cat peo­ple

Paws and ef­fect

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1942 | PG | Blu-ray

Di­rec­tor Jac­ques Tourneur Cast si­mone si­mon, Kent smith, Tom Con­way, Jane ran­dolph

“Noth­ing dis­ap­pears more quickly than film,” claimed Jac­ques Tourneur, di­rec­tor of this time­less slice of hor­ror-noir. He would have ap­pre­ci­ated the irony of a newly re­stored 2K dig­i­tal trans­fer, pre­serv­ing his 1942 mas­ter­piece on Blu-ray.

Pro­duced by Val Lew­ton, the king of shadow-draped cin­ema, the orig­i­nal Cat Peo­ple re­mains a com­pelling, im­mer­sive watch. Tourneur’s ex­traor­di­nary use of light, sound and sug­ges­tion cre­ate a noc­tur­nal po­etry from the tale of a shape-shift­ing Ser­bian émi­gré who brings an old world curse to New York. It’s an en­dur­ingly sen­su­ous, sen­sual piece of film­mak­ing, as el­e­gant, as mes­meris­ing as smoke.

Ex­tras The high­light of this Cri­te­rion Col­lec­tion re­lease is fea­ture-length 2008 doc­u­men­tary Val Lew­ton: The Man In The Shad­ows, an in­sight­ful cel­e­bra­tion of his life and work. There’s also an en­gag­ing in­ter­view/mas­ter­class with Jac­ques Tourneur from ’70s French movie show Cine Re­gards, and a fea­turette in which John Bai­ley – cin­e­matog­ra­pher on the ’80s re­make – dis­cusses the work of his pre­de­ces­sor, Ni­cholas Musuraca. Plus: commentary by film his­to­rian Gregory Mank, an es­say by poet and film critic Ge­of­frey O’Brien, and the trailer. Nick Setch­field

“You will never see a striped tie in any of my films,” said Tourneur, be­liev­ing they dis­tracted from the ac­tors’ faces.

Carol was fas­ci­nated by knobs.

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