Little Murders Blu Ray review

Patsy Newquist (Marcia Rodd) interior designer and woman of the world, lives in New York City. A city with unprecedented street crime, pollution, unsolved murders and…Obscene phone calls. When she helps defenceless Alfred Chamberlain (Elliott Gould), who is being mugged by a gang, the expectation is gratitude. What Patsy finds is a man emotionally vacant, he is not a thoughtful photographer but an unfeeling blank. Complaining that Patsy interfered and instead she should have left them until they grew tired and went away…

Little Murders tells a tale of now as much as it did then. Much has been narrated like this. The film is still of relevance today. I came away able to see this. The selfish society driven by the power of I. That realm of self where we distance ourselves from horrors within society because of the fear of breaking taboo. Namely that of the societal distance. I also came away from Little Murders feeling uncertain. For me its commentary is as much transitory as social cycles. Sociologists will highlight how New York descended in the 1970’s. Its commentary is fixed in its period. The attitude, emotional emptiness and urban antipathy. Though it can be seen through these eyes, I felt it has diminished with time. Being a relic of its time. A blackly funny and often precise piece but a relic all the same.

However the disc is a delight. What we get is a quality remaster. Hi Def and it shows within the colour hues, lighting within natural space and of course the underground wash out lights. The top 6 things on the disc (they are all very good but these are my favourite!) Number 6 is Beginners Luck (not mentioned below) is an interview with Arkin. He exposes how he learnt on the job, gave little direction to Gould and his monologue and how walking is the spawn of inspiration. Arkin could be listened to for hours and I wished he had a commentary. Number 5 is the Elliott Gould and writer Jules Feiffer commentary. Gould might be profuse in his information but it is rich and I liked his food related issue. Feiffer is more cushioned between Gould but what he says about the monologue and film making is fascinating. Number 4 is the booklet essay by Jim O’Rouke who effectively personalises the film in his life, as well as defining what the history of the period pooled together to compound the films message (He also mentions Putney Swope.) Number 3 well its the booklet again. Its the Godard could have made it piece. Yes he could have and what he said to Gould about his family, which reflects his idea of the piece, is hilarious. Number 2 is the promotional radio pieces. Exposes Gould’s escape from M*A*S*H and Number 1 is Acts of Random Violence. Feiffer contextualises the film in its historical place. Kennedy, assasinations, unrest and what made the piece so potent.

 

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION EXTRAS:

  • High Definition remaster
  • Original mono audio
  • Audio commentary with actor Elliott Gould and writer Jules Feiffer
  • Audio commentary with journalist Samm Deighan
  • Interview with actor Elliott Gould (2018): a new interview with the iconic actor
  • Interview with writer Jules Feiffer (2018): a new interview with renowned author of the original stage play and screenplay of Little Murders
  • Speaking of Films: ‘Little Murders’ (1972, 29 mins): an archival promotional audio recording of a discussion on the film with writer Jules Feiffer alongside academics and critics Susan Rice, Robert Geller, Leonard Maltin and Sean Driscoll.
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Trailer commentary with Larry Karaszewski (2013, 4 mins): a short critical appreciation
  • Original TV spots
  • Original radio spots
  • Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Jim O Rourke, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film
  • World premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
  • All extras subject to change

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Simon Kennedy

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