 1) is now available to order



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Finders Keepers Records unleash LA REINE DES VAMPIRES 1967 on Cacophonic Records

Finders Keepers Records have just released the newest addition to their excellent Jean Rollin soundtrack library via their Cacophonic label. LA REINE DES VAMPIRES 1967 contains the amazing atonal free jazz work of composer Francois Tusques that graced Rollin's first two feature films, Rape of the Vampire and The Nude Vampire. Mastered from the original tapes, as submitted to Rollin, the sound quality on this release is really excellent and it is an essential addition to any hardcore Rollin fan's collection. More information on this vinyl only release (a digital copy code comes with each order) can be found over at Finders Keepers.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Last Chance to Help Our Indiegogo Campaign!

So, this is it! Less than twenty hours left in our Indiegogo campaign and we still have a number of great rewards available. Thank you all for the amazing response! We are all so grateful and blown away!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our ART DECADES Store is Now Open

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A very soft and extremely durable tee featuring superior print quality on 4.5-ounce, 100% ringspun cotton.

Monday, March 10, 2014


So it has been an incredibly busy last couple of weeks! For those who haven't been following the progress of Issue 1 of our upcoming print publication ART DECADES at our website, Facebook or Twitter pages here is a quick rundown. Our Indiegogo campaign is almost two weeks in and we have been thrilled with the response. We are at almost 75% of our goal and all the support has been so appreciated! Fingers crossed we can make our goal before March 28th when the campaign ends.

We did our first photo shoot for Issue 1 and it was such an incredible and beautiful experience. I know you all are going to be blown away by the work that our photographer, Whitley Brandenburg, and make-up artist and model, Rhiannon Lake Mills, did. Here is a short behind the scenes video of the shoot.

ART DECADES Issue 1: "Mistress Dread" (Behind the Scenes) from ART DECADES on Vimeo.

I also had the pleasure of conducting a Skype interview with our first cover star Celia Rowlson-Hall for the feature I am writing for Issue 1. Also, last week we had the great thrill of conducting our first in-person interview with one of our favorite bands CHAPPO! We spent about an hour chatting with these amazing guys and then caught their incredible show with Royal Teeth and Parade of Lights. Here is another behind the scenes video for you to enjoy.

ART DECADES (Issue 1) Behind the Scenes with CHAPPO from ART DECADES on Vimeo.

Even though we are still in the early stages this has already been the most emotional and exciting experience of my creative life. I am so grateful for my team of Kelley, Lake and Whitley and am blown away by all the contributors we have lined up. The idea of sharing all their work this November brings me great, great joy.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Please Help Our Dream Come True: Support ART DECADES at Indiegogo

Our IndieGogo campaign for our upcoming publication Art Decades is now up and running.  Any and all help via contributions and/or spreading the word is so greatly appreciated!  Thank you so, so much!

Help Support ART DECADES from ART DECADES on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013